Sony Xperia U. Expected Q2 2012. The “Sony” brand replaced “Sony Ericsson” in the marketplace just last month, but already their product range is becoming muddled with the Sony Xperia U. We already have the Sony Xperia S, Xperia P and Xperia ion (although that last one is a bit of an oddity) but confusingly the “U” is the entry level in what Sony call the “Xperia NXT range”. It’s quite a compact device – the Sony Xperia U has a 3.5″ 480 x 854 pixel display in a handset measuring 112 x 54 x 12mm and weighing 110 grams. There’s a 5 megapixel camera on the back plus a video calling camera on the front, a dual-core 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal flash memory with no microSD slot.
Roughly speaking, this is iPhone 4 territory and as such sits near the bottom of the midrange market. The screen is a little on the small side, the memory is rather limited and on paper the Xperia U looks like it came from 2010 rather than 2012, but when you see the Xperia U you realise that this is a very desirable handset that fits in well with the other devices in the range. This is an Android 2.3 device with a promised upgrade to Android 4.0 during Q2 2012. It does everything that every other Android phone does.. GPS, 3.5G support, WiFi, Bluetooth.. you know the drill by now.. and it comes with all those old Sony Ericsson add-ons such as TrackID, xLoud and Wisepilot plus a whole bunch of new Sony add-ons for accessing content. Sony say that the Xperia U should be available from Q2 2012 onwards. Although no guidance was given on price, the rival iPhone 4 with 8GB of memory retails for a shocking €519 SIM-free, but we suspect that the Xperia U will sell for well under €400 when it comes to market..