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It’s official: The Sony unveils the Xperia ion – its first LTE smartphone

This is the Sony Xperia ion, Sony’s first LTE smartphone (Yes, the Ericsson moniker has officially been dropped). The Xperia ion features a 4.6-inch 1280×720 HD display, 16GB of on board storage and a speedy 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor with Adreno 220 GPU and 1GB of RAM.

The impressive hardware list continues with a 12MP Exmor R camera with 1080p video and Fast Capture technology enabling the camera to go from standby mode to first shot in 1.5 seconds. There’s also a 1.3MP front camera that’s capable of shooting 720p videos.

In addition, the Sony Xperia ion is PlayStation certified, and comes with DLNA and BRAVIA Sync as well as HDMI connectivity. There’s also NFC built-in. Unfortunately, the device runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch. We expect the Xperia ion to be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as the hardware is more than capable but at the moment Sony has not revealed a timeline for the update.

The Xperia ion will go on sale in Q2 2012. Right now the Sony Xperia ion is US only but with those specs, there’s absolutely no reason why it won’t do well here. We’re hoping Sony will produce a GSM version for Malaysia. Update: It turns out there is a GSM version of the Xperia ion, it’s called the Xperia S.

A couple of videos featuring the Xperia ion available after the jump.