Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness hands-on

Occasionally, a phone exists simply because it can. Not because it's powerful; not because it offers amazing bang for the buck; not because the manufacturer negotiated some lucrative exclusivity agreement with a major carrier, and certainly not because it's introducing some groundbreaking new smartphone operating system. Yeah -- not even Sony Ericsson is attempting to frame or formulate a legitimate business case for the sinfully hedonistic Xperia Pureness, because they don't have to. One look at that wild transparent display and you'll either be smitten or confused and dismayed by the $1,000 sticker price. It's that simple.

Anyhow, we've just taken delivery of a Pureness today and have had a few fleeting moments to check it out. If it weren't for the screen, you'd be looking at a $30 prepaid candybar here -- you don't have a camera, a high-res display, or any sexy metal or soft-touch bits to give the phone a premium feel. The UI is about the simplest possible incarnation of Sony Ericsson's typical dumbphone platform, owing largely to the fact that the display's just grayscale; you've got an FM radio (with a headset attached) and a basic music player and browser, but if you're in North America, don't expect any 3G.

That said, seriously, look at that shot we took up there: the display is insane. We can't quite get over it -- it's the ultimate conversation piece. Motorola Aura owners looking for a fresh way to draw a crowd might look at this as their next purchase, but if you're looking to do anything but talk (and occasionally browse an eerily translucent version of Engadget), make no mistake, this isn't your phone. Did we mention we want one really, really badly?