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A brief history of Sony Xperia phones

Sony Xperia Z

The Sony Xperia range is storming the smartphone trenches with its innovative technology, abundant features and cutting-edge design. But where did it all begin?

Sony Xperia Z

One of the best phones on the market today is the Sony Xperia Z. It’s a truly glorious phone, which packs so many top-end features, and so much power, into an incredibly slim frame, but that’s only part of the reason why it’s so impressive. The really cool thing is that it manages to do all that whilst being water-resistant, an unprecedented feat in the world of high-end smartphones.

The Sony Xperia Z is so good, in fact, that some pundits have already called it the phone of the year!

But where did the Sony Xperia Z come from? What is the real history of that Xperia brand? Let’s take a look!

The first thing to note is that the Xperia range was not Sony’s first foray into the world of smartphones. Back before they went back to being just Sony, when they were still Sony Ericsson, the manufacturer actually released one of the first commercially available smartphones, the Symbian-powered Sony Ericsson P800. Although their P-Series phones never dominated the market, they did show exactly what smartphones were capable of, and their ongoing feud with Nseries phones made by Nokia provided  consumers with some really rather brilliant phones.

In 2008, however, they stopped using Symbian, and the P-Series was no more. In its place, Sony Ericsson introduced the new Xperia range, with the first phone to bear that name, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. Unlike later Xperia phones (but identically to its successor, the Xperia X2), the Xperia X1 ran on Windows Mobile. That’s not Windows Phone, the platform seen in use on the HTC 8X amongst others; the Xperia X1 ran on old school Windows Mobile. It was a powerful little phone, and beautifully well made, but there is a very good reason why it didn’t sell particularly well.

It went on sale a year after the first wildly popular iPhone, and in the same year that Android appeared in the wild.

And so, the next Xperia phone didn’t run on Windows Mobile. It was the Xperia X10, and it ran on Android, just as the Sony Xperia Z does today. It also set the template for every Xperia phone that followed, with a custom user interface on top of the core Android OS. Various other Xperia phones happened, but sadly, they didn’t manage to set the market alight, either.

But then, something important happened. Sony bought out Ericsson’s stake in the joint venture, and Sony Ericsson became Sony Mobile. After that had happened, the Xperia brand suddenly got more advanced, and even prettier. It really was as if Sony phones had been reborn anew, and even their mid-range offerings, phones like the Sony Xperia U, were simply brilliant.

All of the new changes to the brand led inexorably to the phone that would Sony make their play for the top of the smartphone pile and that phone is, of course, the utterly outstanding Sony Xperia Z. Their story is almost like a soap opera but that, in a nutshell, is how Sony went from low ranked player to make one of the single greatest smartphones ever made!

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