Sony Xperia S is official! Yep, that’s Sony, not Sony Ericsson…

This is something of a surprise, as Sony has used CES 2012 to unveil its very first smartphone without Ericsson branding. The news of the pair’s split hit back in October, but the name wasn’t expected to be changed until later this year, however the launch of the Xperia S shows Sony wants to get a move on with the re-branding.

It also shows Sony wants to continue using the Xperia brand name, but has added that the Xperia S is the first Xperia NXT phone – signifying it’s the ‘next generation’ presumably.

If the phone looks familiar it’s because we’ve seen it several times before. It has been leaked under the Nozomi codename, but has always been pictured with Sony Ericsson branding, and was rumoured to launch as the Arc HD.

Anyway, on with the phone! A massive 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S3 dual-core processor, with 1GB of RAM, makes the Xperia S the most powerful Xperia phone we’ve seen so far, and the 4.3-inch touchscreen with Bravia technology and a 720p resolution should make it look absolutely stunning.

As expected, the Xperia S has a 12 megapixel camera using the Exmor R sensor and a 1.3 megapixel video-call lens too. Sony say the Fastest Capture feature means pictures are taken in just 1.5 seconds from standby. NFC has been enabled, plus there is an HDMI-out and DLNA support too.

The Xperia S has been PlayStation Certified, providing access to the PlayStation Store and the promise of a high quality gaming experience.

It’s going to launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread onboard, which is something of a shame, however Sony say it’ll be getting an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade before the end of the summer. The phone will be available all over the world in the next couple of months.

Take a look at Sony’s Xperia S introductory video below.

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