Sony Announces Xperia P and Xperia U Smartphones (Video Hands-On)

Sony’s merger with Sony-Ericsson may be big news, but the company surely wouldn’t attend Mobile World Congress without something else up its sleeve. And indeed, the newly minted “One Sony” is attacking the smartphone category with impressive zeal, announcing the addition of two phones to the Xperia NXT line: the Xperia P and the Xperia U. These smartphones are the successors to the Xperia S announced at CES in January. So how do these handsets expect to impress us?

The Xperia P is all about creating pretty pictures. It has a 4-inch screen with the brand-new WhiteMagic display technology to provide appropriate brightness based on the user’s environment. The P also has an 8-megapixel camera and an HD camera, natch. But the standout feature is the Xperia SmartDock for the P, which gives you full PC capability when the handset is, well, docked and connected to an external monitor. The Xperia P also comes with NFC support.

And then there’s the Xperia U. Sony said this handset delivers the company’s signature entertainment features in a smaller package (3.5-inch screen versus 4-plus), and it also has an emphasis on audio. There’s XLoud and Surround Sound technology for extra-clear sound quality, and the phone runs a dual-core 1-GHz processor like its Xperia NXT brethren. Camera-wise, you’re looking at 5 megapixels. But the coolest feature here is a light at the bottom of the handset that flashes different colors based on what image you’re viewing–and it can even match the tone in a photo you take with the camera. We battled a throng of impatient journalists to nab this quick demo for you.

Look for both phones in mid-2012. No pricing info is available yet.

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