Internet browsing's always going to be a bit of a compromise on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active's 3-inch screen, with the low-ish 320 x 480 resolution meaning this is one of the less impressive phones for web use in Sony Ericsson's range.
Text is a little rough compared to high-res phones such as the Xperia Arc, but the good news is that the 1GHz processor does a decent job of drawing pages, with pages appearing and building quickly. The Xperia Active supports multi-touch zooming for two-fingered page scrolling, with a double-tap of a lump of text automatically pulling in the view and reflowing it to fit the screen for easy reading.
The Xperia Active can also manage Flash sites, with embedded videos working well. There's quite an impact on scrolling and zooming when there's too much Flash nonsense happening on the screen, but it's still good to see full Flash in here.
The Android browser is a simple thing, really, with common bookmarking and history lists accessed via the tab that sits beside the URL bar. Touch this and you head into a bland world of your Bookmarks, History and Most Visited pages.
There's much more functionality behind the Menu button, with Android enabling users to set their preferences for page zooming, font sizes, turning various media content on and off, disabling plug-ins and so on. So it looks simple, but there's enough in here for proper web nerds to make the phone their own.
Android's link-sharing tool is a great highlight, with a couple of presses enabling you to share URLs via email, ping them to Twitter and Facebook, and indeed send them into any compatible apps you've installed on the phone. You can even send a link to the Home screen, where it'll appear as an icon that instantly opens up the site.
Text management is another area where Android has really come on in recent versions. Long-pressing a chunk of text brings up a pair of tabs, which can be slid about to select a paragraph of copy. Tapping the highlighted area then copies it to the clipboard.