Over the course of the last few months, we’ve seen a device called the “Pepper,” with a model number MT27i, floating around the Internet. While they’ve been just fleeting shots of the device, and plenty of rumors regarding specifications, we’ve all been waiting for an official announcement of the device. It was expected to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, but it wasn’t. Now the wait is over, as Sony has officially announced the XPERIA sola, with “floating touch” technology on board.
As we’ve seen in the past, the XPERIA sola doesn’t feature that translucent notification bar at the bottom of the display like other XPERIA devices recently announced. However, it does have what Sony is calling “floating touch’ technology, which should make the device stand out at least a little bit. With this technology, while you’re browsing the Internet, you’ll be able to float your finger above the display and use it like a cursor on a computer. Links will become highlighted, to show you exactly what you’re activating, and then you just access the link by touching the display. An interesting idea, but it will remain to be seen if it makes any impact on the market.
As far as features go, the rumors have held strong. The XPERIA sola features a 3.7-inch touchscreen display, with a resolution of 854×480. This is a Reality Display, so what you see on the phone should be extra crisp and clear. Additionally, the XPERIA sola will have a 1GHz dual-core processor with 512MB of RAM, and a 5MP HD camera on the back. There is 8GB of storage built-in, and it will have NFC capabilities. It will be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but Sony says that an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to release in the second quarter of this year, but no exact dates were provided.
Speaking of dates, Sony says the new handset is launching in the second quarter of this year, but didn’t get into any specifics. You can check out a pair of promotional videos for the device below showcasing the handset’s features. And the press release is below those.
Xperia sola from Sony – the smartphone with a sense of magic
Introducing “floating touch” navigation for magic web browsing without touching the screen
Easily open apps and launch actions in an instant with NFC and Xperia SmartTags
Reality Display with Mobile Bravia engine and fast capture camera boosted by a powerful dual-core processor
13 March, London, United Kingdom – Sony Mobile Communications today announced Xperia™ sola* as the latest addition to its portfolio of Android powered Xperia smartphones. Complete with Sony technology, premium entertainment and innovative floating touchTM navigation, the NFC enabled Xperia sola comes equipped with Xperia SmartTags, allowing consumers to change their smartphone’s settings and applications to fit their lifestyle in an instant. Xperia sola will be available to consumers globally in black, white and red in the second quarter.
A floating touch of magic
Making its smartphone debut exclusively on Xperia sola, Sony’s unique floating touch lets consumers navigate the web by hovering their finger above the screen so it acts like a moving curser, without actually having to touch the screen. Once the desired link is found it can be highlighted and a simple tap will load the page. Floating touch will evolve with new user functionality and applications through software updates and engagement with developers.
Calum MacDougall, Head of Xperia Marketing for Sony Mobile Communications, commented; “Xperia sola comes with the power of Sony and a sense of magic with floating touch, giving consumers a fun new way to browse the web and latest technology to show off. With Xperia SmartTags out of the box and access to the latest content through Sony Entertainment Network, Xperia sola is perfect for consumers looking for ease of use and the best in entertainment in a smart and innovative smartphone.”
Simplify the everyday with SmartTags
Xperia sola is NFC enabled and comes with two NFC Xperia SmartTags in the box as standard to simplify consumers’ everyday smartphone experiences. By touching an NFC Android smartphone on a SmartTag, a pre-configured profile in the smartphone will launch. The two SmartTags included with Xperia sola can be personalized with up to 10 commands. Out of the box one is ready for the living room to turn on Wi-Fi™ and launch Google™ news and weather apps, and the other one for the bedroom, which turns on the alarm and switches to silent mode. Xperia sola supports NFC pairing, allowing consumers to enjoy great connectivity with other NFC smartphones, applications and services by tapping their smartphones together.
Powerful entertainment anytime, anywhere
Xperia sola boasts razor sharp clarity with Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA® Engine, xLOUD™ and 3D surround sound audio technology delivering crisp and loud sound, and a 1GHz dual-core processor for super fast performance. Xperia sola also comes with fast capture to take the camera from sleep to snap in a little over a second with a single key press.
Consumers can also access premium entertainment experiences with Sony Entertainment Network**, where they can watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters on Video Unlimited or listen to millions of songs*** through Music Unlimited.
Key features for Xperia sola
Floating touch navigation for an easy web browsing experience
NFC enabled and Xperia SmartTags in the box to enable quick app loading and easy content sharing
3.7” Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine gives razor sharp clarity
Powered by a 1GHz Dual Core Processor for super fast browsing
xLOUD and 3D surround sound audio technology for crisp and loud listening
Direct access to Sony Entertainment Network* with pre-installed Video and Music Unlimited** apps
Launches on Android platform 2.3, upgrade to Android 4.0 during summer 2012