updated 05:15 pm EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
Basic phone sports 3.7-inch display
An official image of Sony's MT27i smartphone, codenamed the Pepper, has made its way to the public eye. The Chinese blog IT168 has posted a photo of the entry-level smartphone. Although news of the Android device was leaked shortly before the CES show in January, Sony has divulged no planned date for its release.
The phone centers on a 3.7-inch 480x854 display and a 1GHz dual-core processor, likely an ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500. The camera is five megapixels and records video at 720p. The OS is unknown, but if Sony follows the path it has taken with other recently released phones, it most likely will be Android 2.3 witn an upgrade to 4.0 in time. The leaked photo indicates that the Sony Pepper will support NFC and the company's SmartTags electronic swiping system.
As shown, it would sit directly between the four-inch Xperia P and 3.5-inch Xperia U, both of which we tried last month at Mobile World Congress. Given the close overlap, the Pepper might be intended as a region-specific model that would cost less than the Xperia P but provide slightly more features. [via Unwired View]