Digging the style in Sony’s Xperia S superphone, but need something that doesn’t poke out of your breast pocket? Then the Xperia U might be right up your alley. Sony officially announced the diminutive 3.5-inch phone today at Mobile World Congress. The smaller phone keeps the squared-off style and see-through navigation/alert area of the Xperia S, but seems to be saddled with the now-outdated Sony Ericsson branding, even though Sony announced that the two companies have now been officially integrated. Sony says that the final branding will be Sony-only.

Sony was quick to point out that the “Chin” section (that bit of plastic below the transparent buttons) can be removed and replaced to your liking, not dissimilar from the older Nokia interchangeable faceplates. You can even get hot pink, if the spirit moves you. Sony’s proprietary Bravia graphics engine will boost video playback, and that’ll be a welcome feature, since the 5-megapixel rear camera takes 720p video. That transparent bar changes colors to fit the mood in certain applications, like the photo gallery. The processor is an impressive 1Ghz dual-core.

The first provider to offer the Xperia U will be UK’s Three, which intends to make it available “soon”. There’s no word on pricing, but you can expect it to be well below the sticker price for Sony’s top-of-the-line S model. Stay tuned to the MWC 2012 portal – we’ll have hands-on look at this little guy shortly.