It is Sony, however who bring this tasty morsel of technological goodness. That's Sony, not Sony Ericsson by the way, which will ever increasingly be the case as we progress into 2012.
Sony and AT&T have unveiled the Sony Xperia ion. Their first LTE device to bear the Xperia name and it certainly is an impressive package.
We'll get a small negative out of the way first as this device would appear to offer a top notch experience say for the fact that the ion will launch running Android Gingerbread 2.3 and not Ice Cream Sandwich.
Sony Ericsson have had trouble making real headway in the US market, so it's a little surprising that Sony want to make their LTE debut with a device that's still running last year's flavor of Android. There will undoubtedly be an Android 4.0 update for the ion soon after launch but the delay is probably down to additional carrier testing.
With that out the way, let's look at the ion's impressive spec sheet. The first and most notable element is the ion's 4.6" Reality display, which promises a 1280x720 HD resolution and with the mobile version of Sony's BRAVIA Engine in tow, the combination could make for one of the best viewing experiences around (we'll reserve judgement on that one however until we see it for ourselves).
The rest of the hardware is equally as promising, with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 in charge, backed up by an Adreno 220 GPU, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of user space (expandable via microSD up to 32GB).
The tools at the ion's disposal are also promising, with a 12MP EXMOR-R camera mounted on the back capable of 1080p HD video recording at 30fps, a 1.3MP front facer, PlayStation-Certified goodness for the gamers out there and also NFC support.
The Q2 release date means that fans will still have to be very patient, but hopefully we'll get the opportunity to give you a taste of the ion preceding its general release.
Check out Sony's own video showcasing the strengths of the Xperia ion and read on to see the full press release.
Sony Ericsson's Markus Hansson talking us through the Sony Xperia ion via TechGear
Xperia ion revealed – first LTE smartphone from Sony available exclusively from AT&T
• HD powerhouse – two HD cameras, 4.6-inch1 HD screen and HDMI-out support
• Unmatched Android camera experience in the US with 12 megapixel rear camera
• Effortless sharing of content with easy connectivity across multiple screens within the world of Sony
• PlayStation™ Certified and access to entertainment services from Sony Entertainment Network
January 9, 2012, Las Vegas, Nev. – Xperia™ ion, the first LTE smartphone from Sony®*, was introduced today at the 2012 International CES and will be available exclusively in the U.S. from AT&T in the second quarter.
Xperia ion from Sony enables easy connectivity with multiple screens for consumers looking to share and enjoy content on whichever screen they choose, whether it's TV, smartphone, laptop or tablet.
Xperia ion from Sony has a stunning 4.6-inch HD display (1280 X 720 pixels) that provides a visual brilliance for superior viewing experiences. For photo enthusiasts, Xperia ion features a new Fast Capture innovation to make sure life's unexpected moments are not missed: the HD camera goes from standby mode to first shot in 1.5 seconds.1 The impressive images taken with the 12-megapixel rear camera are unmatched by any other Android smartphone.
Additionally, both rear- and front-facing cameras deliver HD recording capabilities. "With Xperia ion, we're bringing together several firsts that will take users beyond the smartphone," said Paul Hamnett, President, Sony Ericsson North America. "Designed to deliver a seamless experience across the multiple screens we use to play, watch, listen, and share, Xperia ion is the gateway to entertainment when and – most importantly – where you want it."
Xperia ion users will be able to access the richest entertainment experiences from Sony Entertainment Network. Music Unlimited offers a global catalogue of 15 million unique songs while Video Unlimited has the latest Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows from all major studios.
Xperia ion is also PlayStation™ Certified, guaranteeing a high quality smartphone gaming experience.
Key Features for Xperia ion: 4.6-inch HD Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine with HD resolution screen (1280 x 720), as well as rear (1080p) and front (720p) cameras for HD recording. 1.5GHz dual-core processor for fast browsing and content download, which can be stored on the internal 16GB flash storage. 12MP rear camera with Sony Exmor R™ for mobile with fast-capture to go from standby to first shot in less than two seconds. HD sharing through DLNA, HDMI and BRAVIA Sync to quickly and easily stream content on other screens.
For full details on all products news, please visit the press room and the product blog: blogs.sonyericsson.com/products/
We can't wait to see more of Sony's Xperia ion, can you? Let us know what you think in the comments.
UPDATE (January 10th): Check out our hands on of the Sony Xperia ion when we paid Sony a visit at CES earlier today here.