Sony Ericsson released some nice mid-range Android smartphones last year
in the form of Xperia neo, Xperia Ray and neo V and now Sony (sans
Ericsson) is trying to achieve the same this year.
manufacturer launched three mid-range devices this year at Mobile World
Congress to cater to almost every consumer in the price-segment.
Xperia sola is one of the three devices to be launched in India
recently. Priced at Rs 20,449, it brings 1GHz dual-core processor,
3.7-inch Floating Touch display (more on this later), 5MP camera and
Android 2.3 to the table, but is this enough to make the consumers go
for it over the competition in the market? We will find out in this
Sony has followed a fixed design style for
all of its 2012 smartphone launches apart from Xperia sola, which offers
a distinct basic design that might not win design awards but is pretty
There is no transparent bar or curved back, but Xperia
sola comes with an all square design. Another differentiating factor is
the thin bottom, which is a change from Xperia NXT series, but doesn't
really add anything and is more of a design decision from the company.
those, who don't like huge smartphones and prefer the pocketable ones,
Xperia sola is perfect. It offers 3.7-inch display, which is in no way
small, a sufficiently thin body at 9.9mm and weighs just 107 grams.
Sony Xperia sola features a plastic body with soft touch finish applied
to the better cover. The phone feels nice in hand and gives the premium
Talking about the hardware specifications, Xperia sola has a
trio of capacitive buttons located below the display, and they work
fine. There is a volume rocker, two-stage dedicated camera and Micro-USB
port on the right and the power button on the left. The top and bottom
are pretty much clean apart from the 3.5mm audio jack on the top.
buttons are usable and offer no issues apart from two-stage dedicated
camera button, which required more than normal effort to click an image.
The back of the smartphone houses a 5MP camera, LED flash,
Xperia branding and speaker. Remove the battery cover and consumers will
find the microSD card and SIM card slots. The battery is not
users-replaceable, which might be a bit of let down for some.
has gone for a 3.7-inch display for Xperia sola with 854x480p
resolution. The display size is perfect for basic web-browsing, playing
casual games and other daily chores, but multimedia junkies and heavy
gamers might find it a little small for their taste.
comes with a decent PPI count, thus you will hardly notice any
individual pixels. The colour reproduction is fine, but white and black
colours are a little dull. The smartphone also offers decent viewing
angles and visibility under sunlight.
As we've come
to expect from Sony smartphones, the Xperia sola's 5MP camera performs
quite well. Thanks to the dedicated camera button, you don't even have
to unlock the device to click an image.
While the outdoor and
indoor shots with proper lighting taken with the smartphone's camera
lived up to our expectations, we were disappointed with the shots taken
using the smartphone's built-in flash. The shots were washed out and had
a white layer on them.
Another downside for the smartphone is the
missing front camera. Secondary camera has increasingly become a
standard for smartphones and even the entry-level models have started
coming with one, and we are not sure why Sony has decided to give it a
miss in Xperia sola.
The smartphone camera supports up to 720p video recording and the results were fairly decent.
camera app on the smartphone isn't very comprehensive but gives decent
number of options to play around. You can choose scene, white balance,
exposure value, ISO, Metering or the focus mode.
is shipping Xperia sola with Gingerbread on-board, which isn't
surprising because company is yet to release an Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)
smartphone. Company has also included its custom interface on top of
the Android 2.3, similar to other 2012 Sony launches; it is minimal and
does not hog much processing power.
The interface is beautiful with subtle animations and effects.
smartphone also comes with ability to create folders and take
screenshots, both of which were introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich
release, giving you some respite before the actual update reaches the
In terms of the pre-loaded apps, company has included
Timescape, which is like a hub of your social network feeds, along with
TrackID, Timer, Stop Watch, Recommender, World Clock, WisePilot, Neo
Reader, and Office Suite apps. Most of the pre-loaded apps actually add
value to the consumer experience.
is the first smartphone to come with Sony's all new Floating Touch
technology, which allows you to browse the web by hovering your finger
above the screen so it acts like a moving curser, without actually
having to touch the display. Floating Touch works as advertised but
there is hardly any actual usability of the feature right now. However,
the company plans release its API to developers and we can anticipate
some cool uses of Floating Touch after that.
Performance/ Battery Life
the world of smartphones filled with Qualcomm and NVIDIA chips, Sony
Xperia sola runs on ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 dual-core processor.
Don't worry, it performs quite well, and we did not experience any
hiccups during our time with the smartphone.
processor ensures smooth functioning of the phone and there is no lag in
switching homescreens, multitasking or even playing casual games.
Games like Temple Run, BackStab, Deer Hunter Pro ran without any problems.
the connectivity front, Xperia sola includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and
DLNA. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work as expected, but NFC isn't much use
right now apart from when you try Smart Tags from the company. The NFC
functionality should be improved after the ICS update. The call quality
is decent and so is the network reception.
In terms of the
multimedia usage, the smartphone played 720p videos flawlessly, however
stock player wasn't so great with 1080p videos. It also includes a
fancy music player on-board, which worked quite nicely and when clubbed
with the xLoud feature gave decent audio output.
pricing, battery life is increasingly becoming a key deciding factor in
smartphone purchases, and traditionally Androids are not the champions
in the category. Xperia sola includes a 1,320mAh battery, which is
The battery backup is just ok and we would
have surely liked a bigger battery. Moderate users will able to get
through the day without charging, but heavy users won't be so lucky.
had some nice mid-rangers last year and Xperia sola isn't different.
The Japanese manufacturer has continued to impress us with a stable and
value for money Xperia sola. However, it is important to point out that
absence of ICS and front camera surely goes against the smartphone. An
Xperia sola with pre-loaded ICS and front camera would have been a
If you want Android 4.0 today, you might want to look
at HTC One V, which although misses the dual-core power but offers better
camera and ICS at a slightly less price.
To check out more images of Xperia sola, visit our picture gallery.
Price: Rs. 20,499
- Decent performance
- Solid build
- Dual-core processor
- No front camera
- No Ice Cream Sandwich
Ratings (Out of 5)
Battery Life: 3
Value for Money: 3.5