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Sony Xperia U Review

Sony Xperia U 7.5

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Sony Xperia U Review
Introduction:

The Sony Xperia U begs to be noticed with its removable bottom caps in different colors and boxy design, clearly aiming for the younger crowd, but its capable hardware and affordable price actually make it suitable for everybody.

We have a dual-core processor, the new NXT design line of Sony with the transparent strip in the bottom, a screen with good pixel density, and fast camera capable of HD video. On paper the only thing to hold the Xperia U back is its Android Gingerbread software, but do all these nice features work in sync in the latest Xperia phone for the mass market? Read on our review to find out...

Sony Xperia U Review
Sony Xperia U Review
In the box:

  • Travel charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Spare bottom cap
  • Warranty and information leaflets

Design:

Boxy like an old Volvo, the 12mm-thick Sony Xperia U is a shrunk copy of the Xperia S, complete with the curved back and the illuminated transparent strip at the bottom that lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it. Here it can light up in different colors - white, blue, green, red, purple or yellow, depending on the theme and song you play, and this is pretty eye-catching. It also serves a double purpose by housing the antenna, thus allowing easy signal access for improved reception.

The Sony Xperia U is a breeze to hold and operate with one hand - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U is a breeze to hold and operate with one hand - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U is a breeze to hold and operate with one hand - Sony Xperia U Review

The Sony Xperia U is a breeze to hold and operate with one hand


Sony Xperia U Review

You can compare the Sony Xperia U with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The illuminated transparent strip at the bottom lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it - Sony Xperia U Review
The illuminated transparent strip at the bottom lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it - Sony Xperia U Review
The illuminated transparent strip at the bottom lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it - Sony Xperia U Review
The illuminated transparent strip at the bottom lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it - Sony Xperia U Review
The illuminated transparent strip at the bottom lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it - Sony Xperia U Review
The illuminated transparent strip at the bottom lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it - Sony Xperia U Review

The illuminated transparent strip at the bottom lights up when you press the three capacitive “dots” above it


The navigational dots here are more responsive than on the Xperia S for some reason, the lock/power key is placed right underneath your thumb, and the volume rocker below it is comfortably long and wide, very easy to press, with good feedback.

Sony Xperia U Review
Navigational dots below the display - Sony Xperia U Review
Front-facing camera - Sony Xperia U Review
 

Navigational dots below the display

Front-facing camera


The curved back and sides made with soft touch plastic feel nice, and, since we are dealing with a fairly small 3.5” display, the phone is a breeze to hold and operate with one hand. One expected advantage of a thicker phone is that it is easier to grab it lying flat and go, instead of prying some anorexic slab off the table, as is the case with so many sub-10mm handsets these days.

microUSB port (left) - The sides of the Sony Xperia U - Sony Xperia U Review
Buttons on the right side - The sides of the Sony Xperia U - Sony Xperia U Review
3.5mm jack (top) - The sides of the Sony Xperia U - Sony Xperia U Review
Bottom edge - The sides of the Sony Xperia U - Sony Xperia U Review

microUSB port (left)

Buttons on the right side

3.5mm jack (top)

Bottom edge

The sides of the Sony Xperia U


Back - Sony Xperia U Review
Camera - Sony Xperia U Review
Back cover removed - Sony Xperia U Review

Back

Camera

Back cover removed


In order to spice things up for the target market, Sony has made the bottom section of the phone removable and replaceable with a cap of different color to suit your mood, clothes, or just because you can. There is an extra cap provided in the box, and a variety of other colors if you don’t like the particular combo supplied.

Pulling the cap out to replace with another color requires just a firm grip and pull-down, but you won’t find any slots underneath, it’s just for appearance purposes. To insert a SIM card you’d have to push the back cover, and slide it upwards, easy-peasy. Thankfully the phone sports a regular SIM slot and a removable battery, so about the only vice in that department is the lack of microSD card slot for expansion of the 4GB internal memory.


