CES 2012 was a huge event for many mobile manufacturers showcasing their new products for this year. Many of them proved to be quite heavy contenders with their awesome line-up of smartphones, tablets, and accessories for the coming months.  CES 2012 also marked the end of Sony Ericsson and the birth of Sony Mobile Communications.

At the same CES 2012, the previously rumored Sony Xperia Nozomi finally made its first official appearance, with Sony’s introducing the device as the Xperia Ion for AT&T in the U.S. and as the Xperia S for the rest of the world.

If you have been a loyal Sony Ericsson Xperia fan before, then you’ll surely love the way Sony has still kept the Xperia branding on their two new mobile phones.

Although the Sony Xperia Ion and Xperia S are two totally different devices, they are very much the same in terms of features and specifications. Read on and find out our first impressions of the Xperia S and Xperia Ion.

Design and Display

Both the Xperia S and Xperia Ion are nearly the same devices. Although they don’t look alike, the two phones share a lot of similar hardware specifications.

The two devices are almost of the same size, with only a few millimeters difference.  The Xperia Ion is 133 mm tall and 68 mm wide, while the Xperia S is 128 mm tall and 64 mm wide.  Both are also nearly of the same thickness, with the Xperia Ion measuring 10.8 mm and the Xperia S measuring 10.6 mm.  They both weigh 144 grams.

The AT&T Xperia Ion features a 4.55-inch touchscreen display cramming up to 323 ppi while the international version, the Xperia S, sports a 4.3-inch touchscreen display with a larger pixel density of 342 ppi.

Both phones have an identical screen resolution of 720×1280 pixels and use the same Sony signature trademark display technology, the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine.

Storage and Processor

The Xperia S and Xperia Ion come packed with 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. The only downside of the Xperia S is that it doesn’t feature a microSD card slot.  The Xperia Ion has one that can support up to 32 GB of external storage. Powering both devices is a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 processor with Adreno 220 GPU.


In the camera department, both phones feature an impressive 12 MP camera that can take shots up to a maximum of 4000×3000 pixels and a 1.3 MP shooter on the front side for video calls.  Previous Xperia handsets are known for their impressive Sony cameras.  It will be little surprise if the ones on the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S would be anything less than great in quality.

Operating System

Both the Xperia Ion and Xperia S run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and both are slated for upgrading to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich within the year.  Previous owners of Sony Ericsson Xperia devices will not need to learn their way around the interface, as the two devices sport the same familiar Timescape UI of its predecessors.


With Sony already owning Ericsson’s shares, it’s about time that the company shook up the competition. Both the Xperia Ion and Xperia S are Sony’s first dual-core offerings promising better performance in terms of speed and functionality. It’s too early to say whether Sony will succeed with its latest Xperia offerings, but it’s good to know that Sony is integrating its expertise in consumer electronics to the company’s pioneering smartphones.

What do you think of Sony’s flagship dual-core phones? Do you think they will stand a chance against other dual-core phones, or against the upcoming quad-core phones?

If you are looking for a more detailed comparison of the Xperia Ion vs Xperia S, checkout our specs comparison