Sony Xperia ion for AT&T officially unveiled

We reported late last year that Sony’s acquisition of the ION trademark would probably lead to something smartphone-related for the company in the future, and sure enough everything has panned out. AT&T has officially unveiled the Sony Xperia ION, a phone that can easily sit at the top of the high-end phone list without much question.

It will be an exclusive to AT&T right out of the gate, and it will be the first smartphone device from Sony without Ericsson’s name attached to the project. The device will be Sony’s first LTE device here in the States, which warrants plenty of attention in and of itself. It will also feature a 12MP rear-facing camera. Under the hood there’s a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and the ion will feature a 4.6-inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280x720p, with an HD Reality panel.

There’s a 1.3MP front-facing shooter that’s also capable of recording 720p HD video. It will also be Sony PlayStation Certified, so PlayStation games are surely on the way. The device is set to launch in the second quarter of 2012 for AT&T. The bad news is that it will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread on board. No word on pricing quite yet.

The full press release is below.

Press Release

Xperia ion revealed – first LTE smartphone from Sony available exclusively from AT&T

• HD powerhouse – two HD cameras, 4.6-inch1 HD screen and HDMI-out support
• Unmatched Android camera experience in the US with 12 megapixel rear camera
• Effortless sharing of content with easy connectivity across multiple screens within the world of Sony
• PlayStation™ Certified and access to entertainment services from Sony Entertainment Network

January 9, 2012, Las Vegas, Nev. – Xperia™ ion, the first LTE smartphone from Sony®*, was introduced today at the 2012 International CES and will be available exclusively in the U.S. from AT&T in the second quarter.

Xperia ion from Sony enables easy connectivity with multiple screens for consumers looking to share and enjoy content on whichever screen they choose, whether it’s TV, smartphone, laptop or tablet.

Xperia ion from Sony has a stunning 4.6-inch HD display (1280 X 720 pixels) that provides a visual brilliance for superior viewing experiences. For photo enthusiasts, Xperia ion features a new Fast Capture innovation to make sure life’s unexpected moments are not missed: the HD camera goes from standby mode to first shot in 1.5 seconds.1 The impressive images taken with the 12-megapixel rear camera are unmatched by any other Android smartphone.

Additionally, both rear- and front-facing cameras deliver HD recording capabilities.
“With Xperia ion, we’re bringing together several firsts that will take users beyond the smartphone,” said Paul Hamnett, President, Sony Ericsson North America. “Designed to deliver a seamless experience across the multiple screens we use to play, watch, listen, and share, Xperia ion is the gateway to entertainment when and – most importantly – where you want it.”

Xperia ion users will be able to access the richest entertainment experiences from Sony Entertainment Network. Music Unlimited offers a global catalogue of 15 million unique songs while Video Unlimited has the latest Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows from all major studios.

Xperia ion is also PlayStation™ Certified, guaranteeing a high quality smartphone gaming experience.

Key Features for Xperia ion: 4.6-inch HD Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine with HD resolution screen (1280 x 720), as well as rear (1080p) and front (720p) cameras for HD recording. 1.5GHz dual-core processor for fast browsing and content download, which can be stored on the internal 16GB flash storage. 12MP rear camera with Sony Exmor R™ for mobile with fast-capture to go from standby to first shot in less than two seconds. HD sharing through DLNA, HDMI and BRAVIA Sync to quickly and easily stream content on other screens.

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