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I attended a breakfast with Sony Mobile this morning, along with other female bloggers where we got a hands-on with the Sony Xperia U.

First impressions of the handset – it’s lightweight, has a nice slim and square design and best of all, fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.

To me, that’s one of the most important deciding factors when getting a phone. Anything over 4-inches a big no. The Xperia U has a 3.5-inch touchscreen with a screen resolution of 854×480 pixels.

One of the unique aspects about this particular handset is the clear strip at the bottom of the screen, which lights up according to the theme you select, or photos you view in your gallery. Additionally, it has interchangeable caps that fit on the base; and for that, you have a choice of black, white, pink or yellow.

The Xperia U weighs only 110g; is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor; has a 5-megapixel camera (full HD recording capabilities) with 16x digital zoom & LED flash; offers up to 6.5 hours talk time and up to 472 hours stand-by; features xLoud 3D surround sound; and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread (upgradeable to Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich).

If you’re a bit of a fashionista (who doesn’t require a high-end smartphone) and would rather prefer your outfit (or mood) to match your phone, then it’s highly recommended. Expect to pay around R3,300 on prepaid.

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