The name is Bond…Android Bond

One of Sony’s newest Android-powered handsets is the dual-core Xperia T, and it has the distinction of being the new Bond phone. That’s right – it’s the one 007 reaches for in the new movie Skyfall (no doubt one of the benefits of being a sister company to one of the film’s distribution partners). In addition to appearing in the film, the phone will come pre-loaded with Bond content, including movie clips, behind the scenes footage, wallpapers, and more.

Based on the design of the Xperia Arc, the Xperia T comes with a 4.6-inch 1280×720-pixel screen. There’s not a lot of bezel around the top and sizes of the screen, putting the focus squarely on the quality of the screen, which looks bright and crisp.

The phone sports a 13 megapixel/1080p camera on the rear, and a lower-res 720p front-facing camera. Like other models in the Xperia lineup, there’s a dedicated camera button on the side – press and hold it to launch the camera app, and then press it to take a picture when the camera app is running. (As before, the volume controls act as digital zoom controls. Not that you’ll want to zoom, if you’re looking for best quality images.) One nice touch: even if the phone is in standby mode, pressing the camera button will fire up the phone in camera mode fairly quickly; the claim is just over a second, though it can be a bit longer to get the proper focus point.

Again, because the phone is a Sony, it comes with a number of multimedia tie-ins that come pre-packaged with the phone. The music app has been rebranded as “Walkman” to really play on the company’s musical heritage. In addition to the Movies app, there’s also a Movie Studio app that allows you to do some basic editing right on your phone (including, if you wish, the Skyfall trailer pre-loaded on the phone). Plus, the Xperia T is Playstation-certified, giving it access to content from the Playstation Mobile store. Oh, and it has a built-in FM radio.

The Xperia T has only 16 gigabytes of internal storage, but comes with two ways to bolster that. First up, there’s a microSD slot, which will allow you to add an additional 32 gigs of storage right on the phone. But it also comes with a complimentary 50 gigs of cloud storage from the Box cloud service.

The overall design of the phone is pretty nice – it fits well into the hand despite the larger screen size, isn’t too thick or heavy, and has an attractive slightly curved design that’s far more attractive than the average phone.

The one thing I’m not too fond of is the power button’s location exactly halfway down the side of the phone, but that’s largely just because I’m used to power buttons being located along the top end of phones.

The other thing that’s a touch disappointing, though not unexpected, is that the Xperia T will ship with Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, but with the promise of an upgrade path to Jelly Bean (4.1) in the near future. Hey, at least it’s not Gingerbread.

If you want to get your hands on the Xperia T, it’ll be available across the country through Bell, Mobilicity, MTS, Rogers and Videotron, and will hit stores later this month.

If you’re not interested in waiting around for 007, there’s another phone launching this week, and that’s the new Nexus 4.

Google’s new flagship smartphone will go on sale as of November the 13th (that’s tomorrow). Since there have been no pre-orders allowed up until this point, there may well be a mad scramble to order the new phone as soon as it’s available online.

The big question everyone is asking now: will it go on sale at midnight? And if so, will that be midnight Eastern time or midnight Google time (presumably Pacific)? And how long with the stock last before things go onto back-order?

If you’re interested and don’t want to miss it you could always sign up to be notified when the device goes on sale, over at the Nexus 4 page. But if you want to be sure, better brew a pot of coffee tonight, and start hitting refresh on the browser starting at 11:59pm.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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