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Sony SBH52 hands-on (Xperia ZU Bluetooth receiver)

Announced alongside the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the Sony SBH52 is a Bluetooth receiver like no other.

Above and beyond being a stereo Bluetooth receiver, it’s designed to be put up to the ear and spoken on as a phone, in a similar way to the HTC Mini which never made it to our shores.

This means that at the top end is the speaker as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, while at the bottom, an in-call microphone. In the centre of the SBH52 is the OLED display, capable of dialing numbers, flicking through contacts or reading text messages.

Being a Bluetooth receiver, it also offers more traditional multimedia functionality such as music control and an FM radio.

Launching at the same time as the Xperia Z Ultra, the SBH52 offers a much more discrete way of taking your calls than pulling out your 6.5 inch smartphone. The 3.5mm headphone jack will also support hands-free kits, perfect for anyone who wants to listen to music with their larger smartphone in their bag.

With the Xperia Z Ultra being IP58 waterproof, it’s a good thing the SBH52 is as well, making it up to the challenge of a rainy day in London or a monsoon in Mumbai.

NFC is on board for quick Sony One Touch pairing, making it safe to call this nifty headset the hottest on our radar. What makes it all the sweeter is that it’s compatible with other manufacturer’s phones or tablets, including the likes of the Asus Fonepad and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, two tabs that could really benefit from this type of accessory.

Sony hasn’t given any pricing information for the SBH52 as of yet, but availability is pegged for September 2013, so it’s going to be a while before you can get your mitts on this fine gadget. With any luck we’ll get one in a little early and give some more in-depth impressions of the most exciting Bluetooth receiver on the block.

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