Sony shows off two new Xperia phones

At the Mobile World Congress in Spain this week, Sony is showcasing two new Android phones in its Xperia line.

The Xperia P and the Xperia U are making their debut at the show. The P has a 4-inch display, an 8-megapixel camera, HDMI support, and the ability to dock into a keyboard/mouse peripheral that turns it into a makeshift laptop.

The Xperia U, on the other hand, is on the lower end and offers a 3.5inch display and a 5-megapixel camera. Both models feature support for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, though since these phones run on Android Gingerbread and are not on Sprint, there’s not much to do with NFC yet.

That is, except for Sony’s SmartTags sytem, which lets users assign functions to physical tags that users can tap to activate. For example, you could have a tag that sets your phone on silent mode, and you could have it sitting on your desk at work. All you need to do is tap the phone to the tag and you’re set.

A lot of eyes are on Sony at the Mobile World Congress, perhaps more closely than any previous year. That’s because in all prior mobile trade shows, there was no such thing as a “Sony” booth. The closest thing you’d find would be a display with the name Sony Ericsson.

However, that joint venture ended when Sony bought out its longtime mobile partner. The thought process was that with Sony in full control of its mobile endeavors, it could more fully integrate its products and services. Ericsson likewise now operates exclusively as its own mobile company.

We aren’t seeing much innovation in terms of Sony integration at this show, but keep in mind the Sony Ericsson was not officially broken up until earlier this month.