Sony Xperia S review

Goodbye Ericsson. Can the Japanese powerhouse go it alone?

TODO alt text

The Sony Xperia S comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread preloaded. That's not a massive surprise since the majority of Android handsets at the moment come with that, though it is a disappointment since Android Ice Cream Sandwich is the one that everyone is going for right now.

Sony Xperia S review

It's been out a little while and we're sad that Sony couldn't come up with the goods here. Yes, there is a promised upgrade later this year so it's not all bad, but we'd be lying if we said we didn't feel it took a little of the gloss off the whole experience.

Sony Xperia S review

Sitting atop Gingerbread is Sony's Timescape skin which has been around on the Xperia handsets for a while. We've never been overly impressed with Timescape but it seems to work well here.

Sony has given us some nice new widgets to play with – just the usual type of things like toggles, photo frames, music control and the like – but with the Xperia wallpaper now being live, we must admit to being completely shallow and in love with the look.

That Bravia screen really adds to the experience and everything just looks crisp and fresh. Definitely a plus for Sony here and we would go so far as to say that this is as good as Apple's Retina display. This has to be seen to be believed.

Sony Xperia S review

You get five homescreens and we couldn't see a way to add any more but fret not since this is Android which means that you can easily do so if you change to another launcher with many free alternatives available.

The only real complaint we had here – and it is minor – is that coming from a Samsung Galaxy S2, we'd grown used to the fact that we could pull down the Android notification bar and toggle things like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off here which Sony doesn't subscribe to. It's not a big issue as there is a toggle widget on another homescreen but we are fans of the HTC Sense/Samsung Galaxy way of doing it.

Sony Xperia S review

The app drawer itself is pretty standard fare – the icons are stored in a standard 4 x 5 grid though Sony does give you the opportunity to rearrange them in a number of different ways. You can fire up as many apps as you care to on this baby and it doesn't seem to faze it. The 1GB of RAM and 1.5Ghz dual-core processor put in a stellar effort and we couldn't seem to tire it out no matter what we threw at it.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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
ColourBlack
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 Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
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