The first contracts and SIM free pre-orders for the Sony Xperia S are being taken this week ahead of its official arrival in the UK.
The Xperia S is being priced incredibly competitively in order to attract the attention of a mainstream audience, although its specifications are by no means middle of the road.
A 1.5GHz dual core processor gives it just as much processing power as the HTC Sensation XE. Where it steps above and beyond the current competition is the 4.3 inch touchscreen display, which has a native resolution of 1280x720, a pixel count only matched by the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
On the back of the Xperia S is a 12 megapixel camera, which should easily be one of the best on the market. You get Android 2.3 preinstalled, which is a little bit of a shame, given that Android 4.0 will be packaged inside most of the high end handsets making their debuts at this month's Mobile World Congress (MWC) event.
However, Sony has committed to bringing Android 4.0 to many of its Xperia models launched over the past year, of which the Xperia S is arguably the best candidate for the job.
The Xperia S will follow on from the Xperia Arc when it comes to its design and build quality, with a slender chassis that can help it to compete with other slim mobiles, like the Apple iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2.
Sony has not won quite as many plaudits as its peers for the interface overlay which it applies to Android, but while it may not quite be in the same league as HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz, it has definitely improved over recent iterations.
With contract prices starting for as little as £21.50 a month, users could end up with one of the most powerful mobiles on the market, at least for the time being, for considerably less than many of its less potent peers.
Once Sony gets its act together and releases and Android 4.0 update, the Xperia S will start to look seriously tempting.
Of course things could all change once MWC has come and gone and we are left with a slew of new mobiles to regard with envious eyes. Sony deserves some serious attention for the Xperia S, but it may not have the marketing budget to prevent it from being overshadowed.
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