What you get here for your music and video playing fun is not much more than the usual Android basics, given a visual tweak and with a few interesting social networking features grafted on.

Sony ericsson xperia active

As with the likes of the Xperia Arc S and Xperia Ray, Sony Ericsson has added two key social tools on the Xperia Active player's main screen - its 'infinite' button and a Facebook Like icon.

Clicking the Like button does as you would expect, generating a link with artist and track details for you to spam out to the social site...

Sony ericsson xperia active

...while its infinite button performs a quick search of YouTube, Wikipedia and more, letting you idly browse for more facts and tracks from whoever's currently playing on your phone.

Sony ericsson xperia active

Playlist support is, again, your usual Android standard. The phone sorts your music by Artists, Albums and Tracks, with a long-press on any song enabling you to add it to an existing playlist or build a new one right there and then. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Active also automatically generates a Most Played, filters out any recently added songs and also displays ones you've never listened to.

Sony ericsson xperia active

There's also a graphic equaliser that, for once, doesn't require the listener to have headphones plugged in, which has a small effect on the sound quality. The external speaker is loud, too, enough to make you thoroughly embarrassed should you turn it on in a public place.

Sony ericsson xperia active

The Home screen Music widget is a simple and quite stylish option, which enables you to play/pause and skip tracks without opening up the app, although there are no controls within the Android Notifications pane or on the lock screen. But the headphones Sony Ericsson chucks in the box do contain a play/pause toggle, so users can pause their tunes without having to fumble with the phone.

Sony ericsson xperia active

As with the numerous other Sony Ericsson Android smartphones, video playback is a little disappointing. There's no DivX support, so all you can manage here by default are MP4 format files. And that awful grey box up there is Android's standard video player, which really, really needs a bit of cosmetic work.

Sony ericsson xperia active

If you need and enjoy new music you don't already know the words to, there's a shop pre-installed. Sony Ericsson's PlayNow shop will sell you MP3s, direct, from £1.50 a pop, plus any data fees you may incur. Which is stupidly expensive, but temptingly easy.