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Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia active

Posted: , posted by Basil K.

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Interface and Functionality:
 
With a smaller than most display, the Sony Ericsson Xperia active’s UI does the right thing and borrows directly from the working formula found on the Sony Ericsson Xperia mini / Pro. This endows the user with all the benefits of Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications enabling comfortable use on a miniature display. Most notably these tweaks include: shortcut screen corners, each housing between 1 and 4 application shortcuts that expand upon selection, a T9 portrait keypad for text entry with QWERTY available in landscape and redesigned widgets.
 
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active has Android 2.3.4, plus Sony Ericsson specific UI modifications - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review

Due to the small screen, typing on the portrait on-screen keyboard is not among the best of experiences, so we would recommend sticking to the landscape QWERTY, which isn't as great as what we have on bigger phones as well, but is tolerable.
 
On-screen keyboard - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
On-screen keyboard - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review

Pre-loaded applications include a data monitor app, Connected Devices (DLNA) and other Sony Ericsson standards such as LiveWare and TimeScape, which now includes plug-ins from Android Market, adding additional services that you can follow through the program, like Gmail or Foursquare. Device specific apps include WalkMate, a pedometer app which tracks your steps and the rather long winded iMapMyFITNEESS, a holistic fitness application that tracks workouts and nutrition and even connects to a separate heart-rate monitor that can be bought separately for accurate calorie consumption.

Connected Devices - Pre-loaded applications on the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Pre-loaded applications on the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
LiveWare - Pre-loaded applications on the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
iMapMyFITNEESS - Pre-loaded applications on the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review

Connected Devices

 

LiveWare

iMapMyFITNEESS


We were able to get localized in about 3 minutes, by using GPS satellites alone. When using aGPS, we were found instantly.
 
Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review


Internet and Connectivity:
 
The Sony Ericsson Xperia active offers quad band GSM and dual band 3G as well as the usual, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microUSB connectivity as well as DLNA.

The internet experience on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active is satisfying on the whole though as can be expected, is hampered by the small 3" screen. This means that if you just want to check a couple of websites, or make a quick search the experience should be fine, though for longer usage it might start to get cumbersome.
 
The Android browser runs very well on the Xperia mini, with no significant delays in scrolling, zooming, etc. In addition, due to its 1GHz processor and native Flash support, you won't miss a thing when browsing. The phone stays responsive even when viewing a Flash-intensive website.

Android browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Android browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review


Camera:
 
There's a 5-megapixel camera on the Sony Ericsson Xperia active which is also capable of recording 720p video. The interface is in tune with the rest of Sony Ericsson's new line, borrowing heavily from the Sony Cybershot camera UI. Most options are accessible within a single tap, and you can also customize their arrangement, so that what you need the most stays at your fingertips.
 
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Gallery - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review

Camera interface

Gallery

 

We managed to take some passable photos, though colors are somewhat dull and there is a lack of fine detail. The situation doesn't change much when you move indoors, with things just getting a little noisier. The LED flash is, unfortunately, pretty weak so won't help you improve the quality of your photos tоo much.
 
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review
Samples made with the Sony Ericsson Xperia active - Sony Ericsson Xperia active Review

The same can be written about the 720p video. Again, we're witnessing a mostly blurry image that lacks fine detail and clarity, all the while having these accurate, yet somewhat dull colors.

Sony Ericsson Xperia active Sample Video:




It also features Sony Ericsson's new “3D camera” app, which is designed to take a 3D photo, although it is a single lens device.
 

Multimedia:

As we said in the beginning, the Sony Ericsson Xperia active features the Mobile Bravia Engine, which makes viewing pictures and video on the phone's screen a much bigger pleasure. Out of the box, the handset is capable of playing H.264 and MPEG-4 video at up to 720p resolution. For other codecs, you'll obviously have to install a 3rd-party player.
 
Sony Ericsson's music player is user-friendly, with big buttons for easy navigation. You have lots of different goodies to play with, like equalizer settings and the xLOUD option, which should enhance the loudness of the speaker. We actually found it to add some low frequencies to the mix, making for even easier listening. Finally, there's the handy infinity button that lets you perform quick searches for a song's lyrics, karaoke videos on YouTube, artist's bio, etc.
 
The earphones included with the phone, the MH650 perform above average, with well-balanced sound which you can manipulate using the various equalizer presets. There are also a range of earbuds included.

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PhoneArena rating:
6.5Good
Display3.0 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (192 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size3.62 x 2.17 x 0.65 inches
(92 x 55 x 16.5 mm)
3.91 oz  (111 g)
Battery1200 mAh, 4.88 hours talk time

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