Sony’s mobile line-up announced: 4G speeds, PlayStation, no more Ericsson

Ahead of Mobile World Congress in February, Sony has previewed two new mobile phones at CES in Las Vegas.

The first phone out of Sony’s stable is also the company’s first LTE smartphone, making is perfect for consumers eager to take advantage of high-speed fourth-generation wireless networks.

Aside for 4G LTE, the Xperia Ion packs in  new LTE 4G the Xperia Ion, a smartphone that features a slim design encased in aluminium and a 4.6 inch HD screen powered by Sony’s Bravia display engine.

This new model of phone features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16GB internal storage, HDMI, WiFi, DLNA, and a strong 12 megapixel rear camera capable of recording 1080p Full HD.

Also of note is the branding: there’s no more Ericsson.

The Sony Xperia Ion - an Xperia handset with less Ericsson branding.

Rather than see “Sony Ericsson” atop the Xperia handset, the Ion is the first time we’ve seen Sony sit by itself on a smartphone.

The next phone that sees is this change is the Xperia S, the model Sony claims is “the first Sony smartphone”.

Like the Ion, the Xperia S features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 12 megapixel rear camera, but with the addition of Near-Field Communications technology (NFC), 32GB of storage, and a smaller 4.3 inch HD screen.

Sony's Xperia S features NFC, possibly making it your future digital wallet.

Sony is also planning a variety of accessories for its new smartphones, including a wristwatch that will let you read messages, social media updates, and even cue music for playback.

One of our pet peeves last year was that while Sony Ericsson phones shared a lot of technological similarities, only the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play was PlayStation Certified. This year, Sony intends to make its lineup of phones PlayStation Certified, meaning that both the Xperia Ion and Xperia S will let you play PlayStation games released to Android Market.

Interestingly, both of these models won’t initially make it into your hands with Google’s latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Sony confirmed today that the new models will both arrive with Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich would arrive in the form of an update later in the year.

No word on availability on either of these locally, although Sony did say that the Xperia S will be available within the next few months.

As for the 4G Sony Xperia Ion, that’s an American exclusive for the moment, though we hope that a carrier with LTE picks it up shortly.