VAIO has this week unveiled their own Android-powered smartphone, called.. VAIO Phone..
Sony sold the VAIO branch of their business just over a year ago and it seems that in that time the spin off company has been busy preparing a smartphone for sale, as they have announced that VAIO Phone will release in Japan on the 20th March.
It may raise some eyebrows to see VAIO go head to head with Sony in the smartphone market, but it seems that the Execs. at Sony won’t be looking too far over their shoulder at this new challenger in the market, as it seems that VAIO’s lack of experience within the smartphone has shone through in their debut device.
The simple reason for this is that the VAIO Phone is a remarkably unremarkable device, VAIO have failed to find a niche in an increasingly crowded market place – there’s no real defining factors here that will make punters stand up and take stock of this new market release.
Visually the VAIO Phone is a plain black slab, without a head turning selection of colours or styles, this design is finished with a simple plastic body that may get lost in busy retail spaces.
When we look at the spec sheet the VAIO Phone is just average, with a five-inch display, 2GB of RAM and a 1.2GHz processor – it does come shipped with Android 5.0 and a 13-megapixel camera, with the latter two factors being the only real facts that cause a second glance.
Away from the spec sheet there’s no special camera optics, no Amazon-esque 3D gimmicks and a fairly standard 720p display.
With all these factors mixed in the cauldron it may seem that this is clearly a budget device, a rock bottom price might be the best way for VAIO to ship units for this unassuming device, but it’s not – it’s releasing on a small carrier in Japan at a monthly cost of 4,000YEN a month, which is the equivalent of $33USD.
To buy the phone outright consumers will have to part with 51,000YEN, which is around $420USD – sure it’s not a bank breaker but considering the amount of superior devices on the market at an even lower price point it seems that the VAIO Phone may struggle to get off the ground from day one.