Will Sony Ericsson's New Xperia Android Phones Get Any Love?

Sony Ericsson has come out swinging with Android at Mobile World Congress, announcing a trio of Xperia smartphones that might actually be worth your attention.

Here's a quick overview of the features and specs for each new Xperia phone:

Xperia Play: Don't call it the "Playstation Phone," but the Xperia Play is Sony Ericsson's first "PlayStation certified Android smartphone," meaning that it will support old PSOne games from Sony's Playstation Suite platform.

Android app developers are also retooling some of their games to support the Xperia Play's slide-out gaming controller, which includes a D-Pad, buttons, and dual touchpads. Fifty games will be available at launch and up to seven games will be preloaded on the shipping units. As for specs, the Xperia Play runs Android 2.3 and has 1 GHz Snapdragon processor with an Adreno graphics processor, a 4-inch touchscreen, a 5.1-megapixel rear-facing camera, a front-facing VGA camera, and up to 8 hours and 25 minutes of talk time.

In Video: Hands On With the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Xperia Neo: The specs on Sony Ericsson's Xperia Neo are adequate enough, with a 1 GHz

Snapdragon processor, 3.7-inch display, Android 2.3, and up to seven hours of talk time.

But the main draw is the phone's 8.1-megapixel camera with Sony's Exmor R CMOS sensor. Sony claims this makes bright pictures and videos possible even in low lighting. HDMI output allows you to browse photos, videos and the Web on a big screen.

Xperia Pro: Like a more business-minded sibling of the Xperia Neo, the Pro has many of the same specs (1 GHz processor, 3.7-inch display, Android 2.3, fancy 8.1-megapixel camera), but also adds a slide-out physical keyboard.

Until now, Sony Ericsson hasn't made much of an impression in the United States with its smartphones. The Xperia X10 arrived on AT&T half a year after it launched in the rest of the world, running the outdated Android 1.6. It didn't bring anything to the table that other phones lacked.

But Sony may be turning a new leaf with these phones, which run the latest version of Android (2.3) even as other high-powered phones, such as Motorola's Atrix 4G and LG's Optimus 2X, ship with Android 2.2.

Verizon Wireless has already agreed to carry the Xperia Play when it launches this spring. If U.S. carriers extend the same kindness to Sony's other phones, they could be solid choices for folks who want the latest software on decent hardware.

Jared Newman is a Los Angeles-based blogger and journalist. Say hello on Twitter and also follow Today @ PCWorld.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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