This just in (we love it when we get to say that), Sony has just officially announced the next smartphone in its Xperia line, the Xperia E.
It may seem that the XPeria T – branded as the official James Bond smartphone and featured in the movie Skyfall – has barely hit store shelves. But Sony's already looking to launch this latest addition to the XPeria family as early as the first quarter of 2013, or in other words, by the end of March at the latest.
But the Bond phone has no real reason to fear the Xperia E. Though they'll be part of the same line, the two smartphones are entirely different beasts, built for different purposes and a different audience for certain.
For starters, the Xperia E seems to have been designed with cost efficiency in mind. Not only is the phone itself an affordable, entry-level device, but it's also built to help you save money when using it.
The XPeria E will be available in a dual SIM model, the XPeria Edual, "so that consumers can easily switch between tariffs with just one touch to stay on the most cost effective plan," says Sony.
Meanwhile, the Xperia E also boasts features to let you save on data and battery. Users can set it up to automatically disconnect from Wi-fi and data once the screen has been inactive for a few minutes. And Sony claims that its extended battery standby mode "increases the standby time up to 4 times" what you normally get from other devices.
For sure, this is an economy-focused phone. But just because it doesn't boast the flashiness of the Bond-approved Xperia T, doesn't mean we should disregard it as merely a cheap device. As Sony's Director of Xperia Marketing Calum MacDougall explains:
"Consumers looking to take their first steps into the world of Xperia smartphones would be well advised to look at Xperia E or Xperia E dual. They are perfect for those seeking affordable access to the quality and functionality more traditionally associated with high-end Android smartphones."
Aside from more or less entry-level specs – it's got a Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1GHz single-core processor, a 3.5" display with a 480 x 320 resolution, and 4GB of internal memory – it does have a few fancy features. Among them, says PocketLint, is HD voice, which allows for much clearer talk.
Over all, if you're looking for a no-nonsense Android phone without Bond's bells and whistles, the XPeria E and Xperia Edual are probably the going to be a good bet. But we'll have to wait for their release early next year to really know how they perform.