Is This Finally a Toughphone Worth Buying?

Sony has just announced that it's launching a new toughphone, called the Xperia Advance. Unlike previous examples of hardy handsets, though, this one actually looks normal—and its specs aren't too shabby either.

Most phones designed to take knocks look like something you'd give a child to play with. But the Xperia Advance actually looks... kinda OK. OK enough that you wouldn't cringe every time you took it out of your pocket, at least. And while it's hardly the most advanced smartphone on the market, it's specs aren't disgraceful.

It packs a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display, dual-core 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera and runs... well, it runs a Gingerbread version of Android. Android 4.0 will, apparently, find its way to the device soon though. One excellent little feature is something called "wet finger tracking" which means that the screen is still useable when it's raining or when your hands are covered in water. Neat.

There are currently no details on expected price or availability date. Oh, and to head-off any confusion, the phone is being launched as the Xperia Go in the EU, so don't be confused by the source link. [Sony]