The Sony brand might not be the most popular in today’s Android universe, but you can’t say that the Japanese are not going to the great lengths to change that perception.

In fact, Sony has probably been one of the most active mobile tech manufacturers of the past couple of months, unveiling three new global phones (the Xperia T, J and V), not to mention one well-received 10-inch tablet.

But the company’s launch bonanza doesn’t seem to be ending, with yet another phone announced today. The Xperia AX is not an absolute newcomer to the market, being a special Japanese variant of the Xperia V, but it will come with a couple of original features.

Like the global Xperia V, the AX will sport a beautiful 4.3-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen with a 1280 x 720 pixels resolution and 342 ppi pixel density. There’ll be the same 13 MP fast-capture camera with autofocus and LED flash on the back of the device, and, unfortunately, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.

We say unfortunately because the AX, again like the V, doesn’t have an official launch date announced and might only hit stores in late November or early December. By then, chances are that the first phone with Android 4.2 will see the light of day.

If you’re willing to get past this inconvenience and wait for a Jelly Bean update that should hit the AX “soon”, you should know that the new Japanese phone will come with 4G LTE speeds, “the highest levels” of dust and water resistance, and the highly acclaimed arc design.

Other features will include some Japan-specific treats like infrared port data exchange, mobile wallet and mobile TV, but also NFC. No word on the AX’s processing speed, though we’re guessing the dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Krait powering the Xperia V will be found inside this phone, too.

It’s also fairly predictable for the Xperia AX to come with 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of on-board memory, microSD support, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, a VGA front-facing cam, and a 1,750 mAh battery.

Finally, we’re expecting the handheld to be made available in several color schemes, including but not limited to the black, white and pink already announced for the Xperia V. The pricing is of course another mystery, though if earlier rumors around Europe are to be trusted, it should start selling for the equivalent of $650 or so.

Anyone excited about the Xperia AX? How about its international counterpart, the Xperia V? Would ICS really be a deal-breaker come November or December?