MWC 2012 – Sony Xperia P and Xperia U join the Sony Mobile fold

Two new smartphones – the Xperia P and Xperia U – arrive to keep the Sony Xperia S from getting lonely

Sony’s new mobile identity – stripped of its Ericsson credentials – goes from strength with the unveiling at MWC 2012 of its Xperia P and Xperia U smartphones.

The pair join Stuff’s five star-rated Sony Xperia S in the company’s new smartphone fold, now dubbed the NXT series.

Sony Mobile’s 4in Xperia P has an aluminium unibody shell, fronted with a “WhiteMagic” display for enhanced contrast and brightness that’s automatically dialled back to conserve battery life. It’s also packing 8MP optics with HD video and NFC that’ll work with Sony’s Smart Tags. Sadly, it’ll be lauching with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) on board, though we’re assured of an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) overhaul by summer.

The 3.5in Xperia U, meanwhile, is using Sony’s music pedigree to its advantage, with xLoud and Sony 3D surround sound tech to optimise audio output and wirelessly stream music to DLNA-equipped speakers. Its camera rides shotgun to the Xperia P, having just 5MP, while it’ll also be hoping to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich from its stock Gingerbread OS by half-time in 2012.

Both come with the Xperia S’s distinctive transparent stripe (the Xperia U’s even changes hue to match the photo you’re viewing) and are powered with a 1GHz dual-core processor. The Xperia P has an optional SmartDock that Sony hopes will turn it into a set-top box and occasional computer.

The pair look stunning, though whether they’ll be able to hold their own against MWC’s quad-core wares – such as the HTC One X and Huawei Ascend D quad – remains to be seen. We’ll be tracking them down for hands-on time as soon as we can, before giving them the third degree in our full reviews. Hold tight.

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