Hands-On With The Sony Ericsson Xperia S From CES

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I’ve never been a huge fan of Sony Ericsson. The phones are fine, I guess, and I certainly commend the company’s drive to differentiate. The Xperia Play is a great concept but it failed to really take off.

Today, however, I was very impressed after taking a good hard look at the new Xperia S. It’s not the thinnest phone at .4 inches, nor does it have the biggest screen, but it is something fresh which is more than I can say for most Android Gingerbread phones.

The phone is very boxy, and even has an extra bit of hardware on the bottom that seemingly has no purpose. Still, I don’t mind it since it adds something new to the look of the phone with that thin strip of clear plastic. I also tend to frown upon white phones, but the Xperia S is a sexy little beast in white.

Spec-wise, this new phone continues to impress with a 4.3-inch HD Reality Display powered by Sony’s Bravia Engine. The screen boasts a 720p resolution, joining ranks with the Galaxy Nexus, the LG Spectrum, and the HTC Rezound.

Under the hood you’ll find 1GB of RAM, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and a memory card slot with room for up to a 32GB card.

Another impressive feature of the Xperia S is its 12-megapixel rear-facing camera that is capable of video capture in 1080p, along with a front-facing shooter for video chat.

All in all, the phone feels great in the hand and looks hot. The corners are a bit “sharp” but not at all uncomfortable, and the purposeless extra hardware along the bottom doesn’t make the phone cumbersome at all. Oh, and if gaming’s your thing than you’ll be happy to know that this phone is Playstation-certified.

Sony promises that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will head to the S eventually, but we have no word on pricing or availability yet so stay tuned.