Mobile World Congress is the mobile love fest that happens every year in Barcelona Spain. The love was definitely in the air once again this year. As both Sony an then HTC unveiled their latest creations for the masses to admire.
Sunday night kicked off with the Showstoppers event which highlighted the most interesting of the smaller “off Broadway” exhibitors. After which the big guns came out, from both Sony and HTC.
Sony consummated their purchase of Ericsson’s share of their decade long joint venture about ten days ago and Sony Ericsson is now formally Sony Mobile Communications. Sony Mobile launched the new Sony XPERIA S, P and U. The S was displayed at the CES show in Las Vegas in January, and is now joined by the P and the U . The names may be singularly uninspiring but the actual devices are a delight to hold and very well built with the hallmark Sony quality screen and a fit and finish that is as good as anything currently available on the market.
A major differentiator was highlighted by the new Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai, who made an appearance here at Mobile World Congress. Kazuo assured the media that Sony was ready to make a comeback from their terrible 2011. As one company, with many assets, and the ability to serve content too many platforms, from TV’s and gaming consoles, to mobile phones, Sony is well placed to take advantage of it assets in a way that no competitor could. The ability for Sony devices to share and exploit all this content is significant and should assist Sony in fighting off its competitors.
The new Sony range is visually slightly boxy and bland but the edge is in the details, such as the clear strip at the bottom of the Xperia S, which adds visual appeal. The screens on all the new models feature Retina Display technology from and are very good, with great colour and sharpness. Overall the phones felt fast and fluid whilst running Android 2.3, with an upgrade to Version 4 ICS promised shortly.
Watch, Listen, Play, is the new buzz phrase from Sony, and uniquely Sony owns all the elements that may make this strategy work. The huge problem is that none of these services are available in South Africa at present, and as such Sony Mobile has to compete on handset quality alone. And from what I saw their new range is competitive, but sets no new standards, and as such will continue to struggle against the other products in our market such as the iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia and Samsung devices.
All in all a great start to Mobile world Congress and lots to look forward to in mobile phones