We got the chance to test drive the Sony Xperia S today, the first Xperia to make it our way without an Ericsson influence. Overall our experience with the newest Xperia was a good one, and while Sony still has room to get better, this is our favorite Xperia to date. We had a couple of issues with the design as you will see below, but all in all this is an elegant Android phone, and a great look for Sony.
– 1.5 Ghz dual-core processor
– Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread
– 12.1 megapixels rear camera; 1080p video
– 1.3 megapixels front camera
– 4.3 inch touchscreen, 1280 x 720 resolution
– 32 GB Internal Storage
– 1 GB RAM
– Micro USB support
– HDMI 2.0
– LED Notification Light
First things first, the Xperia S has a great weight to it. Using it for an extended period of time felt natural, and the weighting didn’t make it awkward to handle like some of the most recent smartphones. What did on the other hand, was the length of the phone. Quite frankly, we all are assuming my hands are larger than average, and I still could not reach to the top of the screen to pull down the notification bar without adjusting how I was holding the phone. It is also a little thicker than what we are use to seeing from new phones as of late, but that was not a problem when using it.
The length of the device, at least in part, it due to a clear LED section almost at the bottom of the device, showcasing a back button, home button, and menu button. The buttons are actually above this bar, represented by three white dots, and we often found ourselves pressing the icons on the LED bar instead of the actual buttons.
We know, we know, you are all tired of seeing new Android launches that are still on Gingerbread, right? The truth is, in this case we didn’t mind so much. Sony typically does go the tried and tested path, and it usually pays off in quality. This was no different, having had no performance issues with any of the Sony specific software on the device, such as Timescape (a social networking application that merges feeds), and the Sony Entertainment Network applications for Music and Video.
You will also have the opportunity to upgrade Ice Cream Sandwich this month, as Sony is starting to push out ICS updates to all the Xperia line.
No question, the quality of images taken with this camera are outstanding. Usability was alright for the most part, though we found that sometimes it was hard to get the camera to focus once the auto-focus had decided on a focal position. Video was good as well, and the HDMI was handy to show off our work to some colleagues on the big screen.