In the mobile world, 2011AD will forever be remembered as the year Sony Ericsson went absolutely mental and decided to churn out as many Android phones as humanly possible.
Sony Ericsson still has a long way to go before it catches up with the sales success of Android stalwarts HTC and Samsung, and clearly it reckons the key to doing so is more, more, more.
The manufacturer revealed its strategy back in March. Bert Nordberg, Sony Ericsson’s president and CEO, said: “we are in the Android market and we want to be number one.” It’s also focusing more so on the States, so they’ll start seeing new Sony Ericsson wares before us Europeans. Meh.
I count nine handsets so far in 2011, with a few more rumoured or coming soon. Here are the nine official ones. Ready? Deep breath…
It’s fairly easy to see where the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro fits in the grand scheme of things. It’s one of the few landscape QWERTY sliders in the Android world, a bit like the popular HTC Desire Z, but with more juice under the hood (1GHz compared to 800MHz) and more megapixels (8MP instead of 5MP).
Sometimes referred to as the PlayStation Phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play was touted as an “iPhone killer”. Needless to say, it failed to live up to that lofty ambition.
The Xperia Play comes with slide-out controls, and a handful of PlayStation games pre-installed. You can currently grab one from Expansys for the bargain price of £289.99.
What can we say about the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc? It’s certainly the largest of Sony Ericsson’s Android range, with a 4.2in display, and the 8MP camera is pretty sweet.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is essentially a mini Arc. It chops half an inch off the Arc’s 4.2in display, but retains the 1GHz processor and sweet 8MP camera action.
The above are all at least 3.7in, so I guess it makes sense to have something a wee bit smaller (the really tiny stuff is still to come). The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray weighs in with a 3.3in display, 1GHz processor and 8MP camera. So, erm, it’s essentially a smaller Neo which is essentially a smaller Arc. See?
Sony Ericsson describes the Xperia Active as “the ultimate smartphone for an active life” and reckons it can “handle any conditions in any weather”. It’s water- and dust-resistant, and has a scratch-resistant screen that doesn’t mind if your fingers are soaking wet.
Other specs include a 3in display, 1GHz processor and 5MP camera.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini and Mini Pro are souped-up versions of the Xperia X10 Mini and the QWERTY-toting X10 Mini Pro.
While the originals were fairly modest with 2.55in displays and 600MHz processors, these new fellas have 3in displays and 1GHz of juice. The megapixelage remains at 5MP, though Sony Ericsson reckons the Mini is the “world's smallest Android smartphone with HD video recording”.
The Sony Ericsson Mix is pretty much a Walkman-branded Xperia X8, with a 3in display and 3.2MP camera. It’s coming to O2 in September.
On the Walkman side of things, Zappin allows you to preview the chorus of the next track to decide if it’s worth listening to, and there’s a karaoke-style function that allows you to remove the vocals.
Phew. That’s a lot of Sony Ericsson.