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Sony Xperia U Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Interface and Functionality:

We won’t spend much time reviewing the Timescape UI on the Xperia U, as it is the same Android Gingerbread overlay we find on the Xperia S, our review of which you can read here.

It is good-looking and functional with the Mediascape shortcut, and a plethora of widgets that cover things like social networking feeds and even app and media recommendations. Moreover, the Xperia U is expected to receive its Android Ice Cream Sandwich update.

The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review
The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread - Sony Xperia U Review

The Sony Xperia U comes with Timescape UI on top of Android Gingerbread


Sony has included the usual preinstalled apps, some of which are useful, some you can chuck, and it has also provided its Music and Video Unlimited services for consuming media with a Sony account.

Typing on the virtual keyboard was surprisingly accurate, considering the phone’s size, since the keys look quite smallish. The on-screen keyboard is well-spaced, but the keys are not as big as on the iPhone, for example, so hitting the right one takes getting used to.

Virtual keyboard - Sony Xperia U Review
Virtual keyboard - Sony Xperia U Review

Virtual keyboard



Processor and Memory:

Sony Xperia U Review
Sony is using the 1GHz dual-core NovaThor U8500 chipset by ST-Ericsson with ARM Mali-400 GPU in the Xperia U, just like on the Xperia P. It was the first mobile chipset with SMP multithreaded processing, and ST-Ericsson is the only mobile chipset maker besides Qualcomm that integrates the radio as well - HSPA+ in our case with the Xperia U - for a complete solution.

No complaints, since we can get a quite capable multicore chipset in affordable handsets like the Xperia U. The phone’s interface moves well with this chipset and the 512MB RAM are enough of you don’t overwork the Xperia U with multitasking. 

The biggest gripe memorywise is the lack of microSD card slot. The Xperia U is quite the chubby phone, so why would Sony stick us with just the 4GB of internal memory is puzzling. On the other hand, it has the generous 2GB of memory for installing applications, their cache and data, but that still leaves us with only 4GB user-accessible storage for your music, vids and so on.

There are some slight delays when transitioning here and there, but nothing an upgrade to the lighter Android 4.0 shouldn’t fix. Here are the benchmarks:


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu NenaMark 2
Sony Xperia U 2266 5419 28,3
LG Optimus L7 1886 2842 19,2
Samsung Galaxy S II 3113 6076 51


Internet and Connectivity:

The browser is powered well by the dual-core chipset, and rendering speeds, as well as panning and scrolling are swift. The phone renders the page in real time while zooming, which usually slows things a bit, but here the delay while pinching is negligible, even when there are Flash elements to stretch or compact.

The browser of the Sony Xperia U - Sony Xperia U Review
The browser of the Sony Xperia U - Sony Xperia U Review
The browser of the Sony Xperia U - Sony Xperia U Review

The browser of the Sony Xperia U


Text reflow is also seamlessly fitting the article text within the screen width upon double tap. Since we have a very good pixel density, text appears crisp, making reading a bit easier, despite the fairly small display for today’s Android standards.

The NovaThor U8500 chipset incorporates a 14Mbps HSDPA radio, and the phone also sports Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth and DLNA for streaming to your TV. Speaking of, the Media Remote app allows you to control a Sony Bravia TV via Wi-Fi.

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: 206; 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: 801; 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: 2349; 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: 2349; 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: 819; 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: 819; 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: 25; 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: 427; 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: 144; 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.

posted on 04 Jun 2012, 13:21

26. Afterlife737 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)


WTF?!?! Why pink? Otherwise good review

posted on 06 Jun 2012, 03:08

27. srinath.N (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


i m talki abt xperia u,,,al speak abt memry n etc but I heard dat there is a one mre problem in screen which has no "oleophobic" coating,Is it true??how far can i buy diz?can any bdy tel me...

posted on 06 Jun 2012, 07:37

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


It doesn't matter. You won't even notice the lack of an 'oleophobic' coating. All Sony phones come with a screen guard installed over the screen and 1 extra screen guard in the box. So you'll be fine. You can get this phone for about 16k in the market which makes it the best choice in that segment. The competition includes HTC One V, but there's no point buying a single core phone when you can get a dual core for about 500 bucks cheaper. It has USB on-the-go which means you can attach any pendrive, a USB mouse or even a USB keyboard to your device. It also has HDMI out, so you can mirror your screen onto a larger one. It is a very good recommendable all in one package. Hope this helps :)

posted on 18 Jul 2012, 09:26

35. thespacedude (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


hey can u answer a few questions please?

Does it have HDMI port for connecting it to TV?
Can we transfer songs from PC to the cellphone?
Is ICS (unofficially or officially) available for it yet?

posted on 21 Jun 2012, 07:39

30. TechnoDude (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


I do know that you can move apps on the usb just like you can do with a sd card but what will hapen if i remove the usb?
Pls i will buy this phone next week.

