Sony has announced the water resistant Xperia go smartphone, with a 3.5in 'Reality Display', 5-megapixel camera and 1GHz dual core processor.

Sony Xperia go

Aimed at consumers who want a tough smartphone that can survive whatever life has to throw at it - and the occasional puddle - the Sony Xperia go has scratch resistant glass and a screen that can detect finger touches when it's wet.

Sony describes the Xperia go as a phone for consumers "looking for premium specifications and beautiful design with extra durability and water resistance."

The Xperia go - to be named Xperia advance when it goes on sale in America - comes preloaded with Sony's Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services, giving users access to Hollywood blockbusters, TV series and millions of music tracks.

Sony has stated that the Xperia go will come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread installed out of the box, but thankfully an update to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be available at a later date.

The Xperia pro measures in at 111 x 60.3 x 9.8mm, weighs 110g and will be available in black, white and yellow when it goes on sale later this year.

Around the back, the 5-megapixel camera has 3D Sweep to capture panoramic photos, 16x digital zoom, auto focus, face detection and an LED flash. The camera can also record video in 720p high definition.

Motorola has the tough smartphone market pretty much to itself at the moment with its Defy+ and Defy Mini, both of which are water- and dust-resistant, but are somewhat ugly as a result. Sony will be hoping to offer a more attractive alternative when the Xperia go goes on sale in the UK from the third quarter of 2012.

In a slight dig at Motorola, Sony said: "Its sleek and stylish design means durable and water resistant smartphones no longer have to look bulky and ruggedized."

We have reviewed both the Defy+ and Mini at IBTimes UK, and while the toughness is an advantage for some, we just couldn't get over the looks, with their thick rubber port covers and deeply set screens.