Sony Xperia J review

Can the Sony Ericsson inspired J jump in and make a splash?

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Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 4 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 7.30 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 854

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  • Nice design
  • Good battery life
  • Decent price


  • Very laggy
  • Poor camera
  • Awful keyboard

The Sony Xperia J is the smaller and cheaper brother to James Bond's Xperia T, but don't expect to find this handset mingling with scantily clad women - the Xperia J is far more reserved, less flamboyant, happier to stay out of the limelight and just get on with life without frenzied car chases through the French Riviera.

There's a less flamboyant price as well, with the Sony Xperia J setting you back a manageable £170(around $275/AU$265) SIM-free, or you can have it for free on contracts starting at as little as £10.50 per month on a two year deal.

Sony Xperia J review

With that price the Xperia J is left fighting against the Orange San Diego, HTC Desire C, BlackBerry Curve 9320 and the slightly cheaper Sony Xperia Miro.

Looks wise the Sony Xperia J is very similar to the Xperia T, with both handsets taking design cues from the popular Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and Xperia Arc S.

Sony Xperia J review

The iconic arched back of the Xperia J is the strongest nod to the past Sony Ericsson handsets, and provides a unique design which we found pleasing to the eye.

This also means that the Sony Xperia J sits nicely in the palm, and at 124g we reckon it's pretty spot on in terms of weight, with a perfect balance in the hand and its slender 124.3 x 61.2 x 9.2 mm chassis is certainly not overbearing.

Sony Xperia J review

It's a sturdy handset, with a good build quality, and while the rear plastic case is a little on the thin side, it's easy enough to remove, unlike the one found on the Nokia Lumia 820.

On the front you're greeted by a 4-inch display which is relatively bright, but at 480x854 isn't too sharp, especially when you consider the San Diego has a 600x1024 offering.

Sony Xperia J review

That's not to say it's a poor screen and it's now been updated to Android 4.1, which brings battery savings, a new quick settings bar and Sony Select, a (boring) recommender of apps and games - stay tuned for our updated review. With a single-core 1GHz processor and 512MB running the show it manages to really work well too - for the most part.

Below the display is a bezel housing back, home and menu keys, with Sony not opting for on-screen controls, nor replacing the menu button with the multi-tasking function Google recommends.

Sony Xperia J review

There's also a front facing, VGA camera above the display while on the left there's a microUSB port for charging and connecting the Xperia J to a computer.

It's not a location we're fond of, as a charging port at the base of a handset makes it much easier to use when plugged in.

Sony Xperia J review

On the right there's a power/lock key at the top, with a volume rocker switch below. We found the power/lock key too small and difficult to press, making it a chore to do the simple task of locking the Xperia J, or waking the screen.

Up top there's just a centralised 3.5mm jack, which according to Nokia and its Lumia 920 makes it easier to slip a phone into your pocket when headphones are plugged in.

Sony Xperia J review

Round the back of the Xperia J, the curved rear cover sports a slightly rubberised finish, and while it's not quite as grippy as the Desire C, we didn't feel like we were prone to dropping the handset.

You get a 5MP rear camera flanked by a single LED flash in the top left corner, while at the base there's a speaker grill.

Sony Xperia J review

Hit the power/lock key and a ambient light will radiate out from the silver strip of bezel on the base of the Xperia J – these lighting touches are popular with Sony (and previously Sony Ericsson), and we can trace them all the way back to the w850i with its pulsating orange menu button.

The Sony Xperia J is an attractive, solid and well appointed handset set at a reasonable price which is sure to tempt some.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
SAR Value0.73 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia J
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD, microSD High Capacity (microSDHC)
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time7.30 Hour
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 854
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)124 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density245 ppi
Height124.3 mm
Width61.2 mm
Depth9.2 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time618 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXperia J Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXperia J
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Magnetometer
Manufacturer Part Number1268-2315
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

For your listening pleasure

Found the right track? The "WALKMAN" app keeps you in touch with your music. Just plug in your earphones and listen in soul shaking clarity. Or connect to wireless speakers, crank it up with xLoud loudness enhancement and use your phone as the ultimate DJ deck.

Get the bigger picture

Watch the world, big and bright on the large 4.0" screen. Or watch your favourite films. Browse the intuitive "Movies" app and enjoy the drama that matches your mood, sharp and clear. Show time? Connect the Xperia™ J DLNA Android phone to your TV or Tablet via Wi-Fi® and DLNA® and give people the bigger picture.