Inside the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active you get a middle-of-the-road 1GHz processor, with a total of 1GB of internal storage, but by the time Android's got itself running, you'll be left with just over 300MB for your app installs.

Sony ericsson xperia active

Sony Ericsson has stuck on a few health apps to help underline the phone's active status, pre-loading the rather awkwardly named iMapMyFitness tool, which is also freely available to everyone on the Android Market so isn't really much of a selling point.

Sony ericsson xperia active

The much simpler step counter WalkMate is a bespoke Sony Ericsson creation that counts your steps via the accelerometer - and comes with a hefty warning about the damage this will do to your battery life - plus there's a digital compass app. Nothing really useful, to be honest.

Sony ericsson xperia active

Of much more use to everyone is the standard suite of Google apps, comprising Gmail, YouTube, Talk, Calendar and the excellent Google Maps.

Maps works very well, with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active's 1GHz processor scrolling, zooming and panning the screens around smoothly. The GPS system locked on within a few seconds, enabling us to generate sat nav routes quickly and without any hassle.

Sony ericsson xperia active

And once all that's done, the Xperia Active works very well as a complete sat nav tool, with Google also offering the option to upgrade to full turn-by-turn voice navigation, for free, through an Android Market download.

Sony ericsson xperia active

Elsewhere, there's loads of pre-loaded Sony Ericsson junk. There's the Xperia Hot Shots advert for tennis sponsorship, mediocre puzzle game Quadrapop, a link to download a sponsored football app... there's a lot of rubbish to bin.

Sony ericsson xperia active

Of some use is OfficeSuite, which gives you free read-only compatibility with MS Office files, the NeoReader QR code scanner, alternate sat nav app Wisepilot if that's your sort of thing, and Data Monitor, which keeps track of your data usage, should you be on a limited package.

Sony ericsson xperia active

App installation through the Android Market is quick and easy, with the Xperia Active also managing to run Google's latest market app pretty well.

Sony ericsson xperia active

We were seeing a decent 232MB of free memory space left for app storage, even after installing our usual review favourites and the latest update of Adobe's bulky Flash Player app.

Sony ericsson xperia active

And finally, there's the same screen capture tool as found on the Xperia Arc S. Holding the power button brings up the usual Android power menu, only with the added option of taking a shot of what was on the screen immediately prior to you pressing power. Shots are then saved as nice PNG files in the phone's gallery.