Sony is looking to make a statement with its first post-Ericsson phone, the Xperia Ion, which comes packed with a 4.6-inch 720p display, a 12-MP camera with an Exmor sensor, a 1.5-GHz Snapdragon processor, and LTE, all for $99.
Other features of the Xperia Ion include PlayStation certification, meaning that it will work with Sony's Playstation universe. What exactly that means at this point is a little uncertain. The Xperia Ion will also have a near-field communications chip, and while it won't work with Google Wallet, it will use Smart Tags, which, when tapped with the phone, will execute a number of preprogrammed activities, such as activating the GPS and Maps in your car.
Sadly, the Ion will ship with Android Gingerbread; although Sony says that it could be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich, they didn't give a timeframe. However, the Ion will have its own special TV Launcher interface that, when connected to an HDTV via HDMI, will pop up on-screen, and allow users to navigate through the interface using the TV's remote control, regardless of the brand. Other features include 16GB of storage, expandable to 48GB total using a microSD card.
As mentioned, the phone will be available on June 24 for $99. Stay tuned for our full review.