- Brian Bennett , Cnet
Sony's pricey, stylish Xperia S is packed with multimedia tricks but is undone by a slow processor and lackluster display.
- Chris Hall , Pocket-lint
The Sony Xperia S is possibly the most compelling Xperia handset yet, but it could do more. It's a good phone, a pleasure to use and live with, but there is some space for improvement.
There’s no other way to describe the Sony Xperia S other than a very capable multimedia device that’s filled to the brim with top-of-the-line hardware and software features. Currently, it is Sony’s flagship Android smartphone and is considered by many as one of the most handsome phones available on the mobile phone shelves.
Sony smartphones—and yes, that includes the ones that were released under the Sony Ericsson brand back when it was still alive—have always been characterized as having excellent built-in cameras. The Sony Xperia S is of course no exception. It boasts a built-in 12-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, plus it comes with several nice extras such as touch focus, face and smile detection, 3D sweep panorama, image stabilization, and geo-tagging capabilities. The rest of the phone just further emphasizes Sony’s focus on multimedia for the Xperia S. The display is an LED-backlit LCD touchscreen that supports multi-touch and measures 4.3-inches diagonally. It offers a native resolution of 720x1280 and is able to display images with rich color and textures with the help of the proprietary Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine. A front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera makes taking portrait photos easier. There’s also an excellent built-in loudspeaker that can be used not only with the music player but also with the built-in FM radio.
With all of that said, the Sony Xperia S is also one of the most powerful smartphones that you can get in its price range. It runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, has 1GB of RAM, and comes with 32GB of internal storage. It also has a whole host of wireless features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HSDPA data, GPS, and even NFC. All of these come in extra handy when trying to make the most out of the built-in software as part of the default operating system, which is Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
All in all, the Sony Xperia is kind of like a smartphone that’s in a league of its own. If the world famous branding or the striking good looks don’t get you, perhaps the hardware and software features will.
Need to Know: Sony Xperia S
1. Default operating system can be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the 4th quarter of 2012. (The Good)
2. Makes use of cutting-edge technology such as NFC capability to let on-the-go users enjoy unique features such as SmartTags. (The Good)
3. Although made mostly out of plastic materials, it still ends up feeling quite heavy in the hand. (The Bad)
4. Having a large screen makes it less ergonomic than many other phones on the market. (The Bad)