Sony has dropped the "Ericsson" and outed a pair of highly-desirable smartphones at CES 2012 this week, the LTE-toting Xperia ion for AT&T's 4G network, and its Euro sibling, the HSPA+ Xperia S. Both have a squared-off aesthetic and a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, running Gingerbread on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with an ICS upgrade tipped for Q2.
Both have NFC, HDMI outputs capable of 1080p Full HD video, and 12-megapixel main cameras that can record Full HD too. Front-facing 1.3-megapixel cameras are used for video calls and vanity shots, and there's the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS along with Sony's Timescape interface.
Sony Xperia ion hands-on:
Sony also revealed some compact NFC tags, which can be used to launch apps or to instantly switch the Xperia handsets into different preset modes; you could have one on your nightstand, for instance, and automatically toggle the smartphone into silent mode before bed. The Xperia ion will arrive on AT&T sometime in Q2, while the Xperia S will arrive in the same quarter on various carriers. No pricing as yet.