We’re starting to see a trend where smartphone OEMs are releasing their flagships earlier in the year and offering a higher-end version in time for the holiday season to compete with what might have come out in the interim months (ahem, Galaxy S III). HTC is doing it with the One X (and rumors of a One X+ for T-Mobile), and now, thanks to an official product page on Sony’s website, we can confirm that Sony is doing likewise with the Xperia SL. The SL offers a CPU bump from what we saw with the relatively impressive Xperia S (we loved the 342ppi display) by offering a Qualcomm S3 MSM8260 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, instead of the same CPU running 200MHz slower. Whether such an incremental change in specs will offer an improved users experience remains to be seen. (The irony is that if you root your Xperia S and overclock your CPU to 1.7GHz, you’ll instantly have an SL!) Also different is the shipping operating system: the XL will come with Android Ice Cream Sandwich; while no Jelly Bean, it’s an improvement over Gingerbread, which was the Xperia S’ shipping OS.