Sony Mobile has today announced the availability of its new entry level Xperia M smartphone, but the device lacks 4G connectivity.
The Xperia M will retail for $199 through Vodafone pre-paid, or $249 outright through Sony retailers, and is available from today.
The device has a 4in TFT touchscreen with a resolution of 854x480, runs a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon processor, has 1GB of RAM, and includes 4GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot supports memory cards up to 64GB in size.
The Xperia M is a 3G smartphone, so it is not compatible with Australian 4G networks.
While most pre-paid smartphones sold in Australia are 3G handsets, 4G devices are slowly trickling into the lower end of the market.
Telstra currently sells its own-branded Frontier 4G Android phone for $199, while Optus sells the LG Optimus F5 ($299). Vodafone ranges the HTC One SV ($299), but currently doesn't allow pre-paid customers to access its 4G network.
Despite the lack of 4G connectivity, Sony Mobile's managing director of communications, John Featherstone, says the Xperia M is an ideal entry level smartphone.
"Consumers looking for their first steps into the world of Xperia smartphones, would be well-advised to look at Xperia M."
"The Xperia M benefits from Sony’s proven innovation and engineering expertise, and is perfect for those who want the premium technology and experiences often only associated with high-end models."
Other features of the Xperia M include a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with Sony's Exmor RS sensor and single LED flash, along with a front-facing VGA camera that handles video calls. The phone has a 1750mAh battery and also includes NFC-connectivity.
The Xperia M will initially be available in black and white, though Vodafone says the availability of purple and yellow variants will be announced "at a later date."