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Sony Xperia SL: Confirmed by Sony before official announcement

Last year we were graced with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S around six months on from the launch of the original Xperia Arc and now, here in 2012 we’re again seeing the arrival of a flagship refresh, the Sony Xperia SL a little prematurely than expected. 

The phone quietly appeared on Sony’s official website and was spotted by GSMArena. It’s expected to be officially announced at Sony’s pre-IFA event in Berlin on August 29th, where we are hoping to get our hands on it. 

August 20, 2012

Sony Xperia SL official press photos

Following the release of our own colourful interpretations, some genuine shots of the upcoming Sony Xperia SL Android smartphone have appeared courtesy of Chinese site, ePrice. The unannounced (and as yet unconfirmed) handset also comes with a number of new specs – differing slightly to what we first suspected.

August 2, 2012

Where does the Sony Xperia SL sit in Sony’s lineup?

When Sony was Sony Ericsson last year, it committed to producing a six month refresh on leading handsets, including the then flagship, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, which received some minor improvements including a faster processor, culminating in the release of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.

With the company’s 2012 lineup already taking shape, Sony is planning that same treatment for this year’s devices, starting with the Sony Xperia SL; an uprated version of the Sony Xperia S which launched in the opening months of Q1. The SL offers new colour options, improved hardware and takes the place of the Xperia S in Sony’s handset portfolio.

What are the Sony Xperia SL’s main features?

The Sony Xperia SL is effectively the same phone as its predecessor, save for a faster clocked dual-core processor.

  • 4.3-inch HD LCD (720×1280 pixels)
  • 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 32GB onboard storage
  • 12-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording at 30fps
  • 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera with 720p HD video recording at 30fps
  • WiFi with hotspot functionality
  • 3G connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • FM radio
  • Colours: black, white, silver, pink
  • 1750mAh battery

What operating system does the Sony Xperia SL run?

Although new handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 are suspected to run the latest Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean when they launch, the Xperia SL is arriving on Android Ice Cream Sandwich version 4.0.4 and upgrading to Jelly Bean likely sometime next year.

Sony needs to pick up the pace in this department, with the Xperia S only recently receiving its upgrade to ICS and some users on carrier-locked handsets still waiting.

Sony Xperia SL official photos - backs

What are the alternatives?

The most apt comparison to draw from the Xperia SL is the HTC One S, predominantly as the most recent units of the Taiwanese company’s high-end Android handset utilise the same 1.7GHz dual-core processor as the SL now does. Having said that the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3 are interesting adversaries worth considering as well, primarily for their quad-core processors, but based on the abilities of the Sony Xperia S, we’re doubtful that the user experience will be significantly different.

Outside of the Android camp, the Apple iPhone 4S is the ageing warrior who still demands respect for usability and app support, not forgetting that the iPhone 5, which is set to arrive in the latter half of this year too.

How much will the Sony Xperia SL cost?

Despite its ‘Coming Soon’ status on Sony’s website, there’s no suggested pricing so we’ll assume it looks set to take the launch pricing of the Xperia S and in the process, bump the S’s pricing down.

Where will the Xperia SL launch?

We anticipate all major UK carriers will stock this new Xperia following its official announcement at the aforementioned pre-IFA event in Berlin, with the exception of Vodafone, which hasn’t taken any of Sony Mobile’s 2012 handsets onboard.

When will the Xperia SL launch?

We can assume it will be available Q3 this year, whilst its announcement is anticipated for August 29th.

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