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Sony Xperia S review

Sony Xperia S review
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Sony Xperia S was just announced at CES alongside another Sony handset with a 4.3-inch 720p display and some pretty impressive specs - a gap-free laminated Reality Display, the Xperia S features 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 12 megapixel Exmor R camera R camera sensor, NFC support, and PlayStation certification.
Review On : Sony Xperia S

 

30 March 2012 - The Xperia S marks Sony’s attempt into going at it solo in a very long time, having recently parted ways with its other half, Ericsson.The obvious question is of course whether or not this device is a worthy reincarnation to the Xperia range or just a rebranding exercise by Sony.



 

Exterior, Controls and Screen



The Nozomi, as the Xperia S was previously known, has a 4.3-inch display that surpasses the older Xperia devices, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Its Sony Bravia HD-enhanced screen makes it a joy to look at for hours on end. The piano black finish complements the rest of the smartphone perfectly and in our hands it feels like a really exquisite piece of technology, even if it is a bit on the larger size.

For one, its dimensions alone make the Xperia S longer and thicker than its predecessors, and the added weight is rather noticeable.

Then there is our gripe with the navigation buttons – the touch-sensitive Back, Home and Options are not anywhere near where they seem to be, as they are difficult to spot and only light up when you actually pinpoint them. Of course, this is an annoyance more than anything else, since you will eventually memorise where the buttons are.

 

Software, Application and Games



For the lack of a better description, the Gingerbread has gotten rather stale, and having it on the Xperia S somewhat dampens the usage experience, when they could have incorporated Ice Cream Sandwich from the get-go. As usual, Sony has preloaded the device with software that they think you need, which you do not. We ultimately found ourselves liking only the Timescape social networking integration UI and the great music player app. All this will be running on a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. While the Xperia S has 32GB for you to play around with, that is as much space as you are going to get, since there is no means of expanding Internal storage.

 

Camera, Video and Audio



While pixel count alone does not make a camera, we were rather blown away by the 12-megapixel shooter on the Xperia S, and its plethora of controls at your disposal, including exposure value, ISO and white balance control, among other things.

The dedicated camera button itself was fun to use, and the shutter speed was lightning fast. The overall quality of the images itself were outstanding, especially when viewed on the device Xperia S itself, and the quality remains top notch even when you transfer it over to your computer.

Watching movies on its HD screen proved to be easily one of the best experiences when it comes to the Xperia S, as its resolution makes it perfect for 720p HD content.

 

Connectivity



Every connectivity feature that you can think of is present in the Sony Xperia S - HSDPA 14.4Mbps, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, DLNA and even a mini HDMI output. Still new in the realm of smartphones is the presence of NFC (Near-field Communication) which unfortunately is still not much use for us for the time being. However, if you own other Sony products, you can actually use the Xperia S in tandem with devices such as the new range of Bravia televisions.

Now, with all the tasks that it has to perform, does the Xperia S have enough battery life to sustain them? Our answer will be along the lines of “Not quite” since our Xperia S barely made it through the day from moderately heavy usage. If you are willing to forego some of the functions during a normal day’s usage, then the Xperia S should be able to last you up until you get home to have it charged.

 

Verdict



There is much to like about the Sony Xperia S, and while most people would not notice the lack of the Sony-Ericsson logo on it, Sony is heading in the right direction with this; The dual-core processor kept everything running smoothly and quickly, while the 12-megapixel camera was in a class of its own, providing some of the best image quality we have seen on a smartphone so far. And if Sony pulls it off correctly, it is a great addition to the ecosystem of Sony devices which you may own.

However, there are certain issues that detract from the overall experience, namely the limited 32GB internal storage. Sure, it might sound a lot, but if you are anything like this writer, most of that space will be taken by media files and games that take up space in the hundreds of megabytes, so you will eventually find the lack of a microSD slot a problem. Also, the touch keys can be somewhat iffy in responsiveness at times, and the less than impressive battery life calls for a somewhat frugal usage.

With all that said and done, the Xperia S provides some of the best on-the-go entertainment experiences around, and is a great alternative if you are looking for a powerhouse device that is not made by Apple or Samsung. 


Editor's rating:
Excellent


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