TODO alt text

Sony Ericsson Xperia Active review

Android for the exercising socialite

Sony ericsson xperia active review

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Active is a perfectly nice little smartphone, which isn't compromised in any way because of its outdoor/sporty ambitions.

The Android 2.3.4 software is packed with functionality and extra features added as part of Sony Ericsson's user interface, with the phone featuring a good camera, decent enough 720p video output and generally smooth, hassle-free operation all round.

We like

The capacitive water-resistant screen is very sensitive to the touch, with no noticeable slowness or hindrance caused by its waterproofing and 'wet finger' sensitivity.

Sony Ericsson's Android customisations are nice, for the most part, adding in little animations, user-friendly icon dragging and dropping features, Facebook stuff all over the place and hiding away many more clever touches to discover.

It really is waterproof. The very last thing we did when compiling this review, just in case, was dunk it in the sink for a few minutes. It survived. Everything still works. The rubbery stoppers and secondary internal case do the job.

We dislike

The low-end screen resolution of 320 x 480 means text isn't as sharp as it is on many other Android smartphones today. It's not unreadable and does work well in outdoor light, but if you do a lot of reading the slight blotchiness may become an annoyance.

Despite its toughness claims, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active feels rather light and plasticky. We haven't exactly tested it to destruction, but it doesn't feel like a tough, outdoor phone. Plus the plastic buttons around the edges, and the camera button in particular, seem rather flimsy.

Media playback is once again a weak point on a Sony Ericsson phone. You won't be copying across your AVI film collection to this one, not without converting everything to MP4 beforehand.

Verdict

It's another good performer from Sony Ericsson. The Xperia Active is little more than the company's Xperia Mini in a chunky, water-resistant case, but if that's what you want... this is it.

We're used to 'outdoor' mobile phones coming in awful shells and lacking features, but that's not the case here. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Active is a fast, usable, modern smartphone, that just so happens to be a bit better sealed off from rain and coffee than most.

The only possible competition for the Xperia Active comes from Motorola's Defy and the newer Defy+, which, with their huge screens and extra-bulky builds, are aimed at completely different people.

If you want a perfectly capable, cute, light and small phone that's waterproof and doesn't compromise on performance, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active's a fine choice. Your only choice, but still a perfectly good one.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory1 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXPERIA
Cellular Generation3.5G
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time4.88 Hour
Product Modelactive
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)110.8 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density192 ppi
Height92 mm
Width55 mm
Depth16.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time351 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA active Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXPERIA
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part Number1253-6951
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Takes whatever you throw at it. Goes wherever you go. And keeps track of your performance.

A tough Android smartphone for an active life. Xperia active is dust proof and water resistant to handle whatever comes its way. Rough conditions? Rainy hike? The display is scratch resistant and lets you scroll even when your fingers are wet. The phone comes with a gear kit and is preloaded with sports apps so you can plan, monitor and log your training - from your sofa or the slopes.