At the recent Sony Ericsson Christmas in July showcase we spotted the latest handset from the company's joint venture: the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray.
The new phone is another phone that marks the brand's rise from the smartphone doldrums - sure, the Xperia Play and Xperia Neo might not have been the greatest phones to ever leave the factory, but the Ray offers some decent tech in a low-price package.
The Xperia Ray is an altogether smaller affair than the likes of the Xperia Arc and Play, with a 3.3-inch screen on the front, powered by the same Bravia engine we've seen on a number of other SE handsets, coming along for the ride.
The highlight of the phone is undoubtedly the screen - with a FWVGA offering (which translates into 854x480 pixel count) the resolution is absolutely pin-sharp - only 26ppi less than the iPhone 4.
The rubberised chassis feels very nice in the hand - it's angular yet compact, meaning you'll get a decent typing speed up in no time.
In comparison to the Xperia Arc, one of our favourite handsets at the moment, the Ray performs very well indeed - it's got the same 8.1MP camera with Exmor technology, a single LED flash and quick shutter speed, plus it doesn't have the terribly small power button.
Both the power/lock key and volume switches are much improved, with a decent size and better travel to use them with one hand.
The only real difference is the size of the screen and the loss of an HDMI-out port - and we can't say we're too sad to lose that functionality as there's not even a lead in the box to allow you to lose the functionality.
Sony Ericsson told us that the new phone will be running version 4.0 of the TimeScape Android overlay, which brings not only the Facebook Inside functionality to let users easily share content and recommendation over the social network, but the same cool screen shut-off animation from the Google Nexus S.
The overview mode has been tweaked slightly as well, with widgets floating around the screen when pinching in frmo the home screen. The cool bit comes when you shake the phone and all the objects bobble about... useful? No. Fun? Hell yes.
The annoying thing about the demo unit we saw was the lack of internet connection - the screens all looked pin sharp, but we couldn't test to see how text looked on the smaller screen when zoomed out.
But video looks, as you can imagine, superb - the resolution is cracking and the screen size is just big enough to warrant using it as a portable video player instead of a dedicated unit. The Nokia E6 has a slightly better ppi count, but with a tiny screen it's not much use as a video player.
One thing we're really happy about: the keyboard already seems improved over the Xperia Arc too - better accuracy impressed us despite the smaller screen.
But we can imagine that once you buy the Xperia Ray and you pick up a better video player (as the default option is simply far too basic) you'll be treated to a more than acceptable movie player.
On top of that the media player is the same decent offering we've come to expect from the Walkman-powered brand; the infinity button serves to show you YouTube videos of your chosen artist and as we mentioned, the Facebook option means you can see what tunes your friends are into at the moment.
Overall, we're really impressed with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray - given we expect it to come in at around £20-£25 per month on contract, the compact dimensions, decent camera and high-res screen could see this become another winning phone for the Japanese-Swedish alliance.