Sony Xperia Odin leaked, runs Jelly Bean, sounds fearsome

Sony is reportedly testing a new phone, codenamed Odin. We wade deep into the murky depths of the rumour swamp for you.

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
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Deep into the murky depths of phone rumours we tread, Japanese mobile blogs and user agent profiles swirling about us, thick as autumn fog. Sony, creator and destroyer of worlds, gives birth to the squalling one-eyed infant Odin. The seers ascribe this new blower aspects of a god, such as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

All of which is to say: Sony is reportedly testing a new phone, codenamed Odin, in Japan. That's according to testing records known as user agent profiles, spotted by the amiably Yoda-ish Blog of Mobile, and interpreted by XperiaBlog.

Odin is a codename, of course -- the model numbers mentioned are C6502, C6503 and C6506 -- although nothing would please tech writers more than for a major phone maker to ditch its impenetrable naming practices and call its phones after Norse gods.

Some other bits and bobs came bubbling up from the same swampy ooze as Odin, with a 'C160X' running on a dreary old 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and a paltry 320x480-pixel resolution. Even worse, it's powered by Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which could well be two versions old by the time it's released next year.

In an Android context, Odin is best known as a piece of software used in gaining root access to phones and replacing the manufacturer-approved software with sleek custom versions. Which is slightly ironic, given Sony's reputation for burdening its mobiles with useless bloatware.

My favourite piece of rumour-scrying was a commenter on XperiaBlog mooting that the C in the model numbers could stand for Cybershot, and herald the return of Sony's camera branding to its phones. If ever there was a niche Sony needed to be in, it's as the company that makes the best camera phones. Currently that title just about belongs to Apple, but Nokia's PureView-toting Lumia 920 could knock the iPhone 5 off its perch.

What do you predict for Odin's future? Will it win a mythical victory on the smart phone battlefield, or shuffle off to mobile Valhalla? Sing a tale in the comments below, or over on our legendary Facebook page.