Sony Ericsson Xperia Active review

Android for the exercising socialite

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The Sony Ericsson Xperia Active comes with a 5MP camera alongside an LED flash, which puts it on a par with the sensors found in Sony Ericsson's sweet little Xperia Mini and Mini Pro.

Sony ericsson xperia active

The camera app is the same as we've seen on all of Sony Ericsson's Android smartphones this year. The default option is to sense scenes automatically with its Scene Recognition option, but toggle that off and you can manually pick from the usual modes such as Landscape, Portrait, Party, Sports, Beach and Snow, and one specifically for capturing text called Document.

Sony ericsson xperia active

You also get the same 2D and 3D Sweep Panorama tool in here that also featured on the Xperia Arc S and will soon arrive via software updates on Sony Ericsson's other phones. It attempts to piece together a super-wide shot either horizontally or vertically, resulting in massive pictures that are stitched together very well indeed.

It's a right pain to make work, though, with endless error messages complaining you're moving too fast or slow, plus half-broken shots full of grey areas appearing.

Sony ericsson xperia active

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SWEEP PANORAMA: If you can put up with its eccentricities and don't mind taking shots six or seven times, it does a good job of capturing wider scenes.

Sony ericsson xperia active

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MACRO MODE: The macro does a good job, too, letting you capture all manner of tiny detail.

Sony ericsson xperia active

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LANDSCAPE: The Xperia Active's camera is good at capturing the general mood of a scene, with light and dark coming across well. But detail's not great when pics are viewed at full size on a desktop, with organic features turning to mush and losing some sharpness.

Sony ericsson xperia active

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ZOOM: There's a digital zoom that really flies in, but there's a big drop in quality.

Sony ericsson xperia active

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PORTRAIT: But face shots are great. Red-eye isn't much of a problem, plus the Active seems to like capturing human skin tones more than brighter colours.

Sony ericsson xperia active

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FLASH: The flash is a bit aggressive. It's fast and the camera manages to focus well enough in low light, but we found it produced super-bright results when the LED fired.

Sony ericsson xperia active

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INDOOR: Again, with the flash active, indoor shots are rather harsh.

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Elsewhere, you can turn off the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active's shutter sound effect completely, toggle its digital image stabilisation on or off, plus there's a self-timer, the option to completely turn off the touchscreen shutter button if you're a bit clumsy, and a nice slide-in gallery of recent photos.

It's also very fast to use, firing off shots quickly without lag. In low light it'll take a little longer to focus, but you still feel the camera's generally quick and responsive.

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.