Fresh from it's split with Ericsson, comes the Sony Mobile Xperia sola – a phone that incorporates a new chipset from ST Ericsson. Confused? Don't be; there's a lot of money to be made making chipsets these days.
With three new Sony smartphones already announced, the sola has to have something special to slot in somewhere, and it most certainly does.
The brand-new 'floating touch' technology allows you to hover your finger over the display, moving a virtual mouse pointer or cursor until you touch to select. The company plans to engage developers to find innovative ways to use this new feature on apps and games.
The 9.9mm thick handset is available in three colours; black, white and red, powered by ST Ericsson's 1GHz dual-core processor and with Android 2.3 loaded out of the box, with an update to Ice Cream Sandwich due by the summer.
Features from other Xperia handsets are included too, such as the Mobile BRAVIA Engine to enhance the screen visuals on its 3.7-inch 480x854 pixel display, xLOUD sound enhancement and both 2D and 3D sweep panorama picture capture.
The sola has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, a 1,320mAh battery and comes pre-loaded with apps for the Sony Entertainment Network, including pre-loaded content. The icing on the cake comes in the form of 3D surround sound from two internal speakers.
Another feature which would appear to be standard on all new Xperia models is NFC, and the sola will come with two SmartTags that can launch applications or change profiles with a simple touch of the phone.
Examples of their use might include putting one by the bed to automatically set your alarm, or activating Bluetooth hands-free and SatNav software when you get in your car.
The Xperia sola will go on sale shortly and will be sold in Italy under the name Xperia sole, and by its model number (MT27i) in China.