PHONE MAKER Sony Ericsson has announced that it will upgrade its Xperia line of smartphones to Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread in October.
The upgrade will be limited to 2011 Xperia handsets such as the Play, Arc and Neo, and will bring various new features. The update arrival timing will differ between mobile operators.
Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread will enable a 3D sweep panorama camera mode on Xperia handsets. This means you can view 3D images taken with the phone on a 3D capable TV or monitor. Sony Ericsson's phones don't have dual cameras so we assume that this process is a conversion from 2D to 3D.
Other features include the second version of the firm's Facebook Inside software, Google Talk with video chat, screenshot capture, Swype text input and the ability to use USB peripherals via the Sony Ericsson Live Dock.
Sony Ericsson has also announced another handset called the Xperia Neo V, a sort of combined upgrade and downgrade from the Xperia Neo.
When it's launched in the fourth quarter, the Neo V smartphone will come with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread and will have all these new features, but the old Neo will gain these when it gets the update.
What's strange is that the Neo V has the same 3.7in TFT touchscreen, Qualcomm 1GHz processor and casing as the Neo. The downgrade is the camera, which on the Neo is one of its main features, an 8.1MP with Sony's Exmor R sensor. The Neo V will have only a 5MP camera.
The Neo V will have an HDMI port but the Neo has that too. Oh, but we almost forgot to mention that the Neo V handset will come in white instead of red along with blue and silver.
We haven't had a price quoted by Sony Ericsson for the Neo V but unless it is dramatically cheaper than the Neo we recommend opting for the latter and waiting for the Android 2.3.4 upgrade. µ