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.
Joseph HanlonSpecial to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
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.
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.