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(Pocket-lint) - It didn't take long for the handset codenamed the Sony Xperia Pepper, that was doing the rumour rounds earlier this week, to be made official. The handset also known as the Sony MT27i has landed as the Sony Xperia sola.

The Sony Xperia sola has a 3.7-inch TFT Reality display with Sony's Mobile Bravia engine on board (854x480 resolution), that runs via a 1GHz STE U8500 dual-core processor. It's Android Gingerbread for now but Sony is saying that it is Ice Cream Sandwich upgradable (summer 2012).

It has a 5-megapixel camera on the back, with auto-focus, face-recognition, 2D and 3D sweep panorama modes, a flash and 720p HD video recording capabilities.

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But, the most intriguing aspect of the sola is its floating touch tech. This new feature from Sony lets you navigate the web by hovering your finger above the screen like a moving cursor, without ever having to touch the screen. You can then simply tap down once you find what you're looking for.

At the moment, that's all it's good for, although Sony says floating touch will evolve and developers will be able to tap into the tech.

The sola also features the NFC SmartTags tech that we saw debut with the Xperia S. This means you can automate a run of features. Out of the box one is ready for the living room to turn on Wi-Fi and launch Google news and weather apps, and one for the bedroom, which turns on the alarm and switches the phone to silent mode.

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Calum MacDougall, head of Xperia marketing for Sony Mobile Communications, said: "Xperia sola comes with the power of Sony and a sense of magic with floating touch, giving consumers a fun new way to browse the web and latest technology to show off. With Xperia SmartTags out of the box and access to the latest content through Sony Entertainment Network, Xperia sola is perfect for consumers looking for ease of use and the best in entertainment in a smart and innovative smartphone."

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No specific launch details as of yet - we'll keep you posted.

Writing by Paul Lamkin. Editing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 16 April 2013.