Display:

Sony Xperia U Review
No complaints about the 3.5” Reality LCD on the Sony Xperia U - it is sufficiently bright for outside visibility, with saturated colors and good viewing angles - better than on the Xperia S flagship actually, where contrast and brightness fade significantly from the sides. Here we only get a slightly yellowish cast when tilting on the right, and that’s about the only deviation.

Thanks to the smallish 3.5” size coupled with Sony’s typical 480x854 pixels of resolution we also have a very good pixel density of 280ppi, making text and small interface elements appear crisp and smooth. About the only gripe we have here is the lack of oleophobic coating on the display, so finger grease accumulates and gets smudged quickly and you have to wipe it pretty often.

Sony Xperia U 360-degrees View:



47 Comments
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posted on 28 May 2012, 08:51 9

1. kartik4u98 (Posts: 511; Member since: 19 May 2012)


only 4 gb memory with no expansion is a big no-no for me...:(
Waiting for ace 2...

posted on 28 May 2012, 09:10 9

3. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


That's so true :D the ONLY drawback of this phone... darn you Sony, you lost so many customers because of this decision!! lol
otherwise its a great phone...

posted on 28 May 2012, 12:44 5

11. Sarath (Posts: 19; Member since: 17 Jan 2012)


I have this phone and having usb on the go,you can connect it to any pen drive.
So it does really make up.

posted on 13 Jul 2012, 05:54

32. mobilefuture (Posts: 215; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


does it really have 4gb storage or is it 8gb?? every other website states it has 8GB. please confirm!!!

posted on 21 Jul 2012, 00:38

36. CombatantDrip19 (Posts: 3; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


4gb is user available(for music,vids etc),2gb for games nd 2gb fr OS.the latter two are not directly available to u

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 09:22

39. mrRicardo14 (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)


does the pre-installed apps included in the 2gb free for games and apps? does this mean you kinda get 6gb of memory?

posted on 26 Jan 2013, 13:06

46. saif713 (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


Internal memory is 8GB, Some of its (4GB) consumed by the OS (Android). You can use 2 gb of its for storing apps. then remaining of it is yours. so u will get 2+4=6 GB.
for many people 6 GB is well enough on phone.

posted on 28 May 2012, 08:56 7

2. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 813; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


The F is with the 4gb int. memory? for a smartphone, really? they could've at least loaded it with 8gb.

posted on 28 May 2012, 10:56 1

7. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Or 32gb. They're just being cheapskates.

posted on 28 May 2012, 15:13 10

12. LoonyLynx (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 May 2012)


Cheapskates ? Really ? The NAND memory is the most costliest part of a smartphone. This phone has an 8 GB internal memory, of which 2 GB can be used for applications and 4 GB is user accessible, meaning for songs n videos n pics n stuff.
I agree that they should have thrown in a micro sd card slot. But they're in no way making cheap phones ! Apart from this, this phone doesnt have a single flaw !

posted on 14 Jun 2012, 10:58

29. bvbarmy (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Jun 2012)


TRUE FACT: 1 GB of memory only actually costs £00.07 (7p).

posted on 29 May 2012, 00:25 2

19. JayRaj (Posts: 54; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


The actual internal memory is 8 gb of which 4 gb is for user content and the other 4 is for apps and stuff.

http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-u/specifications/

posted on 28 May 2012, 09:27 1

4. amaranth (Posts: 3; Member since: 28 May 2012)


4Gbs you have got to be kidding? Really?

And why are they still selling phones with Gingerbread?

posted on 28 May 2012, 10:55 9

5. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


How is "lack of oleophobic coating" a con? I've never seen it listed as a con on any other phone without an oleophobic coating.

posted on 28 May 2012, 16:24 4

15. Jyakotu (Posts: 844; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)


Agreed. I didn't even understand what PA meant when I read that. Like, seriously.?

posted on 28 May 2012, 10:56 4

6. blade (Posts: 32; Member since: 28 May 2012)


4gb is really little i agree but it also available at cheap price
this is the cheapest dual core phone i would not mind buying it also it sports usb otg so for someone it might not be a serious problem
but if this phone comes with 8 gb it dfinetly a win

posted on 28 May 2012, 15:16 4

13. LoonyLynx (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 May 2012)


It does has 8 GB. Just the user accessible is 4 GB. 2 GB for applications too.

