Sony’s Budget Smartphone Due for Release in September?

New details about a low cost Sony smartphone called the Xperia Miro have emerged ahead of an estimated release window of September.

The Xperia Miro looks like it will be the most affordable of Sony`s current Android-based range, with specifications to match its unassuming price point. It may not directly compete with Nokia, Cherry Mobile or DTC price-wise, but Sony believes that it’s their way of claiming a chunk of budget smartphone market share that Samsung and HTC significantly have.

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On the outside it looks to be a rather handsome handset, with a slim body coloured white and a decent sized touchscreen display measuring 3.5 inches across the diagonal on the front.

If you dig beneath the surface you will find an 800MHz single core processor doing all the hard work, while there is also 4GB of internal storage space on offer.

On the rear is a five megapixel camera with a dedicated LED flash, which is a nice touch for what looks to be a budget smartphone option.

You even get a secondary camera around the front to allow you to make video calls to friends who have phones with similar capabilities.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Xperia Miro is not found in its hardware, but is instead related to its software.

You get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich preinstalled on this phone, complete with Sony`s own modified interface to bring it in line with other Xperia-brand phones. There is still no word though if 2012 Xperia phones are going to be officially upgradable to Jelly Bean this year.

The reason that this is significant is because many other entry level devices like this opt to use an older version of Android, with version 2.3 being the iteration of choice for many manufacturers.

This means that finding Android 4.0 on offer at all is a nice touch. Quite how smoothly this will run with just an 800MHz processor remains to be seen, but Sony must be fairly confident that this will work out OK if it has chosen to specify the Xperia Miro in such a way during development.

Ever since Sony split from its previous manufacturing partner Ericsson in the mobile market, it has been trotting out a number of very impressive Android smartphones.

The flagship Xperia S has shown that it can cope at the upper end of the market without necessarily trying to go toe to toe with superphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the HTC One X.

Meanwhile it has offered more affordable handsets like the Xperia U, which is a rung above the new Xperia Miro when it comes to hardware.

The only Xperia handset which is going to be cheaper than the Miro is the dinky Tipo, which boasts a 3.2 inch touchscreen display and about half the storage of this upcoming device, but still has an 800MHz processor so that it can run Android 4.0.

A few years ago the prospect of getting a 3.2-3.5 inch phone would have impressed most people, since this was the pinnacle of screen technology at the time. However, sizes have increased ever upwards and now even a four inch display is considered to be relatively conservative. Apple`s consistent use of screen sizes, with 3.5 inch displays for the iPhone range and 9.7 inch panels for its tablets like the iPad 2, is expected to alter in the autumn when the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini arrive.

Giancarlo Viterbo
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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