Sony Xperia S review

Goodbye Ericsson. Can the Japanese powerhouse go it alone?

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Sony Xperia S review

Now here's where we think Sony has done something really stupid. It's fitted the Xperia S with a 1750mAh battery. That's not stupid in itself. But what is, is the fact that it has sealed it in.

Yup. Maybe they've taken lessons from Apple but if there's one way to raise the heckles of phone users, it's to put an irremovable battery which can then not be replaced when the power runs down. Which it will because the Xperia doesn't half guzzle juice.

Sony Xperia S review

We expected nothing else really as that Bravia screen isn't going to give you such beauty with no payoff. And if you do a lot of stuff with that screen on, you'll soon feel the pinch.

Sony Xperia S review

We managed to get a full day of usage out of the Xperia S when frugal but we weren't able to enjoy it as much as we could have done for that reason. It came off charge at 8am and we spent a good hour taking photos, browsing Twitter and listening to the FM radio.

By 10am, it was down to 69%. We moderated the use a lot after that panic inducing reading and got to 8pm before the battery conked out completely. Talk time is estimated as up to 8:30 hrs and 420hrs standby by Sony itself but this always has to be taken with a pinch of salt as that will be under optimum conditions and based on you using the Xperia S for little else than speaking. Who does that these days?

Sony Xperia S review

When it comes to connectivity, this phone has it all. The Xperia S ships with all the obvious bits and bobs like Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth but also includes the latest big thing: NFC. Although we had little use for it, we are assured over the coming year that this will transform our lives.

HSDPA is fast. And we mean really fast. Which is good because it means that we can take advantage of Android's brilliant ability to use the phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. One thing we did notice is that it doesn't automatically find your Wi-Fi network.

We're not sure if that was just a bug with our handset but we had to go through the settings to locate our network and join it rather than a pop up appearing when we first came into range. It only happened the once but it struck us as odd.

You can also tether the phone using the USB cable but remember, if you're on a Mac, using (or trying to use) said cable may put you into an early grave.

Sony Xperia S review

For those of us who just love to bore our friends/neighbours with our holiday snaps, DLNA is present and supported. We're told it works like a charm for those with Sony TV's (we're not lucky enough to have one) but we can confirm it is spot on if you try to use it with a PS3. Or you can go down the old fashioned route and use a cable.

Our review unit helpfully had a HDMI cable enclosed and the Xperia S has a HDMI out socket at the side so all should be hunky dory if you'd rather do it that way - and content did indeed look great even when chucked onto a large 50-inch screen.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.30 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia S
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time8.50 Hour
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)144 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density342 ppi
Height128 mm
Width64 mm
Depth10.6 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time420 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA S Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXperia S
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeGyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Accelerometer
Manufacturer Part Number1257-3114
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Experience thrills. In HD.

First day of the summer. Last day at the beach. Memories may fade, but the Xperia S HD mobile keeps them bright. Share the moment via a video chat in HD.

Or record it all in full HD video. View in razor-sharp clarity on the stunning 4.3" Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Want more? Simply plug your Xperia S into your TV's HDMI port and enjoy your HD content on a bigger screen.

Experience now. With lightning-fast capture.

A single key press takes you from sleep to snap in just over a second. With the 12 megapixel camera of Xperia S, you'll never miss another shot again. And you can keep on shooting. No delays, no missing the subject. Low light? No worries. The Exmor R for mobile camera sensor lightens up any gloomy day. Then share your pictures on a big screen. A single swipe of the display, and you can enjoy them on your tablet, TV or laptop via DLNA.

Limited Warranty2 Year