After a less-than-impressive 2010, Sony Ericsson has been going about its business in quietly impressive fashion so far in 2011.
There's a bit of feel-good factor about SE again, a lot of it thanks to the entirely unexpected but exceedingly easy-to-look-at Xperia Arc that was announced at CES last month. We're expecting to see the Arc in all its glory at Mobile World Congress, of course, but what else does Sony Ericsson have lined up for Barcelona? A fair bit, actually.
Among the “mistakes” SE owned up recently to having made last year was not seeing Android coming and failing to jump on board in the early stages. But those days are well behind it now, and there's all sorts of incoming Xperia-branded Android goodness to talk about.
Top of the pile, of course, is the Xperia Arc, the beautifully slender 4.2in powerhouse unveiled in Las Vegas a month ago. It leans heavily on Sony's technology smarts by including an 8MP Exmor image sensor as well as the Bravia Mobile graphics engine, and the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread release completes a very compelling picture indeed.
But it's another potential Sony Ericsson phone boasting some mainstream Sony tech that's really got our excited. We're talking of course about the fabled PlayStation phone, which will almost certainly be called the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play once it appears in the wild. The big question is whether it'll be on hand at MWC, and the likely answer, happily, is yes.
Sony recently showed off the next-gen PSP2 console ahead of a December release, and if that's anything to go by, we're in for quite a treat from the Xperia Play. The consensus is that it'll have a typical high-end smartphone spec, complete with Android, but the slider emerging from under the device when held in landscape mode will of course have the familiar PlayStation controls rather than a QWERTY keyboard. The rest is still largely up in the air, but this one will be set to live or die on just how well Sony and Sony Ericsson have been able to work together, which has been a stumbling point in the past.
The third high-profile arrival we're expecting is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo, the recently revealed name for what we've been loosely been referring to as the Vivaz 2 until now. Here too we'll be getting Android Gingerbread, along with Sony's Bravia and Exmor smarts, but in a slightly smaller-screened form factor reminiscent of the original Vivaz.
Other rumours mention the QWERTY slider Xperia Duo, which also boasts Android 2.3 alongside a middle-of-the-road feature set, while there are sure to be a host of new low- to mid-range handsets dotted around the Sony Ericsson stand too. We'll be there, of course, and will be sure to pass on all the news.