Sony unveils Xperia P and Xperia U at MWC (Photos)

Take a peek at our review of the Sony Xperia P

Sony is officially on its own. In its first presentation since legally separating from phone partner Ericsson, Sony unveiled its first Sony-branded handsets: the Xperia P and Xperia U. Both the handsets follow the same styling queues from the Xperia S we saw at CES earlier this year. Together, Sony is labeling the devices as the ‘NXT’ series and all three will hit shelves worldwide sometime in the next four months. And, in case you didn’t notice, all three devices also have that band of clear plastic near the bottom, which houses a portion of the antenna and lights up (on the U).

The Xperia P sports a 4-inch screen with what Sony calls WhiteMagic technology. Sony claims that WhiteMagic screens are easily viewed in the sunlight and are more power efficient than other phone screens. In our experience, it was definitely bright, though proper testing would require us to try it outdoors.  The screen is set into a aluminum unibody with a rare dedicated camera button. The P can also be docked to Sony’s new SmartDock so that the phone’s pictures and videos can be displayed on your home entertainment system. The SmartDock also features a USB port so users can connect a keyboard and mouse for added navigation options. The Xperia also features a dual core 1GHz processor, 8MP camera, and NFC.

The Xperia U is a smaller, more budget-friendly phone in the NXT family, though it has, arguably, one of the neatest little gimmicks. The clear band at its bottom will light up with different colors based on what pictures or things you’re looking at on the screen, similar to the way some old HDTVs used to light up the wall behind them a bit. The feature is definitely a gimmick, but it does light up for notifications as well. As far as specs, the U has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 5MP camera, and 3.5-inch screen. 

Both phones will launch with Android Gingerbread, but Sony claims they will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich sometime after launch.

Update by Jeffrey: I’ve added a bit of hands-on information and some photos. 

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