"The Xperia Sola comes with the power of Sony and a sense of magic with our floating touch technology giving consumers a fun new way to browse the web," said Sean Coulson, head of Xperia marketing for Sony Mobile Australia.
Ah yes, Apple isn't the only company that can bake a little magic into consumer electronics.
Floating touch refers to the way the new phone can respond to a fingertip hovering above the screen separately to the normal touch functionality. It's initially used in the Sola's web browser, but Sony officials said it will find its way into other applications that will be delivered through subsequent updates or by third-party developers.
"With Xperia SmartTags out of the box and access to the latest content through the 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," Mr Coulson added.
Smart Tags are physical NFC devices. When a Sola (or another Sony mobile that supports this feature) is touched to a Smart Tag, it selects a predetermined phone profile. The idea is that you leave a Smart Tag in places where a different profile is appropriate (eg, at home, in the car and in the office) and quickly and just touch the phone when you arrive - that's much more convenient than messing manually with the settings.
The Sola's NFC capability can also be used to connect with other NFC-enabled smartphones.
The $486 Xperia Sola will be available exclusively from Harvey Norman.