Sony Xperia ion hands-on

Sony Xperia ion hands-on
Call it a long time in the making, but Sony is finally coming out of the woods with a smartphone that’s sure to buckle the knees of some of its competitors and keep them shaken up on wondering what just hit them. Even though we’ve been treated to some memorable Xperia devices from Sony Ericsson, it looks as though the partnership is over, as Sony decided to lay full claim on its line of smartphones. With the debut of the Sony Xperia ion, it marks the first time we’re seeing a smartphone being built in-house – and no longer the result of the former joint venture.

Yet another device that’s listed as being PlayStation certified, it’ll naturally pique the interest of hardened gamers all around, but unlike other devices we’ve seen in the past, the accompanying hardware makes it drool worthy. Looking at the Sony Xperia ion, it surely employs many of the same design characteristics we find on other Xperia branded devices, though, its brushed metallic exterior surely sprinkles a sense of premium to this beauty. And despite its larger size, we like how the handset comfortably contours to our hand thanks to its curved back – with its weight adding that harmonious balance to its solid construction.

Staring back at us, its 4.6” HD Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine is remarkably one of its standouts right from the start, thanks primarily to its 720p resolution (720 x 1280). Needless to say, it’s pretty detailed looking from a cursory look, but its ability to produce rich and vivid colors also attracts our attention – plus, it helps that its brightness output and viewing angles are very nice too. Beyond that, there’s still plenty to like about the Sony Xperia ion – like its 12-megapixel auto-focus camera with Exmor R sensor, VGA front-facing camera, 1080p video recording, 4G LTE connectivity, and its 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor.

With the latter, it’s an astounding mark, since it’s blessed as being the first Xperia smartphone to feature a dual-core CPU. Not surprisingly, it does offer a pretty responsive performance from our quick look at the platform, which is Android 2.3 Gingerbread for right now. When you look at the overall picture, this is undoubtedly shaping out to be a multimedia buff’s dream phone! From playing games to shooting photos/videos, the Sony Xperia ion is looking to flex its muscles to scare away the competition. Now let’s just hope that AT&T can somehow get this sooner than later – well, at the right price too!

*note that the sample unit we've tested here is branded as "Sony Ericsson". However, the final retail models will be only "SONY". 

Related phones

Xperia ion
  • Display 4.5 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 12.1 MP (Single camera)
    1.3 MP front
  • Hardware , 1GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1900 mAh
  • OS Android 4.1.2



36. rayman173

Posts: 61; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I might switch out my windows phone for this android.......its quite appealing and I always liked Sony's interface

33. iDroidx650

Posts: 83; Member since: May 26, 2010

This phone is great. good job sony! just don't launch it too late. We need this phone out before Spring to get some great sales.

32. nexuspeer

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

The Xperia Ion and its sister phone the Xperia S are great phones. They also will come with an optional Sony touchscreen accessory watch! I had the pleasure to test all of them at this year's CES2012 and also recorded a short video. See it here:

30. gammaSharma

Posts: 33; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Xperia S is light year ahead on looks from Ion. I don't like the looks of Ion at all as it resembles every other android hand set out there namely motorola, philips, sharp, etc etc. It does not look like Sony even.

29. rahuldasgupta8

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 11, 2012

New Sony Ericsson Xperia S is knowdout a very good smart phone but this time similarly we miss the xenon flash on this phone

37. spiderpig2894

Posts: 597; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

xenon are rare in smartphones because the battery of the smartphone is enough to power its components and xenon do use a lot of battery power when used.

27. sumit919

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

Why is Ericsson still printed there on the top of the phone. On the other sites i saw images with just SONY written over them..looked way more stylish

28. adjou

Posts: 106; Member since: Jul 06, 2010

/they are sort of prototype, not the real thing that is releasing into the market.

26. nando2do

Posts: 53; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

why is so difficult to google to provide 4.0 to other developers other than samsung?? it just bought motorola and not even them have update their dual core phones to 4.0 yet. i just dont get it..

31. gammaSharma

Posts: 33; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

4.0 has been released for development from dec, 2011 to all phone manufacturer by Google. Its just the development and integration of the OS with the Drivers of each Manufacturer thats taking time. For example there are many different parts on a phone from many manufacturers like different type of camera modules, display resolution, and other hardwares for which Device Drivers are to be Writtern and tested throughly before release. Above that there is the Custom UI of various manufactures that needs to be integrated with the new OS again. And moreover there are various Government and Environmental nomes the phone need to pass with the new OS in terms of radiation and all that takes quite some time depending on the Govt. in question. So, have patience, your update is under development & Test cycle right now.

25. Jyakotu

Posts: 868; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I honestly always felt that Sony had the BEST designs when it comes to Android smartphones. I also like their Timescape UI. Looks to be a solid phone for AT&T.

24. rockstarlive

Posts: 307; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

hey wait a min....... it still says Sony Ericcson. LOL

21. xiobnb

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

i want the xperia s !! the international version of xperia ion!!

19. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1258; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Sony is always a little behind others but with that comes true quality. It's the total package and that's what i really want in a phone and that's the kind of phone you can actually happily own for 2 years.

16. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

why they have only 5 home screens? Sony get at least 7 screens for options

18. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Yeah agree, I think we better file a petition to SONY then...

20. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

My HTC comes with 7, but I only use 3...

34. ChiX017

Posts: 308; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Sirisly? Even on my Lg screens are a burden

11. seylan

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Love it, I wish this version could be sold world-wide...but with the latest Snapdragon S4 Soc...I don't want to feel outdated!

15. RamyRamz69

Posts: 390; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

No one would really buy a Quad core phone if you ask me...too many problems. It will be just the same when Moto launched the first dual core phone in the world.

23. Jimstar

Posts: 259; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

That was actually LG with the Optimus 2X....though looking at the G2X here in the states, your point ironically still stands

22. xiobnb

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

buy the xperia s !! its the international version ! and it looks even better!!

8. adjou

Posts: 106; Member since: Jul 06, 2010

Lol, coming from a person with a sgs2 avatar. Too bad you will have to stick with plastic, while I will be using a metallic phone! ;)

7. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

More garbage from SE

14. RamyRamz69

Posts: 390; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

Atleast we buy our Sony products to use them, not show off with specs that we never use.

17. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Amen to that! Specs wont matter if you cant even max it!

6. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

im wondering about the playstation certification. will that just be by on screen controls? or will we finally see a decent control pad accessory? that could be pretty cool.

5. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

hopefully it will come with ICS when it hit the shelves..

4. marvellztune

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Let's just say bye-bye to single-core phones! :)

35. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Nokia Lumia 900, enough said...

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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