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GUEST BLOG: Android insanity! Galaxy Note II, Xperia T, and the other hot new launches

JR Raphael | Aug. 30, 2012
With the start of September just days away, we're starting to see the first signs of the annual preholiday tech rush. And for Android fans, that means a dizzying array of announcements, updates, and hot new products to drool over.

Sony Xperia T, V, and J

Sony may be a relatively minor player in the Android world right now, but with its latest launches, the company is clearly striving to show it has what it takes to play with the big boys. Leading the pack is the new Sony Xperia T, a flagship phone with a 4.6-in. 1280 x 720 "HD Reality Display," 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and 13-megapixel camera.

The Xperia T runs custom Sony software based on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Sony says the phone will be upgraded to Android 4.1 at some point, though it's remaining vague right now about when that could occur. Also vague are specifics about pricing and availability for the Xperia T; at the moment, Sony is saying only that the phone will launch "globally over the next few weeks."

The Xperia V, meanwhile, is a smaller version of the phone. It packs many of the same basic specs with a 4.3-in. display. And the Xperia J is the budget model, with a 4-inch display and 5-megapixel camera. Both the X and J phones are scheduled to launch sometime in the fourth quarter, though again, there's no guarantee about if or where -- carrier-wise -- they'll be available in the States.

Sony Xperia Tablet S

Rounding out Sony's Android holiday lineup is the Xperia Tablet S, a new 9.4-in. slate with Sony's signature folded-over-top design.

The Xperia Tablet S has a couple of interesting features: It's waterproof and supports a Microsoft Surface-style keyboard cover (sold separately for $100). Those elements aside, the tablet runs on a 1.4GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Its screen is a 1280 x 800 IPS display. The tablet has an 8-megapixel camera on its back and a 1-megapixel lens on its front.

Sony's focusing a lot on software, using its custom UI built around Google's Android 4.0 release (Sony says a Jelly Bean upgrade is in the cards, but once again, there's no definite time frame). The Xperia Tablet S has a host of specialized software features, ranging from apps to control your entire home entertainment system (via the device's IR blaster) to an intriguing "guest mode" that lets you set up multiple profiles for different users.

The Xperia Tablet S is set to ship in the U.S. starting September 7; it'll cost $400 for a 16GB model, $500 for a 32GB model, and $600 for a 64GB edition.

LG Optimus G

Last but not least, LG is looking to score with its freshly announced Optimus G phone. The Optimus G has a 4.7-in. "True HD" 1280 x 768 IPS display, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Like Sony's new Android devices, the Optimus G has a 13-megapixel main camera; it also has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter for video chat. The phone runs custom LG software based on the Android 4.0 OS.


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