First look: Sony Xperia NXT S, P and U

Following their announcement at MWC, we go hands-on with three new Xperia NXT Android smartphones from Sony.

Sony announced three new Xperia NXT smartphones at MWC in Barcelona a couple of days ago and today IT Pro had the opportunity for some hands-on time.

Sony Xperia NXT S, P & U

The new Sony Xperia NXT S, P and U Android smartphones (from left to right)

The Xperia NXT S, P and U are a premium, mid-range and entry-level smartphone, respectively. All are ostensibly billed as offering a "connected entertainment experience", but the S and P models also have features that make them of interest to business users looking to move to something smaller than a laptop for certain mobile tasks.

Sony Xperia NXT S, P & U

The new Sony Xperia NXT S, P and U Android smartphones (from left to right)

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All three smartphones share an appealing slab-like design with a rounded back that feels comfortable in the hand and the aluminium case on the NXT S and P feels particularly sturdy.

Rather than adopting Apple's approach of wrapping the radio antennae around the perimeter of the case to improve reception, Sony has instead crammed them into a pod at the bottom end that's separated from the main smartphone body by a transparent slice of plastic, although this presumably contains near-invisible electronic connections of some description.

All three models ship with Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread, but a Sony spokesperson told us that an upgrade to Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) will be available early in Q2.

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This will, the spokesperson told us, include a Sony skin rather than the stock ICS one provided by Google. This is perhaps a necessity, since all three smartphones have three capacitive Android buttons on (or, in the case of the NXT S, just above) the transparent slice below the screen ICS has dropped these in favour of on-screen versions.

The quad-band GSM/3G Xperia NXT S has the highest specification, with a 4.3" (720 x 1280) screen, 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor, 32GB of user storage and a 12-megapixel camera with backlit sensor.

Sony Xperia NXT SSony Xperia NXT SSony Xperia NXT S
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