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The VAIO Phone Biz might be the sleekest Windows phone yet

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Let's leave aside the question of whether VAIO making phones in the first place is a good idea, let alone SIM-free Windows 10 Mobile phones for Japan, of all things and countries. Let's restrain ourselves from querying why on earth this one is called the "VAIO Phone Biz." Let's try to put all these possible issues to one side — believe me, I know that's a tall order — and look at the phone itself.

Because it's a pretty nice phone!

The VAIO Phone Biz's design is considerably sleeker than its name. VAIO has already shown that it wants to continue Sony's premium legacy in the laptop space, and today it made clear that its debut Windows phone would be no different. The Phone Biz's aluminum body is a trim blend of hard lines and subtle curves, and it's by far the most attractive Windows phone since Nokia's better moments, with excellent build quality. Even the most bewitching Lumia phones relied on plastic for most of their construction, so whichever you prefer, the VAIO Phone Biz is a pretty novel proposition for Windows phone shoppers.

Performance from the Snapdragon 617 processor seems reasonable enough, and the 5.5-inch 1080p display is decent, though it does lose quite a lot of brightness at off angles. The screen's bottom bezel is conspicuously large, too, and new phones in 2016 without fingerprint sensors and USB-C ports are starting to feel a little outdated. But all in all, this is easily the most conventionally attractive vessel yet for Microsoft's latest mobile vision.

There's no indication as to whether the Phone Biz will come to the US like some of the company's laptops, but if Microsoft doesn't want to design beautiful phones for its home market, maybe VAIO can pick up the slack.

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