JAPANESE PHONE MAKER Sony Mobile Communications has unveiled its latest Xperia Android handset, the Sola.
The Sola will be the first Sony phone to show off user interface technology that the company describes as "floating touch". This means that users can navigate the web by hovering their finger above the screen so it acts like a moving curser, without the user having to actually touch the screen. Once a desired link is highlighted, a tap will load the page.
According to Sony, floating touch will be improved with the addition of new user functionality and applications through software updates and engagement with developers.
The Xperia Sola is near field communications (NFC) enabled and comes with two NFC Xperia Smarttags. Touching an NFC Android smartphone on one of these tags will launch a pre-configured profile in the smartphone. The two Smarttags included with the Xperia Sola can be personalised with up to 10 commands.
The Sola also supports NFC pairing, allowing connectivity with other NFC smartphones, applications and services by tapping devices together.
In terms of hardware specifications the handset sports a 3.7in Reality Display powered by Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine, 3D surround sound audio and a 1GHz dual-core processor.
There is also access to content via the Sony Entertainment Network with pre-installed Video and Music Unlimited apps.
Sony will launch the Sola running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich promised this Summer. It will be available globally in black, white and red in the second quarter. µ
Pre-orders to begin on 9 September with release to follow on 16 September
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