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Xperia Ray shipping with Sony video rentals

The new Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray will launch with Sony's video rental service pre-installed, which is an exclusive app on the Android platform.

Sony Ericsson and Vodafone today announced their exclusive partnership on the new Xperia Ray handset — the first smartphone to launch with Sony's video rental service out of the box.

(Credit: Sony Ericsson)

The Ray will launch in Australia on 28 September on Vodafone, with the cheapest plans being AU$5 per month on either an AU$29 plan or AU$45 Infinite plan, or AU$0 on an AU$49 cap or AU$65 Infinite plan, with Vodafone to confirm details shortly.

Sony's video service is a straightforward digital video rental service, with up to 9000 titles to rent or buy from Australia movie distributors Hopscotch and Madman complementing the libraries of US-owned companies Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Miramax and several others. Owners of the Xperia Ray can access this service and download standard-definition-quality video to view on their handsets, while users accessing the service through a PC or PS3 can choose high-definition-quality downloads.

The Sony Music Unlimited subscription music service is also pre-installed. Music Unlimited now boasts a library of 10 million tracks, with pricing starting from AU$4.99 per month on its Basic plan or AU$12.99 for the Premium plan. The plans let you create custom playlists, the option to listen to Sony-created playlists mixed by genre and era, and the ability to search the entire music catalogue.

The Xperia Ray is Sony Ericsson's fourth Xperia-branded Android smartphone so far in 2011, and is considered by the company as the most fashionable of the range to date. Its slim 9.9mm design houses a 3.3-inch Sony Reality display with Bravia Engine tech, an 8.1-megapixel camera and the standard suite of smartphone connectivity, including an 850MHz WCDMA radio for connecting to Vodafone's new 3G network.

Updated at 2:30pm, 20 September 2011: Vodafone pricing added.