The Vaio Corportation, born out of Sony’s laptop business in February 2014, has announced the world’s first Vaio-branded smartphone. The mid-range device runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, and will cost around $33 a month.
Vaio’s smartphone comes as a bit of a surprise. It doesn’t fit the premium image of earlier Vaio products, but it’s a relatively capable device nonetheless.
Simply called the Vaio phone, the device features a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, a 5-inch 720p display, and a 13-megapixel camera. Most exciting is its pre-installed Lollipop taste and Nexus 4-esque glass back.
The Vaio phone is actually identical to Panasonic’s ELUGA U2, according to Blog of Mobile, a mid-range handset produced by Quanta Computer and sold in Taiwan.
The Vaio phone will be available through Japanese MVNO B-mobile, and it’ll cost ￥3,980 ($33) a month for both the hardware and the service plan. It’s unlikely to make its way to the West.
With Sony struggling to keep its own smartphone business alive, it will be interesting to see whether one of its former businesses can have success focusing on affordability.