Sony Xperia sola Announced With Touchless Gestures [video]


Sony has introduced another new smartphone. The Sony Xperia sola is a 3.7 inch device with a Reality Display quite unlike other Xperia devices. You can use gestures to do things like browse the web without touching the display. Called “floating touch,” it’s kind of like the technology that we got a look at when we went to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. Check that demo out here.

Other features include a dual-core 1GHz processor of ST Ericsson descent. NFC and SmartTags, the former being introduced last month, are also included. If you don’t know, SmartTags allow you to set up a list of apps for a phone to launch upon tapping it. For instance, you can tap a workout SmartTag if you’re going for a run or bike ride to launch fitness and music apps. The devices comes with two in the box.

The device also includes a 5 megapixel HD camera. They claim that you can go from sleep to snap in less than a second,a  figure that many manufacturers are coincidentally beginning to pride themselves on. The camera is accompanied by an LED flash.

The device will come in options of red, white and black. The sola will have Android 2.3 at launch, but Sony says we can expect an upgrade to Android 4.0 sometime this summer. It’s expected to launch in the second quarter but Sony gives no hints as far as regions go. Read on for full press details.

The power of Sony and a sense of magic

13 March, London, United Kingdom

Sony Mobile Communications today announced Xperia™ sola* as the latest addition to its portfolio of Android powered Xperia smartphones. Complete with Sony technology, premium entertainment and innovative floating touchTM navigation, the NFC enabled Xperia sola comes equipped with Xperia SmartTags, allowing consumers to change their smartphone’s settings and applications to fit their lifestyle in an instant. Xperia sola will be available to consumers globally in black, white and red in the second quarter.

A floating touch of magic

Making its smartphone debut exclusively on Xperia sola, Sony’s unique floating touch lets consumers navigate the web by hovering their finger above the screen so it acts like a moving curser, without actually having to touch the screen. Once the desired link is found it can be highlighted and a simple tap will load the page. Floating touch will evolve with new user functionality and applications through software updates and engagement with developers.

Calum MacDougall, Head of Xperia Marketing for Sony Mobile Communications, commented; “Xperia sola comes with the power of Sony and a sense of magic with floating touch, giving consumers a fun new way to browse the web and latest technology to show off. With Xperia SmartTags out of the box and access to the latest content through Sony Entertainment Network, Xperia sola is perfect for consumers looking for ease of use and the best in entertainment in a smart and innovative smartphone.”

Simplify the everyday with SmartTags

Xperia sola is NFC enabled and comes with two NFC Xperia SmartTags in the box as standard to simplify consumers’ everyday smartphone experiences. By touching an NFC Android smartphone on a SmartTag, a pre-configured profile in the smartphone will launch. The two SmartTags included with Xperia sola can be personalized with up to 10 commands. Out of the box they are ready for the living room to turn on Wi-Fi™ and launches Google™ news and weather apps, or for the bedroom, which turns on the alarm and switches to silent mode. Xperia sola supports NFC pairing, allowing consumers to enjoy great connectivity with other NFC smartphones, applications and services by tapping their smartphones together.

Powerful entertainment anytime, anywhere

Xperia sola boasts razor sharp clarity with Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA® Engine, xLOUD™ and 3D surround sound audio technology delivering crisp and loud sound, and a 1GHz dual-core processor for super fast performance. Xperia sola also comes with fast capture to take the camera from sleep to snap in a little over a second with a single key press.

Consumers can also access premium entertainment experiences with Sony Entertainment Network**, where they can watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters on Video Unlimited or listen to millions of songs*** through Music Unlimited.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. May I ask whats the point in almost touching it instead of actually touching it?

    1.  yeah….  I can almost touch my captivate screen and it will register input.  (although, I have to be extremely close)

    2.  Keep fingerprints off it? Maybe it works when wearing gloves? This seems a bit pointless to me, it will be even more inexact and prone to accidental “presses”.

      The SmartTag thing looks better. I don’t keep Bluetooth on as battery life is poor enough so I’d welcome a feature to switch on Bluetooth, connect to my car kit, and load maps automatically when I put my phone in my car’s charger.

    3. Its for being precise in selecting certain things on the screen like a link or words. It pretty useful on small displays. Galaxy note has this feature on its s-pen.

  2. Cool story bro but this is for people with small hands. No good for me.

  3. Another brand-new smartphone coming with Gingerbread. This is unbelievable.

  4. The Nook Color sometimes registers “touches” at about half an inch distance.

  5. we will actually care when sony starts brining more phones to US carriers other then one a year

  6. Yeah, I would love to see this sort of technology (being able to sense somebody’s finger hovering over the screen) come to all the phones.  I think there’s all sorts of uses for it.  Like for example what they show in the video, highlighting links that you hover over, but you could take it further and maybe preview the URL it’s about to take you to at the bottom of the page, just like desktop browsers do when you hover with your mouse cursor.  You could also use it for a number of things, take for example just showing tool-tips on Google Maps when you hover over a business.  Basically any app could benefit from being able to respond to people “hovering” over certain items.  Just think of all the tool-tips and stuff you use everyday on your desktop, which we couldn’t have, if windows couldn’t tell your mouse was hovering over something.  I think it’s just one more thing that desktops can do that phones “could” do if they integrated this kind of technology! :-D

    1. Not to mention, I didn’t even think about this… if you’re hovering over a link, the browser could “pre-load” the link as soon as you start hovering over it.  That way when you actually click on it, the request is already in motion and would be that much faster! :-)

  7. The floating touch feature is of no interest to me, but I do think that Experia phones are always the best looking _by far_.  This one continues that trend.

    Specs suck though, as usual with Experia.  And I agree with everyone that shipping without ICS today is atrocious, and shipping _next summer_ without ICS is incredible!

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