While most of the important Android players around have started their Ice Cream Sandwich updates with the newest and most powerful devices, Sony has had a different strategy altogether.

The Xperia S, Xperia P, and Xperia U, all released this year, have been on the ICS waiting list for several months, while more modestly equipped handhelds launched in 2011 are already prancing around with the Android 4.0 updates.

The Sony Xperia active (or rather Sony Ericsson Xperia active) is the latest low-end device to get an Android ICS update. While the phone was on the upgrade schedule for a while, it still comes as a pleasant surprise to see Sony managing to combine relatively poor hardware with the best software around.

If you’re one of the few proud owners of an Xperia active, you should take off your phone’s back cover and battery and check for the SI (Sales Item) number. Afterwards, go over to this link and see if your exact phone model is on the official ICS update list. If it is, all you have to do is connect your handheld to a PC and perform the update with the PC Companion software. If it isn’t, don’t panic, because the list is updated on a regular basis and, sooner or later, you’ll get your much awaited ICS upgrade.

The Xperia active hasn’t exactly been the most successful Sony smartphone ever, but, unlike other low-end devices around, it has a few things going for it. The tiny 3-incher comes with dust, water and scratch-resistant glass and is clearly designed for tech users who need a portable travel companion that can withstand the pressures of the great outdoors.

Powered by a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor and featuring 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB of internal memory, a 480 x 320 pixels resolution touchscreen and a 5 MP rear-facing camera, the Xperia active is anything but a “power tool”, but it’s pretty cheap, currently going for a little over $250 unlocked at most online retailers.

All in all, we’re pretty sure that Xperia active users will be over the moon with the Android 4.0 update, but we also think it’s time for better equipped phones like Xperia P and S to take the same software leap. Do you guys agree? Also, if you happen to own an Xperia active and you decide to flash the Android 4.0 update, hit us with a comment below and let us know how does the new OS look and feel on your handheld.