Announced back in February at this year's Mobile World Congress, the Sony Xperia U is Sony Mobile's successor of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray. Like the ray, the Xperia U is featuring a tiny 3.5" touchscreen and was initially launched with Android 2.3 only (an upgrade to Android 4.0 is expected anytime soon). However, the U is now powered by a 1 GHz STE U8500 dual-core CPU and supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as either dualband or triband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 900/2100 MHz or 850/1900/2100 MHz, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth, an FM radio with RDS and aGPS; but it unfortunately lacks NFC.
The 3.5" mineral glass coated touchscreen has a resolution of of 854 x 480 pixels and sports Sony's own Reality Display technology which is also powered by Sony's Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Furthermore it comes with Sony's xLOUD audio technology. The Xperia U's 5 megapixel autofocus camera has a supporting flash LED and allows to record 720p HD videos. Like all Sony NXT smartphones, it also supports fast capture which means it only takes little over 1 second from sleep to snap with a single key press. The VGA front-facing camera can be used for video telephony and chat.
The phone comes with 8 GB of flash memory (according to Sony, around 4 GB are user accessible) and 512 MB of RAM and this minimalistic memory can't be expanded with microSD memory cards! At a size of 112 x 54 x 12 mm, the Xperia U weights 110 grams, including the removable 1320 mAh Li-Ion battery.
To personalize the Xperia U a little bit more, each device comes with removable bottom caps. The white U comes with a white and yellow bottom cap while the black one comes with a black and pink cap. Above the bottom cap, the U features a color-changing, illuminating transparent elements which either represents the color of the theme or matches with selected features, like matching the color with artists album art or changes to the the shades of photos.
The high-quality feeling body and battery cover is made of plastic and available in either black or white. The official retail price was announced with 259 Euro.
Cheers ~ Arne