At the IFA 2012 show Sony announced the Xperia J ST26i “budget” Android 4.0 ICS phone. We don’t know precisely what “budget” means in this case at the time of this writing. Although the Xperia J price is yet to be seen, the word on the street is that it will cost about 250 Euros, whereas for example the flagship Xperia T is rumored to retail for about 550 Euros. In any case, the ST26i will be hardly as affordable as the 140EUR Xperia Tipo.
The Sony Xperia J appears to be rather a mid-range model than a budget one by my standards. The Japanese company has made cuts specifications-wise here and there, but basically this is a stylish phone with a spacious 4-inch display. Sony has made the Xperia J more budget-friendly than its higher-end counterparts mainly by using the single-core Qualcomm MSM7227A 1GHz processor instead of a dual-core one, a lower-resolution screen at 480-by-854 pixels, relatively small 4GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD though), and a middle-of-the-road pixel count of 5M on the main camera’s sensor. However, the front facing camera is there and other nice touches include a soft back panel, slightly arched profile measuring 9.2mm, and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality. NFC has been omitted.
Overall, the Xperia J ST26i looks good and feels good in the hand, but performance could be snappier. Opening usual apps such as web browser takes some time on the J, as you can see in the video below, but other than that I haven’t encountered any remarkable performance problems while using it at Sony’s IFA 2012 booth. This phone is obviously designed for those who want an inexpensive Android Xperia, but don’t want to make trade-offs when it comes to screen size and style.
Here’s a short video: