Two new phone launches: The Nokia 620 and Sony Xperia E

Aimed at those on a budget, Sony has just announced the latest member of its Xperia family – the Xperia E.

While Daniel Craig famously used the top-of-the-range Xperia T in new Bond movie Skyfall, the Xperia E comes without as many features, but with a lower price tag.

There’s a 3.5in 480×320 touchscreen, 1GHz single-core processor and the latest Android operating system, 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Full specifications are still awaited, but we do know the handset will come in either black, white or pink, and will have a 1,500mAh battery, DLNA connectivity, HD Voice and Sony’s Xloud audio technology. A dual SIM model will be available in black or blingy gold.

Sony is hoping the Xperia E will appeal to those looking for an entry-level smartphone. Director of Xperia marketing Calum MacDougall, said: “Consumers looking to take their first steps into the world of Xperia smartphones would be well advised to look at Xperia E or Xperia E dual.

“They are perfect for those seeking affordable access to the quality and functionality more traditionally associated with high-end Android  smartphones.”

Sony is hoping to steal the limelight from rival Nokia, which has announced a new phone of its own today, the Lumia 620.

Hot on the heels of the 820 and its big brother the 920, comes budget offering, the 620. With a 3.8-inch display, the 620 is the baby of the Lumia family. There’s also a 800×480 display and a five mega pixel camera. In fact, it sports lots of the same technology you’ll find in the more powerful Lumia models.

There’s a 1GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. It comes with 8GB of internal storage but with a microSD card, you’ll be able to expand on that.

While the Xperia E comes in a choice of four colours, you can choose from seven hues with the 620. Along with the cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white that we’ve seen previously on Nokia handsets, you can also choose from lime green or orange.

And, with covers that can be changed, your new gadget can wear a different colour for every day of the week if you so wish.

The strategy seems to be to target a more youthful market, with Nokia billing the new device as “the most fun for your money.”

And, talking of money, the new Lumia is expected to set you back $249 or £150 for a sim-free device. Nokia described it as “the most affordable in its range of Windows Phone 8 smartphones”. So far, there’s no word on what the new Xperia E will cost but it will have to fall within the same bracket for Sony’s gadget to remain competitive.

The release date for the Lumia is not yet known, other than it will be next year. We do know it will be available first in Asia, the Middle East and Africa in January, with European and US markets following soon after. Sony’s gizmo is also due to be released in the first quarter of 2013.

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