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  • Sony's latest addition to the Xperia line, the XPeria E is designed with cost-efficiency in mind

     


    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.




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  • Amid the slew of smartphones being released right in time for the holiday shopping season, Google's new LG-made Nexus 4 is winning the popularity contest.


    Within hours of going on sale on the U.K.'s Google Play store on Monday, the latest nexus smartphone sold out. Same story in Australia, except that the successor to Google's Nexus 7 Tablet, the Samsung-made nexus 10, was also listed as "out of stock" before the day's end.


    Meanwhile,  BGR reported that in the U.S., it took only minutes before all available units of both the 8GB and 16GB models of the Nexus 4 sold out on Google Play. And before long, 32GB models of the Nexus 10 were out of stock, with only 10 units of the 16GB model remaining.


    To use the old adage, tehy're selling like hotcakes. But it's not hard to see why.


    Starting at $299 for the unlocked Nexus 4, the pricing is pretty competitive compared to other smartphones, especially considering its specs: Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, 4.7-inch True HD IPS screen with a resolution of 1280×768 resolution, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to boot.


    However, it doesn't have LTE – if it did, people would probably be killing each other for it at that price – but TechCrunch is right in saying that it's essentially "a high-end 3G device for a mid-range price."


    Likewise, there's no reason that demand for the Nexus 10 Tablet should cool down anytime soon. Starting at $399.99, it's greatest draw is its super-sized 10.1" 330PPI display, one of the biggest tablet screens out there.




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  • The latest addition to the Lumia family, Nokia's Verizon-exclusive Lumia 822 arrives this month

     


    And we thought they'd never get back together...


    Verizon announced this week that, for the first time in three years, they'll be carrying a Nokia smartphone.


    The Nokia Lumia 822, a version of the Lumia 820 customized for Verizon, will start rolling out to Verizon subscribers this November, a press release announced. Though no release date has been publicized, a source told Engadget that it may be available by November 8, while BGR thinks it'll be out on November 12.


    With the announcement no doubt timed to coincide with all of Microsoft's recent events, the smartphone runs on WIndows Phone 8, and is available exlusively through Verizon.


    So how, exactly does the Lumia 820 stack up against other Lumia devices? Well, for one, it's curvier, and its camera pod and flash placement has the same lengthwise setup as the Lumia 920 and 810, "instead of the transverse layout found on the Lumia 820," writes Engadget.


    As for specs, the Lumia 822 packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, has 8 GB of internal storage, and 1 GB of RAM, though you can get models with up to 64 GB.


    Its 4.3" screen has a resolution of 800 x 400, and it's got an 8 megapixel camera as well as a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and an exchangeable shell for wireless charging.


    It body seems pretty sturdy, which is no surprise for a Nokia phone, though some have called it a little thick. Still, says one TechCrunch reviewer, "If anything, the version I played with was even thicker than normal because someone had swapped the stock backplate with the wireless charging plate, but the end result was a device that was still very comfortable to hold."


    Available in white, black or grey, one of these bad boys will run fairly cheap – about $100 on a 2-year contract with Verizon.




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  • Branded as the official James Bond Skyfall phone, Sony's XPeria TL arrives at AT&T November 2

     


    Dubbed the "Official James Bond Phone," the latest in Sony's XPeria Lineup, the Xperia TL, will be swaggering into AT&T stores as of November 2.


    In pretty hyperbolic style and promising to "give everyday people the chance to live like James Bond," the AT&T press release promised to make the new smartphone available for $99.99, so long as you sign a 2 year contract.


    According to Engaget, the device has quite a lot going for it, despite the fact that its "materials feel cheap." For one, it's got a 1.5GHz dual-core S4 processor as well as NFC capabilities.


    Sony's XPeria TL features a 4.6-inch 720p display

     


    Aside from that, AT&T just couldn't help reminding us all (for what seems like the thousandth time) that the Xperia TL is "featured in the upcoming James Bond cinema release Skyfall [and] will be used in the film by 007 himself."


    But just in case you didn't get the message, they've preloaded the device with tons of Skyfall content like "behind the scenes footage, interviews, clips, wallpapers, ring tones, and more."


    Though we have a hard time believing that any smartphone can ever really let someone "live like James Bond," we have to admit the XPeria TL at least looks slick enough to be something Bond would carry.




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