Performance:

Call quality with the Xperia S is very good, with loud and clear voices in the earpiece on our end, while the other side said we sounded very clean, with strong volume, and the noise-canceling mics managed to weed out the ambient sounds while we were talking.

The loudspeaker is very strong, as we mentioned, meaning that it will be unlikely you’ll miss a call. As long as the sound is turned on.

 Another feature in the Sony Xperia S is the improved lithium-polymer technology that allows the device to charge in half the time of a regular battery. Just 10 minutes of charging time will get the Xperia S up and running for 1 hour. Even when we just plugged it in our wimpy computer USB port, the battery went from 65% to 90% in about half an hour.

The 1750mAh battery is rated for the commendable 8 hours and 30 minutes talk time and 25 hours of music playback. Standby is also very good, but if the screen is on a lot, the phone drains the battery like a typical Android high-end for a day, day and a half, depending how you stress it.

We looped an HD clip at ⅔ brightness and the phone’s battery went from hero to zero 10 minutes before it reached the 5-hour playback mark with Wi-Fi off, but connected to the HSPA+ network. If we had placed the brightness on 50%, the Xperia S would probably hit the six hours and thirty minutes video playback threshold it quotes for itself, which is about the norm for most high-ends.

Conclusion:

What can we say in the end, but to acknowledge that Sony has hit the nail on the head with the Xperia S. From the characteristic design decisions, like a transparent illuminated strip, through an amazing HD display, to the ultra-fast camera, the first Sony-only handset is a delight.

Given the above advantages, beefs that we’d consider a nuisance in other handsets, like the fussy capacitive buttons or the sealed battery, here seem minor. You can tap the capacitive key one more time if you can’t dot the i the first time, and the battery holds well, so no need to swap often, but you can’t get such a fast and capable camera or a display as detailed in most other phones.

Actually, only the iPhone 4S can measure up to the camera speed and no-hassle great results of the 12MP Exmor R sensor in the Xperia S, but Sony’s phone offers that sweet Quick Launch camera mode. Apple’s Retina Display also has pixel density close to the one on the Xperia S, but the 4.3-incher dwarfs it and would be preferable for Android’s big screen lovers; or not so, if you have smaller hands, or if you prefer the App Store.

On the Android front, you can check out the LG Nitro HD/LG Optimus LTE, which also has a great HD display and 8MP camera, or the HTC Rezound with Beats Audio. The Galaxy S II with its Super AMOLED display has a slower to react camera, but its night shots actually measured the light better than Sony's phone. And, of course, now we have HTC's One X with sub-second camera shenanigans, thanks to ICS and the HTC ImageChip, whose camera. however, has some kinks to be ironed in comparison.

We only wish the Xperia S shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, otherwise it proves that you can come late to the multicore party, and still be more capable than most.

Software version of the reviewed unit: 6.0.A.1.249

Sony Xperia S Video Review:


Pros

  • Very good photo and video quality
  • One second from sleep to snap
  • Quality HD display with ultra-high pixel density
  • Distinguished design with a transparent illuminated strip
  • Hearty 32GB of internal storage
  • Strong loudspeaker with clean sound
  • Good call quality
  • Rapid battery charging

Cons

  • The capacitive button dots are hard to spot and not very responsive
  • Sealed battery compartment
  • No memory expansion slot

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

9.5
42 Reviews

FEATURED VIDEO

Xperia S

PhoneArena Score:

8.5

User Score:

9.5
  • OS Android 4.1
  • Display 4.3 inches 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 12.1 MP (Single camera) 1.3 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 1GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB,
  • Battery 1750 mAh

Latest News

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless