Sony Xperia ion ReviewSony Xperia ion 8
The greatest thing about the 12MP Exmor R sensor on the Xperia ion is how quickly it can be accessed. The camera interface is the same rich in camera functions UI as in the Xperia arc S, down to the 3D Sweep Panorama mode, whose results can only be watched on Sony's 3D HDTVs via the HDMI port. There is also a 3D Sweep Multi Angle panorama mode now, taken directly from the Sony Cybershot camera series, which has a narrower frame range, but can be previewed directly on the phone by tilting the screen left and right for a nice stereoscopic effect.
Seeing that it shares the same camera found with the Xperia S before it, the results do not differ this time around, as the quality of its shots are similar. For those wondering, the handset is game enough to replace your point and shoot. Naturally, it excels with taking outdoor shots in plenty of lighting, but we do notice just a bit of over-sharpening with its details – though, color reproduction appears to remain balanced. In low lighting, though, details are softer in tone, but our biggest complaint is its slow focus, which results in blurring if you don’t hold it steady. Thankfully, the LED counteracts most of the issues.
1080p video recording is adequate for most situations, seeing that the results are in line to what we see with its still image quality. However, the focus is once again showing off its ugly side, as it takes an extreme amount of time to adjust. On top of that, its audio recording is somewhat wonky with its distorted sound.
The music player has a more minimalistic interface now, with Metro-style “tiles” under the My Music tab that categorize your songs by artists, albums, playlists and so on. Even the back button in the player’s interface has an uncanny resemblance to the back button in Windows Phone. There is a “Sense Me” category that can pick tracks based on your mood, and the Music widget appears on the lock screen so you can control your playback faster from there. Sadly, its speaker is abysmally poor with its distorted tones and weak volume output.
Giving a lot of credit to its 4.6” HD Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine, the Xperia ion is probably the best smartphone in Sony’s stable for watching videos. Supporting a variety of codecs, it’s able to flawlessly play our test video that’s encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution. With its BRAVIA engine, it’s able to adjust the display’s saturation to provide the most optimal viewing experience.
Unlike its rivals, we’re glad to find the Xperia ion sporting a more favorable (and traditional) microHDMI port to gain that always-useful mirrored experience on a high-def television.
As expected, AT&T makes sure to let everyone know about its presence on the Xperia ion – the crew consists of AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Ready2Go, Live TV, myAT&T, and AT&T Messages. Aside from those carrier apps, we also find Amazon Kindle, OfficeSuite, and YPmobile rounding out the list of third party apps preloaded on the phone. Oh yeah, did we mention that it’s PlayStation certified as well? There’s no separate PlayStation store just yet, but we’re told that it’ll be arriving in the near future to give owners a hub to easily purchase games.
1. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 586; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)
Really?? You haven't seen those Sony SmartTags before? And it is like your stating that Samsung TecTiles were the first NFC chips that can activate apps and what-so-ever with a tap.
2. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
Sony's design used to be awesome... they overused it with too many models. I'm getting bored looking at it --- I'd rather get the white 4X HD, which has 8.5 btw --- or even the S3. I'm not even impressed with the GX's design.
3. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
This phone was the last development of the SE joint venture, and as such, ended up on thin ice.
Looks like Sony just gave up on it focusing on their first batch of new Xperias.
And now they're selling it on a discount price just because they have it.
And yeah, this is a great value for money.
Way better than HTC Rezound, and hugely superior to Nokia lumia 900.
5. Martine (Posts: 102; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
When will Sony learn from the mistakes of SE and just upspec their flagship device. Not only did they release this phone and Xperia S with S3 processors, they still managed to release the ion with Gingerbread on top.
6. mtajulmuluk (Posts: 18; Member since: 15 Jun 2012)
All sony smartphone, is same body n design.
7. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)
Pros over HTC One X:
Better Multi-Media options
Much more stuff included in the box
AND, it will get ICS AND Jelly Bean(Galaxy Nexus, which has a worse processor and 1 GB RAM is getting it. Sony managed to put ICS smoothly on 512 MB RAM single core devices so hell yeah they can do it)
8. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Galaxy Nexus processor is worse, please, spare the lies, TI-OMAP is better than S3, of course Exynos is the best among the dual cores from last year, S4 is the current best dual core this year.
20. u-suck-more (Posts: 529; Member since: 26 Aug 2011)
to those idiots that disliked that comment: TI-OMAP 4 is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than S3. just bcos Sony uses the S3, it doesn't mean the S3 is good. the S3 is one of the worst dual cores, if not the worst
9. hitechredneck (Posts: 96; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
Have to say very disappointed in this phone. Great camera and display and no doubt got performance but its the loudspeaker. The experia S had a great call quality and very loud so what happened with the ion? Better off buying an S in my opinion. Wanted this phone but now I think i'll pass and see what happens in the fall/Q3.