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 04:55

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


Can anyone please answer this??
1.if i have a music file in a pen drive and connect it to a xperia u via usb adapter,will i be able to play the song through the phone even if its not there in it?
2.can i substitute a battery of >1320 mah to the xperia u instead of the supplied one?

posted on 14 Jul 2012, 01:53

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


1. yes
2. no battery is non removable

posted on 14 Jul 2012, 04:51

34. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


battery is removable

posted on 21 Jul 2012, 00:42

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


thanks.
yes,the battery is removable.but i have to charge the phone everyday...so i was wondering if i could use a higher capacity battery so that i would have to charge less often!!

posted on 27 Aug 2012, 04:25

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


So it's storage kinda have 6gb? so you used the 2gb for apps? the ones you get from playstore? and the 4gb is for your files? the ones you get on you pc and others stuffs? please confirm this. thanks.

posted on 31 Aug 2012, 01:52

40. Leon967 (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Aug 2012)


Simply a stupid move by sony!i never imagined sony will do so! 4 gb so less in this generation!gangster rio for hvga phone alone takes 2 gb storage if you are a gamer!I have been using 16 gb card on my phone and its quite enough!I put hd videos on phone who takes around 300 mb each!I put 4-5 gb of songs,4-5 for videos including hd songs and rest 6-8 gb for games+pictures+sometimes movies and other stuffs keeping some free space!its enough for me 16 gb!I am planning of upgrading phone to xperia u but 4 gb users available so less for me not going for this phone!other features are brilliant like its lights cheap rate and dual core processer and others! Worst part 4 gb user available memory and even no micro sd slot damn u sony!you will be losing a huge customers!

posted on 03 Oct 2012, 08:11

41. Grishm (Posts: 52; Member since: 18 May 2012)


720p HD recording, seriously? The videos shot by this phone look as if they were shot by a cheap Chinese phone.

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 20:36

42. yugeshpillai619 (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)


I purchased this phone on 1st sept 2012 price of 17000/-, and within 10 days the was heating a lot, music player doesn’t worked properly and the side camera button never responded..13th sept 2012 i went to the sony service centre in munirka(new delhi) the person there told us that sony experia will not be repired as per company norms it will be a complete replacement. I gave the phone the work order number is SE1256311920 they told to wait for 1 week. After a week i contacted the service centre they told that please call the sony experia customer care centre for status they gave me a complaint number as 93756949 and told to wait for another 1 week.. i waited after week i contacted the customer care they told me that the phone mother board is not available...i told the executive that i dont want an repair i want a replacement as its a brand new phone....again a tickect was raised 93826709...on 5th oct 2012 i recived a call from the service centre stating that your new phone has reached service centre come and collect...i went there they gave the phone in a vegetable poly bag and with out battery...i argued with the service centre people but they denied...i gave the phone back to the service centre took my acknowledgement recipt....am still waiting for my new phone,,,,never buy a SONY product...i have spoken to my legal advisor,,,next monday am going lodge a complaint against the sony and the service center . my mobile number 9871297779.

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 20:36

43. yugeshpillai619 (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)


I purchased this phone on 1st sept 2012 price of 17000/-, and within 10 days the was heating a lot, music player doesn’t worked properly and the side camera button never responded..13th sept 2012 i went to the sony service centre in munirka(new delhi) the person there told us that sony experia will not be repired as per company norms it will be a complete replacement. I gave the phone the work order number is SE1256311920 they told to wait for 1 week. After a week i contacted the service centre they told that please call the sony experia customer care centre for status they gave me a complaint number as 93756949 and told to wait for another 1 week.. i waited after week i contacted the customer care they told me that the phone mother board is not available...i told the executive that i dont want an repair i want a replacement as its a brand new phone....again a tickect was raised 93826709...on 5th oct 2012 i recived a call from the service centre stating that your new phone has reached service centre come and collect...i went there they gave the phone in a vegetable poly bag and with out battery...i argued with the service centre people but they denied...i gave the phone back to the service centre took my acknowledgement recipt....am still waiting for my new phone,,,,never buy a SONY product...i have spoken to my legal advisor,,,next monday am going lodge a complaint against the sony and the service center . my mobile number 9871297779.

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 20:36

44. yugeshpillai619 (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)


I purchased this phone on 1st sept 2012 price of 17000/-, and within 10 days the was heating a lot, music player doesn’t worked properly and the side camera button never responded..13th sept 2012 i went to the sony service centre in munirka(new delhi) the person there told us that sony experia will not be repired as per company norms it will be a complete replacement. I gave the phone the work order number is SE1256311920 they told to wait for 1 week. After a week i contacted the service centre they told that please call the sony experia customer care centre for status they gave me a complaint number as 93756949 and told to wait for another 1 week.. i waited after week i contacted the customer care they told me that the phone mother board is not available...i told the executive that i dont want an repair i want a replacement as its a brand new phone....again a tickect was raised 93826709...on 5th oct 2012 i recived a call from the service centre stating that your new phone has reached service centre come and collect...i went there they gave the phone in a vegetable poly bag and with out battery...i argued with the service centre people but they denied...i gave the phone back to the service centre took my acknowledgement recipt....am still waiting for my new phone,,,,never buy a SONY product...i have spoken to my legal advisor,,,next monday am going lodge a complaint against the sony and the service center . my mobile number 9871297779.

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 22:35

45. heliorodrigues (Posts: 3; Member since: 08 Dec 2012)


Don't listen the haters, it is a good phone and yes have 8GB of internal memory, not 4 GB! and you also can use microSD external adapter and pen drive also... And already update the phone for ICS and soon will be for jelly bean already announce by them.

posted on 29 May 2013, 02:05

47. Iqdar (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 May 2013)


If it have small memory so no problem you can store memory in usb etc

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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
512 MB 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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