posted on 28 May 2012, 10:58 1

8. darktranquillity (Posts: 284; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


4gb!. Sony must've been overtaken by some moron's

posted on 28 May 2012, 11:09 3

9. Yummy (Posts: 117; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


The first line under design: "boxy like a Volvo" You have to be old to lol at that XD

posted on 28 May 2012, 11:21 4

10. mooving (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 May 2012)


and the the reviewer mention nothing on Xperia Sola in comparison which almost the same price range instead recomend over last year model, ray
come on, could this be really phonearena review?

posted on 28 May 2012, 15:20 7

14. LoonyLynx (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 May 2012)


Daniel P. : A very nice review indeed. But can you please highlight the fact that this phone actually has a total 8GB of internal storage ! 2GB is for applications and 4GB is user accessible for data n stuff ! Most people here believe that it's just 4Gb ! Please elaborate !

posted on 28 May 2012, 16:28 3

16. Jyakotu (Posts: 844; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)


The phone's design looks great and way better than some of the slabs we see from other Android OEMs. Sony, honestly, has some of the better looking hardware for Android. If only Sprint and Sony were good, I would easily buy a Sony Android phone. *sighs* Also, like someone started, this phone has 8GB of storage, 2GB for apps, 4GB for users. And I'm starting to get used to lack of microSD slot. Face it, everything is about to transition to "cloud storage." Looking at the advantages now, I think it's pretty handy to have all your files stored on a website or your computer in case you lose your phone. And also, most of the cloud storage services with apps give you more than enough additional space for music, movies, videos and more.

posted on 28 May 2012, 19:43

17. Praesepe (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


This is a really good phone, its only "flaw" is the lack of microsd support. Now PhoneArena, review the Sony P, that's the real deal, I don't know where I've read it photos are even better than the S's.

posted on 02 Jun 2012, 16:50 1

25. issy_i (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 May 2012)


have you been sleeping? Xperia P review is allready out acouple of days ago

posted on 28 May 2012, 21:53 2

18. DawsonLee (Posts: 26; Member since: 03 Apr 2012)


The only draw back would be the absence of a micro SD card slot, wished Sony could be a bit wiser on that

posted on 29 May 2012, 03:37 1

20. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


sony cud make a phone with 13mpx cammera like on the gx and floating touch on xperia sola and white magic display on xperia u + the customizable colors on the xperia u !!!! this wud be a damn hell of a phone :D + an arc back

posted on 29 May 2012, 03:42 3

21. Zerogates (Posts: 2; Member since: 29 May 2012)


its a well known fact that phones tend to slow down once you start filling them up with a lot of apps and some hd games(which are what good android games today all about)......limiting the amount of memory allocation for these can work in greatly improving the phone's efficiency.....and for those of you who need more.....OTG is always there......u just need the cable and a sufficient capacity pendrive.....the features in this phone are simply unbeatable at this price guys....

posted on 29 May 2012, 08:05

22. Mittal (Posts: 493; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


I personally find the SOny Ericsson Experia designs much better than the NXT series!

posted on 30 May 2012, 06:51

23. AngelDust (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 May 2012)


Android newbie here - it is mentioned that it is upgradeable to ICS but how exactly does one go about this upgrade? Thanks in advance.

posted on 30 May 2012, 14:54 2

24. Nick_T (Posts: 170; Member since: 27 May 2011)


You will have to wait until Sony releases the software update first. Then eventually, you will get an update notification. It is hard to say exactly when this is going to happen, however, as these updates take time and release dates vary by region.

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Sony Xperia U

Sony Xperia U

OS: Android 4.0 2.3.7
view full specs
Display3.5 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (280 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
ST Erricson NovaThor U8500, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.41 x 2.13 x 0.47 inches
(112 x 54 x 12 mm)
3.88 oz  (110 g)
Battery1320 mAh, 6.6 hours talk time

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