As we get ready to enter the second quarter of 2012, we continue to see manufacturers release new smartphones running older versions of Android. Even as we start to see progress towards bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to older devices, brand new gear is still showing-up with Gingerbread; just look at the Sony Xperia S we recently reviewed. For Sony, at least, it looks like the company is finally ready to start launching Android 4.0 right out of the gate, announcing the ICS-running Xperia Neo L MT25i.
Don’t expect to see the Neo L in wide availability, at least not straight away, because for now we only know of plans to introduce the phone to Chinese markets. The hardware’s specs are interesting, with a single-core 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of internal flash, a four-inch FWVGA screen, and a five-megapixel main camera. This is all quite dated hardware, but it’s the pairing with this software that makes it so odd; if this was an existing Android handset, these are exactly the kind of specs that would put it right on the of edge never receiving an ICS update. Maybe that’s exactly why Sony chose to include Android 4.0 from the get-go, despite the lower-tier specs, so users wouldn’t anxiously await to learn of the phone’s fate.