Sony’s new flagship has been getting a decent reception in early reviews from Europe, but if you’ve got a hankerin’ to get your high-end smartphone on elsewhere in the world, you’ve been out of luck. Until now: the Xperia S is now shipping directly from Sony to retailers all over the world. For a paltry $674.99 (or its equivalent in local currency)  you too can get the stylish dual-core phone. Just add an active GSM SIM card and you’re ready to go. And yes, Americans, you can get in on the action as well – Sony’s one of the few phone companies that regularly releases unlocked versions of its phones in the United States.

As Sony’s latest and greatest, the Xperia S stands head and shoulders above the rest of its stable-mates (if not the other phones shown off at CES and Mobile World Congress). A 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM run Gingerbread at the moment, but Sony has promised an Ice Cream Sandwich update sooner rather than later (and given the introduction of the Xperi neo L, we believe them). The 4.3-inch 720p display has some incredible pixel density, and that’s not the only stylish thing around: get a look at that transparent navigation bar/indicator light.

Sony is pushing NFC capability hard on the Xperia S, along with a downright amazing 12-megapixel primary camera. It’s all crammed into a body that’s smaller than most, if not especially thin. If you’re in the US and can’t stomach nearly seven hundred dollars, AT&T’s getting its own version called the Xperia Ion soon enough. The AT&T version has a slightly retooled body that unfortunately does away with the swanky transparent elements. The carrier hasn’t announced a timeframe for availability, but its subsidized price should be somewhere in the $200-300 range.

[via Geeky Gadgets]