Sony has just announced a new Xperia smartphone, the Xperia E. It’s releasing both single and dual-SIM varieties, although it seems unlikely we’ll see the dual-SIM model, Xperia E Dual in Australia.

Power users will find little to write home about here – the spec sheet reveals the Xperia E to be a mid-to-low spec device powered by a Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon S1 running at 1 Ghz, 512 Mb RAM and a single rear 3.2 MP camera, behind a 3.5 inch 320×480 TFT display with a 1500mAh battery running the show.

While the specs aren’t likely to excite, it’s notable that the device will launch with Android 4.1 – it’ll be interesting to see how Jelly Bean performs on this hardware. The phone also supports HD Voice and lists noise cancellation as a headline feature.

Sony is pushing affordability and cost and power management with a “data usage application” that will monitor data usage, and an “extended standby mode” which disables wifi & mobile data and freezes applications when the screen has been off for a few minutes while leaving calls and messages operational.

This focus on affordability is likely the reason for the push into dual-SIM territory, a big plus in markets where consumers often switch SIM cards to take advantage of cheaper calling rates on their preferred carriers at different times of the day.

The Xperia E will be available in black, white and pink colours, while the Xperia E Dual will be available in black and gold. Australian 3G frequencies are supported, though unsurprisingly there’s no 4G on offer. Sony hasn’t announced a price for the device yet, and the release date is still only a vague “Q1 2013”.

Sony Xperia E Press Images

Note that while Sony’s press release states the device will run Jelly Bean, the specifications pages both say Ice Cream Sandwich. We’ll update the post when we receive confirmation.

Source(s): Sony Press Release, Xperia E Specifications, and Xperia X Dual Specifications