Vodafone launches Sony smartphone Xperia S


news Sony’s new flagship smartphone – the Xperia S – is set to make its Australian debut at Vodafone stores and online for $0 upfront on a range of Vodafone’s 24-month plans.

A media release issued by Vodafone yesterday announced that the new smartphone will be available for purchase online from yesterday and in Vodafone stores from April 24 next week. The Xperia S is Sony’s first handset without the Ericsson tag. Sony ended its partnership with Ericsson in mid-February. Last month, Sony announced that it would launch the Xperia S in early April in Australia through all major mobile carriers. The Xperia S was unveiled globally at the International Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas in February 2012.

Features and specifications of the new smartphone as shown in the Vodafone website reveals that the Sony Xperia S is available in white and features a 4.3” HD screen, a 12MP camera with Exmor R for Mobile image sensor and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. It is NFC (near field communication) enabled. The Xperia S is released with Android™ 2.3 (Gingerbread) with a future upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to be available by mid-year.

Ross Parker, general manager of devices and pricing at Vodafone said: “The Xperia S impresses on many levels. With the powerhouse of Sony technology at its core, customers will enjoy its raw power and extraordinary media features.”

Vodafone is offering the smartphone starting at $0 upfront on its new $49 Plan over 24 months (total min cost $1176). It will be available only to approved customers whose minimum monthly spend is $49. The early exit fee is $49 multiplied by the number of months left on contract. An unlocking fee applies. The plan includes $550 of value for ‘standard’ national and international calls, text and more. The offer comes with 1GB of monthly data (additional data usage rate is $0.25/MB, with a minimum 50kb session).

The Xperia S is backed by the new Vodafone Network Guarantee which was introduced by the mobile services provider following more than a year of network improvements. Additional multi-million dollar network investment programs are planned for 2012. Under this guarantee, if customers are unhappy within the first 30 days of purchase of the smartphone, they can bring the phone back and only pay for what they’ve used until the cancellation goes through. Additional information on the Vodafone Network Guarantee is available at vodafone.com.au/guarantee.

Optus has already announced its contract plan pricing. Business and consumer customers can avail themselves of the $49 Optus Cap Plan, with $0 upfront handset repayment, over 24 months, at a minimum total cost of $1176. Consumer customers on the $49 Optus Cap Plan would receive $550 of included value, 1.5GB mobile data and unlimited access to social networking, and Business customers would receive unlimited voicemail access within Australia, plus free intra-fleet calls to other Optus services on the same account. Optus can could get their handsets from select Yes Optus stores, or order online from early April.

Image credit: Sony