On the weekend, after my haircut in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, I strolled into one of the larger technology stores here called Broadway to play with the Sony Xperia S. In summary, I was very impressed!
Before I talk about my experience with the Sony Xperia S, here’s its list of main features:
- 4.3-inch AMOLED Display with Mobile BRAVIA engine 1280×720 (HD) Reality Display
- 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU Qualcomm MSM8260
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread (4.0 coming during the second quarter)
- HSPA 14.4Mbps 850/900/1900/2100MHz
- 1GB RAM, 16/32GB Interal Storage
- 12MP Rear Camera / 1.3MP HD Front Camera
- Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, NFC
As you can see, Sony have gone all guns-blazing with its first “Sony” only branded smartphone and is the first from the exciting Xperia NXT series. As you’ll see from my review of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, they’ve made a lot of improvements to make what was a good phone into a superb phone.
A feature to take note of right away, is the large 4.3-inch HD AMOLED display that’s driven by the Sony mobile BRAVIA engine. While it’s not super AMOLED that’s known for better viewing angles and black color, the mobile BRAVIA engine does ensure that the display has rich colors, enhanced contrast and less image noise. I didn’t have my Samsung Galaxy Nexus on hand, but the photos and animations I watched were a delight to view on the Sony Xperia S.
Another huge plus for the Sony Xperia S is the gutsy workhorse of a processor that is inside: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260. Scrolling through screens was quick. The only lag I noticed was rendering of photos – I’m attributing this to the 12MP camera on board delivering large sized image files. Besides that, it was much more zippier than its single core Xperia Arc predecessor.
EXMOR R Sensor Camera
Speaking about the camera, it’s actually pretty decent. I took both landscape and macro shots and was very pleased by the sharpness, colours and by, what looked to be, some depth of field. A lot about the great image quality, has to do with Sony’s EXMOR R sensor which is able to take excellent photos even in lowlight conditions.
I’ve never been a fan of a hardware camera button, but the advantage of having one does mean you can access the camera application a lot faster than by having to search through the app list. In the past it was more about the response time of the button that made me grumpy, however with the gutsier insides on the Xperia S, the time from pressing the button to capturing the image is quite fast.
Sony is right: The Xperia range has a distinguishable look. The Xperia S, looks like a slightly chunkier Xperia Arc although from initial glances looks a little boxy. I especially like the translucent section near the bottom that lights up with a cool blue glow that indicates what the touch area of the above it represents i.e. ‘back’, ‘home’ and ‘menu’. Sony uses a type of matte plastic for the casing of the smartphone which seems to be stain proof: the guy in the shop demonstrated easily wiping off a marking made by a ball point pen. Obviously this will come in more useful with the white version.
So as you can see with the few minutes of play time with the new Sony Xperia S, I like the device and it’s clear to see that Sony are on the right track. They’ve come a long way with their Xperia range and I believe this will easily be one of their best selling yet. The Sony Xperia S is finally on par and in some cases better than its competitors out there in there market.
Highly recommended Android!
Sony Xperia S : Introduction Video
Press Release for Sony Xperia S
9 January, 2012, Las Vegas, Nev. – Xperia™ S, the first smartphone from the new Xperia NXT series – next generation smartphones from Sony*, was today announced at Sony’s press conference ahead of the 2012 International CES show in Las Vegas. The new Xperia S is an Android smartphone that delivers a stunning viewing experience with a high resolution screen, Sony HD experiences and a 12MP camera that takes pictures in just 1.5 seconds from standby. Xperia S also comes with a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor for faster performance.
Xperia S within the world of Sony
The new Xperia S enables easy connectivity with multiple screens for consumers looking to share and enjoy content on whichever screen best suits their situation, whether it’s TV, smartphone, laptop or tablet. Consumers can watch their favourite content from the Sony Entertainment Network by connecting their Xperia S through HMDI to TV or share photos wirelessly with just one touch. Xperia S is also NFC (near field communication) enabled to allow consumers to share content with each other as well as enjoying an increasing number of NFC applications and services.
Biggest and best entertainment experiences from Sony
Xperia S will be able to access the richest entertainment experiences from Sony Entertainment Network**. Music Unlimited offers a global catalogue of 12 million unique songs while Video Unlimited has the latest Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows from all major studios***.
Xperia S is also PlayStation™ Certified, guaranteeing a high quality smartphone gaming experience and access to the PlayStation® Store****.
Instantly Recognizable Design
Xperia S showcases a new design approach referred to as “Iconic Identity”. The design will be replicated across the Xperia NXT series and creates a simple strong look that is instantly recognizable. The transparent element at the base creates an iconic silhouette where the display is emphasized and underlined. In addition, it provides illumination effects and integrates the antenna components.
The user Interface has been redesigned to match the minimalistic design of the hardware. The home screen has a new colorful flow background making full usage of HD Reality Display and dual-core processing power.
Xperia S will be available to consumers globally from the first quarter 2012. Launching on Android platform 2.3 (Gingerbread) Xperia S will be upgraded to Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) during the second quarter 2012.
Key Features for Xperia S
- 4.3 inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine with HD resolution screen (1280 x 720), as well as front (720p) and back (1080p) cameras for HD recording.
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor for fast browsing and content download, which can be stored on the internal 32GB flash storage.
- 12MP back camera with Sony Exmor R™ for mobile along with Fastest Capture to take shots in just 1.5 seconds directly from standby mode.
- NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled to access growing range of NFC applications and services as well as Xperia SmartTags.
- With HD sharing through DLNA, HDMI and using BRAVIA Sync for controlling your Xperia S with your TV remote control when connected to the TV, Xperia S delivers a full HD experience on TV.
Smart Extras for Android
The announcement of Xperia S is supported by the launch of three new Smart Extras™ accessories to enhance the experience on Android and to bring content to consumers’ smartphones in an entirely new way.
Xperia SmartTags – switch your smartphone settings with a single swipe
Xperia SmartTags work with any NFC enabled smartphone, including Xperia S. Simply touch a NFC enabled smartphone to a SmartTag, which is the shape and size of a small round token, and it launches a pre-configured profile in the phone, such as the alarm clock for a SmartTag by your bed or a GPS application for the SmartTag in your car. These profiles can be easily personalised to reflect any taste, designed to save consumers time and make their smartphone lives easier.
Smart Wireless Headset pro – the Bluetooth headset that does it all
This Bluetooth™ stereo headset for Android smartphones offers multifunctional features in addition to superior sound. On the display of Smart Wireless Headset pro users can read text messages, see incoming calls, access calendar notifications and much more. When detached from the phone it functions as a standalone MP3 player and radio.
SmartWatch – access apps and smartphone features with a micro display for Android
SmartWatch is a micro display accessory for communicating with an Android™ smartphone via Bluetooth. Consumers can, for example, discretely access text messages, social media updates and manage calls or music. The display is mounted on a strap and can be worn as a watch. Applications allowing users to personalize their SmartWatch experience will be available on Android™ market.