The Sony Xperia ion originally made its debut back in January at CES 2012, but unlike one of the other AT&T handsets announced at the same event, the ion will actually be making it to market. AT&T announced this morning that the Xperia ion will be launching on June 24, which confirms a previously-leaked Google ad that claimed that the device would be coming this month. Pricing for the Xperia ion will be set at $99.99 with a with a two-year contract.
Since it's been so long since we last heard about the Xperia ion, how about a quick spec refresher? The ion packs a 4.6-inch 1280x720 HD Reality display as well as a 12-megapixel camera around back and another 1.3-megapixel shooter around front. Inside the ion you can expect to find a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. The ion is also PlayStation Certified and includes 4G LTE connectivity.
There's no mention in AT&T's announcement of which version of Android the ion will come with, but when it was announced at CES, AT&T said that the handset would be launching with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. While that's kind of a bummer, Sony has been working to update its 2011 Xperia line to Android 4.0, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Xperia ion get a bump to Ice Cream Sandwich at some point too. If you want to check out the ion a bit further, Aaron's hands-on with the handset at CES is available below for your viewing pleasure.
Experience HD Entertainment Everywhere with Xperia® ion from Sony, Available Exclusively at AT&T June 24
Sony's First 4G LTE Smartphone Ideal for Creating and Showcasing Premium Entertainment with Video, Photo, Music and Gaming
Dallas, Texas, June 14, 2012
Entertainment fans longing for a better mobile HD experience will soon have an all-new 4G LTE Android smartphone to covet as the Xperia ion from Sony arrives exclusively in all AT&T* channels June 24. The new Xperia ion builds on Sony’s reputation as an innovator and leader in imaging and entertainment and costs just $99.99 with a two-year agreement.
AT&T customers have access to the nation’s largest 4G network, covering more than 260 million people. As 4G LTE expands, AT&T customers are able to enjoy a widespread, ultra-fast and consistent 4G experience on their compatible device as they move in and out of LTE areas. AT&T has two 4G networks that work together for customers, LTE and HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. With other carriers, when you travel outside of their LTE coverage area, you’re on a much slower 3G network.
Sony’s first 4G LTE smartphone comes with a 4.6-inch HD Reality display (1280 x 720), as well as the ability to view HD content on the big screen via HDMI. The HDMI connection also opens the Xperia ion’s TV launcher, a customizable home screen carousel of application shortcuts. You can navigate the TV launcher and the rest of the Xperia ion’s menus at your convenience using your TV’s remote control.***
Shutterbugs will love the Xperia ion’s 12-megapixel Fast Capture camera and quick launch feature to seize life’s unexpected moments. With its dedicated camera button, the Xperia ion swiftly goes from standby to first camera shot in just 1.5 seconds and then from shot-to-shot in less than a second, ensuring you don’t miss a moment. Xperia ion boasts all-around HD video recording, so whether capturing memories or video chatting, you can be sure to have high-quality video on the go using either your rear or front-facing cameras.
Xperia ion is complemented by SmartTags****, which let you do things you normally do on your phone, but more quickly and easily, with just one tap. Using near field communication technology, SmartTags let you store device preferences for a variety of locations and situations – like opening and controlling volume on the music player if you head out for a run, turning on GPS and Bluetooth in the car or turning on your alarm and silencing your ringer at night.
Sony Entertainment on the Go
Taking your music and videos with you everywhere just got easier than ever thanks to the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN). Sony Music Unlimited** puts a global catalog of more than 12 million songs at your fingertips, and Sony Video Unlimited** makes sure there is never a dull moment with the latest Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows from all major studios available for you to rent or buy.
For the Xperia ion, both Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited are available for download from the Google Play store. AT&T customers who buy the Xperia ion will get to try the premium service level of Music Unlimited free for thirty days. The Xperia ion is also ready for advanced gaming as it is PlayStation® Certified. The hardware is optimized to deliver an exceptional gaming experience and users will have future access to PlayStation titles as the catalog is developed. With so much entertainment to be enjoyed, the Xperia ion comes with plenty of internal memory, with the option to add up to 32GB external (microSD™) memory.
For more information, customers can visit http://www.att.com/aboutus.
4.6" (measured diagonally) 720p HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine for unbeatable HD viewing
HD imaging excellence from Sony: 12MP camera with Exmor R™ for Mobile camera sensor, 1080p HD video recording on primary camera, 720p HD front-facing chat camera
Easy multi-screen connectivity with HDMI and DLNA®
1.5Ghz dual core processor
16GB internal memory with microSD™ expansion slot supports up to 32GB
PlayStation Certified for high quality mobile gaming