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Sony Jumps on Android With Monster Screen

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Sony's (SNE) mobile communications division has announced a new line of Android smartphones - and a new "smartwatch" - in hopes reviving its smartphone business following its disastrous eleven-year joint-venture with Sweden's Ericsson (ERIC).

The news sent Sony shares rising 2% to $20.34 in mid-day trading in New York.

At a gathering in London, Sony introduced a number of new smartphone designs including a phone with a super-giant 6.4-inch touchscreen. The Xperia X Ultra is high-end all the way. It will sport a snew, uper-fast, 2.2 GHZ Qualcomm (QCOM) 800 processor, LTE, HSPA and 3G connectivity, a 1080p, high-definition touchscreen, 16 GB of onboard storage and a 3,000 mAh battery all stuffed into a very thin (6.5 mm) case.

Sony also offered its first phone to employ a processor made by Taiwan's MediaTek. The Xperia C S390 will (thankfully) have a slightly smaller, 5-inch/qHD screen, an 8 megapixel camera and will be capable of handling two SIM cards/accounts - a feature becoming more and more popular with world travelers.

A similar design, the Xperia SP M35t phone has a somewhat more manageable screen (4.6-inch) but is notable for being Sony's first device to provide access to, and operate on China's proprietary TD-LTE 4G wireless standard.

Sony also announced what they called a "smart" Bluetooth clip (a wireless smartphone extension without a keypad) and another "second screen" device that you wear on your wrist. The second-generation device, called the SmartWatch 2, has a larger screen (1.6-inches), Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC support and a claim of better battery life. The device was created to make it easier to answer voice calls, read email and messages and even take photos when paired with your (hopefully Sony) smartphone.

No North American availability or prices were announced. But, expect they will begin appearing in stores, worldwide, beginning in the third quarter of 2013.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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