Sony showed off tons of new kit at MWC 2012, from its handheld gamer the PS Vita to the latest Xperia smartphones. Unsurprisingly, the booth proved massively popular, but we charged in to get some valuable hands-on time.
We don't know how they coped in suits. We were sweating buckets in a t-shirt
Both the Sony Xperia P and the Sony Xperia U were launched at MWC, and the pair sport very similar designs to the Sony Xperia S (check out our full Xperia S review now!). All three phones feel very rectangular despite the subtle curve to their rears. They're comfortable to hold, and certainly look smart - we took tons of photos so you could see for yourselves.
Sony Xperia S
The Sony Xperia S is the big brother of the family, boasting a spacious 4.3-inch LED-backlit LCD screen. It's a typically bright and colourful display, as you'd expect from a Sony handset, packing in more pixels-per-inch than even the crisp iPhone 4S screen. In fact, all of the Xperias we tested had fantastic displays, with wide viewing angles.
We covered the Sony Xperia S in great detail in our first hands-on, but here's some more photos to really whet your appetite.
The camera did a fantastic job, producing bright shots in a dingy room
Sony Xperia P
Next up was the four-inch Sony Xperia P. This four-inch phone sits between the Xperia S and Xperia U in terms of size, and at 120g and 10.5mm thick it's a reasonably slim and light device.
The unibody design is crafted from aluminium, although the red model we tested looked more plasticky. Still, it was solid enough with no flex when we pulled and prodded it. The white and black models look a little more sturdy.
Again the screen is impressively sharp, with a 960x540 resolution. Sony's new WhiteMagic technology apparently auto-adjusts the brightness levels so you can clearly see your desktop in any light, but we couldn't test this fully in the dim interior of the booth.
However, the dingy room did allow us to test out the eight-megapixel camera with LED flash. We took a few crafty snaps of our fellow journos, and the results were outstanding. In fact, we didn't need to use the flash once, as the camera drew in plenty of light for each snap and the final pics looked even brighter than our surroundings.
The Xperia P is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and currently runs a jazzed-up version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but we've been promised some Ice Cream Sandwich by summer 2012. 16GB of storage gives you tons of space for your music and apps.
Sony Xperia U
Last up was the Sony Xperia U. This compact 3.5-inch phone weighs a measly 110g but is a little chunkier than the Xperia P, with a 12mm frame. Other than that it's almost identical, featuring the same rectangular design.
You'll notice a thin strip at the base of all three devices - this is the ‘transparent element', as Sony calls it, but we prefer ‘light strip'. This narrow bar houses the antenna but also glows mysteriously when you get a call, text or other notification.
You can also prise off the Xperia U's coloured base and swap it with a different colour, a great way to change the look of your phone depending on your mood. Just as well, as the phone only comes in black and white.
The Xperia U is very similar to the Xperia P inside as well as out. The same dual-core 1GHz processor powers the phone, and you once again get Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Sony's Timescape overlay. Expect an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in Q2.
The five-megapixel camera is also just as impressive as the Xperia P's, once again capturing bright shots in the dark Sony booth. However, you do get less space for your media, with 4GB of built-in storage.
Check back soon for a full review of the Sony Xperia smartphones!