Sony Ericsson unveils Xperia Active, Ray

Posted at 06/22/11 10:09 PM

SINGAPORE - Sony Ericsson unveiled 2 new handsets under the Xperia line in a global media conference in Singapore on Wednesday.

Steve Walker, chief marketing officer of Sony Ericsson, said the new products aim to "build something on top of the ordinary Android phone."

"Android is at the heart of everything we do. We're here to sell Android with something else. We call it Android plus," Walker told reporters.

"We're a communications and entertainment brand. We try to build something unique and exclusive."

Launched during the event are Xperia Active, a water-resistant and dust-proof phone; and Xperia Ray, a sleek and compact phone similar to the previously released Xperia arc.

Powered by Google's Android 2.3 operating system (Gingerbread), Xperia Active boasts of a 1-gigahertz processor, a Mobile Bravia Engine, a 5-megapixel camera, a barometer, a pulse watch and a fitness application.

It can track wet fingers on the touch screen, and can be used underwater for as long as 30 minutes.

Xperia Ray, on the other hand, is a "mid-end positioned smartphone" targeted at style-conscious men and women. It has a metal frame and a scratch-resistant glass screen, and is 9.4 millimeters thin.

"It's fully equipped like the Xperia arc, but it's very compact and has a sleek design," said Ola Lilja Molen, Sony Ericsson's head of marketing for Asia Pacific.

Both units, along with feature phone Sony Ericsson Txt and second-generation mini Android handsets Xperia Mini and Mini Pro, will be available in key markets including the Philippines in the third quarter of 2011.

Where's the PlayStation phone?

Walker said units of the Xperia Play have been shipped to Australia, New Zealand, India and Singapore.

The PlayStation phone will be released in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in the coming weeks, but it has yet to reach other parts of Asia, such as the Philippines.

"There's no date yet for the Philippines...We'll just have to wait and see," Walker said.

Walker said the phone has been getting "a fantastic response" from consumers and game developers in several parts of the globe.

Over 100 games have been optimized for Xperia Play, including "Desert Winds," "Sleepy Jack," "MInecraft" and "Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Shadow Vanguard."

"It's a smartphone first. It's not compromised as a smartphone in any way. It's a smartphone plus gaming on top," Walker said.

In April, Sony Ericsson Philippines product group marketing manager Vincent de la Cruz said the Xperia Play will be released in the country soon.

He said they observed a huge demand for the phone in the Philippines, with many people inquiring about it via the Internet and the company's call center.

Asked about the price of the first PlayStation-certified Android smartphone, de la Cruz said, "Perhaps around arc's price."