Sony Launches Xperia Ion And Announces SmartWatch For India

After months of anticipation and waiting, Sony has recently taken the wraps off its next generation handsets in India. The brand has officially launched their latest high-end smartphone, the Xperia ion into the Indian market along with the much awaited Sony SmartWatch. The smartphone manufacturer has priced these devices at Rs. 36,999 and Rs. 6,299 respectively.

The Xperia Ion was first announced way back at the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas earlier this year. The Xperia ion is designed to fit in to the current trend of smartphones bearing large displays - 4.6-inch (LCD) screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. However, as feature packed as this one may be, it packs in a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and an Adreno 220 GPU. In the time of the Quad Core mobile processor though, the ion seems a little under powered. The primary camera is rated at 12MP and is capable of 1080p video recording. The device is also equipped with a 1.3MP front-facing camera for video conferencing at 720p resolution. Its 1900mAh battery should ensure plenty of usage time and battery backup that's dualy suited for the handset considering its hardware specs.

The Xperia ion will also ship with Sony's Tarzan charger with QuickCharge abilities that provides an hours worth of usage with a mere 15 minutes of charging. As of now, this rapid charger currently ships with only the Ion and will be made available for purchase for other handsets later this year and with upcoming devices. The handset also features the Walkman player and is also a PlayStation certified smartphone.

Commenting on the launch of the Xperia ion, Prasun Kumar, Marketing Head, Sony Mobile Communications said, “With Xperia ion, we’re bringing together a seamless experience across the multiple screens that we use to play, watch, listen, and share. Xperia ion is the gateway to HD entertainment when and – most importantly – where you want it. We are glad to see overwhelming customer response for our Xperia range and we thank them for supporting us unconditionally on this successful journey in India. We strongly believe that the consumer will like the Xperia  ion’s HD entertainment experience which has exclusive Airtel data offer to enhance the smartphone experience.”

Here is a quick look at the highlighted features of the Xperia ion:
  • 4.6-inch TFT LCD supporting 1280 x 720 pixel resolution.
  • 3G HSDPA 2100, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot, DLNA, USB 2.0.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and EDR, USB 2.0, NFC.
  • GPS, A-GPS with GLONASS.
  • 12MP camera and 1.3MP front camera.
  • FM radio with 3.5 mm audio jack.
  • 1GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, external memory support up to 32GB.
  • HDMI (micro).

The other major announcement at the event was the announcemnet of the Sony SmartWatch for India. Sony’s latest accessory for its smartphones has been doing the rounds abroad and according to the company - gaining quite a bit of mementum. Sony has decided to launch the SmartWatch in India now and aims to keep the price "as competitive as possible." The watch features an OLED colour display that will be avilable with different colour straps, so you can match it to your personality. More importantly, it syncs with your Android phone and lets you read messages, emails, calendar reminders as well as receive social networking updates from Twitter and Facebook. You can even reject and mute calls or accept them through a Bluetooth headset.

According to Sony, the SmartWatch is not designed to be compatible with handsets other than their own, but that could change at a later stage. The syncing is done over Bluetooth 3.0. The device can be charged via a proprietary port placed just under the clip. You will also be able to download compatible apps from the Google Play store. The main unit weighs about 15g. We still don’t know it the watch is waterproof like a standard watch although it seemed quite sturdy.

The other handsets that were showcased at the event were the Xperia neo L and the Xperia go.

Here's a quick look at the main features of the Xperia go:
  • 3.5-inch Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine for sharp clarity.
  • 5MP fast capture camera goes from sleep to snap in just over a second.
  • Scratch resistant mineral glass display with wet finger tracking.
  • Dust and water resistant.
  • 1Ghz dual core processor.
  • Launching on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), upgradeable to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
  • Available in black, white and yellow colours.
The highlighted features of the Xperia neo L are:
  • 4.0-inch TFT touchscreen with a 480 x 854 pixel resolution.
  • 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor, 512MB of RAM.
  • Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich.
  • 1GB internal storage.
  • 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi.
  • GPS with A-GPS support.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB 2.0.
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, 720p video recording.
  • Secondary VGA camera.
  • Memory expandable up to 32GB via microSD card.
  • 3.5 mm handsfree socket.
  • 1500 mAh Lithium - ion battery.

All consumers of these Xperia handsets will also receive 50GB of online storage via Box which is free for life. All these handsets come equipped with fast image capture capabilities, X-Loud VPT (Virtual Phone Technology) and Clear Bass Stereo.

Sony Xperia go (stay tuned for the review) is available for Rs. 19,949. The brand has priced the Xperia neo L at Rs. 19,449, which is just about the same price as it's predecessor the Neo V (that specs-wise had just a smaller display).
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