Sony Xperia ion coming to AT&T in Q2: offers 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 720p Reality display and dual HD cameras

AT&T and Sony Ericsson haven't exactly had the best of luck as Android partners -- we submit the Xperia Play 4G and the Xperia X10 as exhibits A and B -- but it appears that the two companies are blowing on the dice in Vegas and hoping that luck will change with their latest flagship. AT&T and Sony (that's right, not a hint of Ericsson in sight) took to the stage to announce the Xperia ion. It's packing some good specs, too: a 4.6-inch 1280 x 720 HD Reality display, a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, LTE, 16GB flash storage and a 12MP Exmor-R rear camera offering 1080p video capture that's paired up with a 1.3MP front-facing cam that offers 720p HD video. It'll also be Playstation-Certified, much like the Xperia Play before it.

The ion's gearing up for a Q2 release, but we were disappointed to learn that it's going to launch with Gingerbread installed, especially given the fact that Sony's been very forthcoming about upgrading its Xperia lineup to ICS by the end of the first quarter. We suspect the delay will be at least in part due to additional carrier testing. Granted, it's a long time away and things are subject to change. No pricing has yet been announced, but it's quite likely we'll see the feature-laden smartphone starting out around $250, if not more. We should have a hands-on shortly.

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Xperia ion revealed – first LTE smartphone from Sony available exclusively from AT&T

• HD powerhouse – two HD cameras, 4.6-inch1 HD screen and HDMI-out support
• Unmatched Android camera experience in the US with 12 megapixel rear camera
• Effortless sharing of content with easy connectivity across multiple screens within the world of Sony
• PlayStation™ Certified and access to entertainment services from Sony Entertainment Network

January 9, 2012, Las Vegas, Nev. – Xperia™ ion, the first LTE smartphone from Sony®*, was introduced today at the 2012 International CES and will be available exclusively in the U.S. from AT&T in the second quarter.

Xperia ion from Sony enables easy connectivity with multiple screens for consumers looking to share and enjoy content on whichever screen they choose, whether it's TV, smartphone, laptop or tablet.

Xperia ion from Sony has a stunning 4.6-inch HD display (1280 X 720 pixels) that provides a visual brilliance for superior viewing experiences. For photo enthusiasts, Xperia ion features a new Fast Capture innovation to make sure life's unexpected moments are not missed: the HD camera goes from standby mode to first shot in 1.5 seconds.1 The impressive images taken with the 12-megapixel rear camera are unmatched by any other Android smartphone.

Additionally, both rear- and front-facing cameras deliver HD recording capabilities.
"With Xperia ion, we're bringing together several firsts that will take users beyond the smartphone," said Paul Hamnett, President, Sony Ericsson North America. "Designed to deliver a seamless experience across the multiple screens we use to play, watch, listen, and share, Xperia ion is the gateway to entertainment when and – most importantly – where you want it."

Xperia ion users will be able to access the richest entertainment experiences from Sony Entertainment Network. Music Unlimited offers a global catalogue of 15 million unique songs while Video Unlimited has the latest Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows from all major studios.

Xperia ion is also PlayStation™ Certified, guaranteeing a high quality smartphone gaming experience.

Key Features for Xperia ion: 4.6-inch HD Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine with HD resolution screen (1280 x 720), as well as rear (1080p) and front (720p) cameras for HD recording. 1.5GHz dual-core processor for fast browsing and content download, which can be stored on the internal 16GB flash storage. 12MP rear camera with Sony Exmor R™ for mobile with fast-capture to go from standby to first shot in less than two seconds. HD sharing through DLNA, HDMI and BRAVIA Sync to quickly and easily stream content on other screens.

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