10. TMach (Posts: 452; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)
Stop your whinging people, if you don't like it don't buy it! I guess this fell between the cracks of SE morphing into Sony but they have decided to release it anyway as it is still a very good phone and does everything you would want from a smartphone!
11. rpankaj (Posts: 29; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)
i m nt getting any android phones now..they just keep increasing cores n android versions.. no one cares for battery... rather i will keep phone only for browsing n phone calls +sms... some apps... for gaming, i got pc. for videos, of course, my hdtv n pc serves way better.. lolz.. i will get an apple iPhone over android due to instability of droids
12. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Sony is late, as always. For a flagship is too weak, in camera department it has no chances against 808 or even N8...hell! S III makes similar photos!)
What sony is trying to do? They want to back in the game and compete with monster phones like S III, One X and 4X with...that? Good phone overall. But in direct comparison with competitors falls behind.
Or maybe sony has taken a path similar to what Nokia did. Little steps, trying to grab as much of this segment as it can and after some time attack the biggest fish.
13. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
Sony could be a stand out if they used a hybrid platform. Pack in high end Android hardware spec's with ICS and put along side it Vita hardware, controls and game slot. Pop a Vita game or memory card and launch Vita mode with a app. Hit a button and it goes back into Android mode while saving your position. Best of both worlds.
Every year you could upgrade the Android related hardware and software but keep the Vita stuff the same. Sony still makes the same money as the stand alone Vita and the customer has Android and it's ecosystem. Gives Android a solid partner with a gaming platform.
14. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)
this phone is BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait to buy mine tomorrow! and forget you guys keep planing bout the iON have a older processor unit or no ICS. It will be upgradbale to ICS. Plus SONY said themselves theirs NO need for QUAD CORE processors. the only few things that sold me is the 12mp and the QUICK CAMERA by their CYBER SHOT technology. PLAYSTATION CERTIFIED plus it goes along with my PS3. Also their MOBILE BRAVIA ENGINE LCD SCREEN. I'm buying XPERIA Phones from now on NO MORE MOTOROLA phones for me
15. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3107; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Not saying this is a bad device but for just 100 more you can get the one x or sgs3. When it comes to being future resistant you can't find better devices to hold on to for that 2 year period.
16. Birds (Posts: 1155; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
lol, unless you are rolling in money, every bill count and I would take the Sony Xperia Ion over both the SGSIII and the One X simply because it is cheaper. 100 dollars may seem like its not alot of money but where i'm from, we think of a hundred dollars like 100,000 pennies. More zeros make it sound more important so we do stuff tightly especially when it comes to those outrages bills at the end of the month.
17. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3107; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
You do realize you are still spending the same amount each month regardless. If you buy a phone because it's free and it craps out on you, guess what? You get the same damn phone again through insurance. My friend hates his DROID charge and only bought it because it was cheap. Ended up hating it after a short few months and had to buy the RAZR full retail price. Where had he spent the extra 100 dollars he would have been happy and didn't have to buy another for full retail. Remember 2 years is a long time to stick with one phone, spend a little more and be happy with your purchase.
19. Birds (Posts: 1155; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
The point is is that people will always shell out money to the cheaper device that seems like a bargain because it has great initial appeal. My point is that the vast majority of consumers don't dig deep. If they see a bargain they hunt it down... lol
18. thachlel (Posts: 75; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)
If $100 more is matter then go get free phone. I'm pretty sure AT&T very glad n wait ting for u to sign up one
22. sammy_saw (Posts: 28; Member since: 07 Jan 2012)
Dose anybody know if this phone support video call ?
23. gurnblansten (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)
Bought one, biggest mistake since starting Android use with an X10. It is easy to bog the processor down, consumes battery life and if you fire up the Bravia (58% Battery consumption) forget about any lengthy phone calls. A month into it's release and gingerbread painful to use with no word at all on official Ice Cream Sandwich (Sony scrambling to fix the 2011 ICS mess they created with updates to update of ICS, a few 2012 phones are now getting ICS - pathetic development/release cycle has not changed under Sony only). Boxing it back up - Have a 32GB Samsung Galaxy S3 coming home to take it's place. It will have Jellybean by the time they release ICS for this phone. HUGE mistake, even at $0 on two year contract paying more for HTC OneX or Samsung S3 is warranted. Seems the Playstation game market is being outsources as well, HTC has signed on so OneX users will be able to play Sony games when they launch the Market in North America (Store laughably needs ICS which Ion lacks).