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Mar 14, 2012
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In the realm of touchscreen smartphones, being different is easier said than done. However, Sony's new handset, the Xperia Sola, seems to have done the trick while being a respectable looking phone inside and out. Why so? Well, for starters, you can control the device without having to touch it. Now we think we have your attention.

The Xperia Sola sports what is called floating touch, a feature that enables you to use the handset's UI without having to physically tap or slide your finger on the screen. Even if the tip of your finger is hovering as much as 20mm above the screen, the device will still be able to recognize and input commands. The science behind this can be a little too technical but we're told floating touch combines the two types of capacitive sensors called self-capacitance (for detecting fingers further from the screen) and mutual capacitance (allows multi-touch) to achieve the effect. You could click here to know more.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's go to the Xperia Sola's innards. Specs-wise, it's not shabby, but also not impressive, either. It sports a 1GHz dual-core chip, a 3.7-inch (854 x 480) Reality Display and 5-megapixel rear camera with HD video recording. NFC SmartTags and an xLOUD "surround sound" speaker are also part of the package.

The device will start shipping to global markets in Q2 or anywhere from April to June in 3 colors (black, white and red). It will arrive with Android Gingerbread but should be upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich later in the year. Here's to hoping it will also pay the Philippines a visit sooner than later. We really want to see what this floating touch feature is all about.

WORDS BY Neps Firmalan