Sony Xperia S is the first product from newly formed Sony Mobile
division after the company bought out Ericsson's stake in Sony Ericsson.
It sports a beautiful design and comes with some big upgrades from
last-years' models like 12.1MP camera and 720p display. But, are these
upgrades enough for us to forget the presence of dated software? Read on
to find out.
Sony's design prowess is clearly visible
in Xperia S; it looks simple but is unique and distinctive. It might not
be the lightest or the thinnest phone on the planet, but the Xperia S
stands out nonetheless. Be it the transparent bar below the capacitive
buttons, or the flat sides of the phone, the modern design sets it apart
from the crowd.
They say devil is in the details, and the Sony
Xperia S sure gets those right. It comes with the matte finish on the
sides and back, while the front is covered in a single-sheet of glass.
The front and rear of the phone are pretty much clean apart from the
Xperia branding, ear-piece and secondary camera on the front, and
speakers, primary camera and Sony branding on the back. On the right
side, you will find the two-stage shutter button, volume rocker, and
HDMI port, while the left houses the USB-cum-charging port.
the Xperia S isn't perfect. We can't claim to be fans of the rectangular
design, which makes it a little harder to hold compared to smartphones
with curved edges like the HTC One X.
Another disappointment with
Xperia S is the fixed battery. Although the back cover is removable, the
battery is still not user-replaceable.
included a 4.3-inch 1280x720p Reality display on Xperia S, which comes
with company's own Mobile Bravia engine. The Xperia S has better PPI
(pixels-per-inch) than all the smartphones available in the Indian
market even iPhone 4S, thus giving you extremely sharp images. The
colour reproduction is good and display is sufficiently bright, we even
found it taming HTC One X in the brightness department. However, the
viewing angles are sub-par on the smartphone.
Xperia S comes with a 12.1MP rear camera with f2.4 aperture, along with
1080p video recording support. As you can expect from Sony, the Xperia S
camera performs brilliantly and takes some nice and detailed shots. Be
the indoor clicks or outdoor shots, Xperia S does not disappoint.
the controls on Xperia S camera app are pretty straight forward, and
you can also select manual settings for ISO, white balance, metering and
focus mode. Company has also included a nifty feature which allows you
directly open the camera with the dedicated camera key even when the
phone is locked. This two-stage camera button allows users to set the
auto-focus with a half-press, while a full press completes the image
capture. The button is conveniently located and distinction between the two
stages of the capture is clearly felt under the finger.
running on Android 2.3, Sony has added the panorama, 3D panorama shot-
taking capabilities in Xperia S, which were natively introduced first
time in ICS.
The 1.3MP front camera on Xperia S is decent and
capable of shooting 720p video. So, you don't have to worry about
video-chatting on your phone.
One of the
few disappointments, but not exactly a surprise given the spec sheet,
is the presence of Gingerbread. With phones like HTC One X and One V
that come pre-loaded with Ice Cream Sandwich for competition, launching
Xperia S with Android 2.3 isn't really a positive for the company.
Although Sony has promised to release an update sometime this quarter,
consumers will be stuck with the old version for at least a few weeks.
don't have any specific qualms with Gingerbread and Sony's skin atop
it, but we miss a few things in particular from ICS, like the refreshed
UI, Android Beam, and resizable widgets. While on the subejct of Android
Beam, Sony Xperia S ships with Near Field Communication hardware,
which can be used for quite a few things including changing the
smartphone settings to a pre-set using the SmartTags in the box (as our
review unit was missing them, so we weren't able to test the feature).
In terms of other software additions, Xperia S comes
with Facebook inside Xperia, which includes features like single
sign-on for Facebook, FB Images in phone gallery, contacts and calendar
sync as well as the Media discovery widget.
In terms of pre-loaded
apps, Sony has filled up Xperia S with apps like TrackID, World Clock,
Neoreader, Wisepilot, Office Suit, Timer, Recommender, and PlayNow.
Overall, by Gingerbread standards, Sony's implemetnation runs nice and smooth and we did not face any issues.
Performance/ Battery Life
Xperia S comes with a dual-core Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.5GHz
and 1GB RAM. With phones like HTC One S expected next month with next
generation Qualcomm Krait processor and Android 4.0, the specs may seem a
little underwhelming on paper, but what about the real world
Leaving the competition aside, talking solely based
on the Xperia S performance, which is pretty good and we would go on say
that it is the best Sony (Ericsson era phones included) smartphone
hiccups while playing high-def videos or playing graphic intensive
Coming to the battery life, the fixed 1750 mAh battery
gave us surprisingly decent performance and it would easily last a-day
for moderate users. Light-users might be able to able to squeeze out
Can Sony Xperia S be your next
smartphone? Well, if you are ready to wait for ICS and don't have an
issue with a generation-old processor, Xperia S has a lot to offer. It
packs in quite a punch, has great display, excellent battery life and a
For more pictures of the Sony Xperia S, please visit our picture gallery.
- Attractive, unique design
- Great HD display
- No microSD card slot or user-replaceable battery
Price: Rs. 32,549
Battery Life: 3.5
Value for Money: 3.5