Sony Xperia J review

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

Sony Xperia J review
Mid- to low-end device brings curvy Ice Cream Sandwich at a low price

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The Sony Xperia J comes equipped with the excellent Google Maps, the search giant's free mapping solution which not only lets you explore the world, but also provides you with directions, traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation.

Viewing maps on the Xperia J is easy thanks to the 4-inch display, but the sluggish processor comes into play again, as it takes a few seconds to load the map – even longer if you have traffic updates turned on.

Sony Xperia J review

GPS lock wasn't particularly quick either, with the Xperia J taking at least five seconds to starting pin pointing our position, but once it got a lock, it managed to hold on it and track us relatively well.

We did experience a fair amount of juddering as we zoomed in and out of the maps and there was a couple of seconds delay as we panned around and waiting for new areas to load.


We it comes to app selection you're spoilt for choice thanks to the Android operating system and the presence of Google Play, giving you over 700,000 apps to choose from.

Sony Xperia J review

In terms of pre-installed applications Sony has furnished the Xperia J with a few, with the obvious inclusion of the Google range all present and correct including Maps, Gmail, Navigation and Google+.

As we mentioned Facebook and Twitter have been helpfully loaded on, making it quick and easy to jump onto your favourite social networks from the word go.

Sony Xperia J review

The Connected Devices app allows you to stream content to and from the Sony Xperia J and other devices on the same wireless network, such as TVs and computers.

The app automatically searches for compatible devices and you can then select the one you want and push your media to it.

Music and Videos is a peculiar app. It's not your destination to download or stream your favourite tunes or films; it's actually a social aggregator of what your friends are listening to/watching.

You can share you favourite tracks or YouTube clips via the application, as well as gorge on what your friends like, but overall it all seemed pretty pointless and we couldn't see ourselves using it… ever.

OfficeSuite allows you to view various documents including Word, PDF, Excel and Powerpoint. You can't create or edit documents on the fly though – you'll need to spend £9.29 on the Pro version for that.

That said it's handy to have a viewer pre-installed on a device, especially if you download documents from the internet.

TrackID is Sony's music recognition app which works in a similar way to the likes of Shazam and SoundHound – play it a short clip of music and it will work out what you're listening to.

Perfect when you're out and hear a song but don't know what it is, and the integration with the FM radio app on the Xperia J is a nice, and useful touch.

Smart Connect lets you program the Xperia J to turn certain settings on or off when you connect the handset to a peripheral.

For example you can have the Xperia J turn on your alarm and set your ringtone to silent when you plug in the charger, or open up the Walkman app when you plug in a set of headphones.

There are three preset options, but you can easily edit these and create your own ones, with the ability to automatically post to Facebook or send a text as well as open apps and toggle settings.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.