The Vaio Corporation, the company born out of Sony’s laptop business back in February 2014, today announced the world’s first Vaio-branded smartphone. The midrange device runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, and will cost adopters around $33 a month.
Vaio has already announced its first laptops since it broke away from Sony, but its smartphone comes as a bit of a surprise. It doesn’t really fit the premium image we’ve gotten from previous Vaio products, but it seems a relatively capable device nonetheless.
Simply called the Vaio phone, the device is equipped with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, a 5-inch 720p display, and a 13-megapixel camera. Its most exciting attribute is that it comes with Lollipop pre-installed, and it has an attractive glass back reminiscent of the Nexus 4’s.
As Blog of Mobile points out, the Vaio phone is actually identical to Panasonic ELUGA U2, another midrange smartphone produced by Quanta Computer that is sold in Taiwan.
Vaio phone will be available through Japanese MVNO B-mobile, and it’ll cost ¥3,980 (approx. $33) a month for both the hardware and the service plan. It’s unlikely we’ll see it making its way to Western markets, but there are plenty of midrange handsets just like it for us.
With Sony struggling to keep its own smartphone business alive, it will be interesting to see whether one of its former businesses can be more successful with its focus on affordability.