The much awaited Xperia Z release might be only days away, but before making the flagship 5-incher available Sony has decided it’s time to throw a juicy bone to the budget-oriented folk. Hence, the Xperia E Dual, unveiled a couple of months ago, has started selling in the UK via MobiCity.

Unfortunately, unlike its single-SIM “brother”, the dual-SIM little guy comes with OG Android 4.0 ICS in tow. Granted, there aren’t many Jelly Bean buttered entry-level devices around, but if the Xperia E can (supposedly) rock Android 4.1 in a matter of weeks, what’s the holdup with the E Dual?

Oh, well, a swift JB upgrade for the E Dual is promised and if there’s an OEM we can trust when it comes to solid software support that’s definitely Sony.

Sony Xperia E Dual

Things aren’t looking good for the E Dual from a hardware standpoint either, with the 3.5-incher featuring more or less just the bare necessities. The display is lackluster at best (320 x 480 pix res and 165 ppi pixel density), while the 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon CPU and 512 MB of RAM can only safely get you through some basic gaming and light multimedia playing and browsing.

There’s also a 3.15 MP camera slapped on the back of this fellow, 4 GB of on-board storage, microSD support, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, and a 1,530 mAh battery. Available in black and gold, the phone is quite thick (11 mm, to be more exact), but not very heavy (115 grams).

But all that’s not quite right about the Xperia E Dual will probably be forgotten by the Scrooges in you upon hearing MobiCity UK’s list price – £179.99, or $283. Now that is cheap, don’t you think?