Sony, like Samsung, has used the IFA 2012 event in Berlin to introduce a number of new devices-in Sony's case, three Xperia smartphones and an Xperia Tablet S. The announcements come before Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone, iPad and television.
The new devices also are notable for further ushering users into a time of not only phone makers producing phones, but of electronics giants creating ecosystems of complementary-if not symbiotic-devices.
Sony introduced the Xperia ion in June, and on Aug. 29 gave it three sisters-the Xperia T, V and J. The highest-end model of these is the Xperia T-the smartphone of choice for James Bond, in his upcoming film, and Sony describes it as combining its best screen, camera and connectivity options.
Like the ion, the Xperia T features a 4.6-inch HD Reality Display powered by a Mobile Bravia Engine-technology borrowed from Sony's television line. It has a 13-megapixel camera that can go from sleep-to-shoot in under 2 seconds, and it can record video in full 1080 high-definition video. There's a camera on the front as well, which is capable of 720p HD, a Qualcomm 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor and Android version 4.0.4, known as Ice Cream Sandwich, though an upgrade to Jelly Bean (version 4.1) is promised "following launch."
Near-field communication (NFC) technology is also included, and as Sony did with the Xperia ion-selling NFC-based SmartTags alongside the phone-it's pushing for NFC uses beyond mobile payments or ticketing.
"Consumers can easily and instantaneously enjoy their music and photos across an array of NFC-enabled Sony devices, by simply touching one to another to establish a wireless connection without a cumbersome pairing process," Sony officials said in an Aug. 29 statement, dubbing the feature "one-touch."
The Xperia T-which will be called the TX in some markets-will come in black, silver and white, is PlayStation-Certified, and can be paired with an Xperia TV Dock to make it simple to send images and video from the phone to an HDTV.
The Xperia V is a more midrange option, with Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity, a 4.3-inch display and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. The OS is Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and this phone, too, is PlayStation-Certified. It'll come in choices of black, white and pink.
Finally, the most affordable of the three will be the Xperia J. It's 9.2mm thin, features a 4-inch display, a 5MP camera on the back and a lower-resolution one up front. It illuminates when social media updates come through, and it will be available in black, white, pink and gold.
The Xperia T will launch in the United Kingdom in September and continue on with the other phones later into the fourth-quarter.