Sony Xperia sola Review

Sony Xperia sola Review

Last year we were introduced to a whole bunch of well-executed Android mid-rangers made by Sony Ericsson: the Xperia ray, Xperia neo, and Xperia mini, to name a few. Fast forward to 2012 and Sony is on its own, but will it manage to keep on delivering decent hardware at a reasonable price? Well, let's find out!

What we are reviewing today is the Sony Xperia sola, which comes with a 3.7-inch LCD display, 5-megapixel camera, NFC, “floating touch” technology (more on that later), and most importantly, a dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz: a specs sheet that has “mid-range” written all over it. Care to know how it performs in real life? Then read along...

The box contains:

  • Wall charger
  • Data cable
  • Wired stereo headset
  • 2 SmartTags
  • microSIM adapter
  • Quick start guide and other papers


The Sony Xperia sola is clearly not meant to be used as a fashion accessory. Instead of curved, shiny elements we have a plastic candy-bar body with a soft touch finish applied to its back. And in all honesty, we like it! That is because the smartphone feels nice to the touch and gives us the impression of a well-built versatile tool – a tool that you will mostly use to do stuff, not just pose around with. Perhaps the thicker than usual display bezel is the only thing that we are not too crazy about, but we don't consider that a deal breaker by any means.

If jumbo-sized smartphones are not your cup of tea, the Xperia sola will most likely suit your preferences for its size is ideal for single-handed operation. It will fit inside pretty much any pocket or purse as well: the unit has a thickness of 9.9 millimeters and weighs 107 grams.

You can compare the Sony Xperia sola with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

We have no complaints about the trio of capacitive Android buttons, located underneath the smartphone's display. Same can be said about the lock key and 2-button volume rocker, which reside on the device's right side. The 2-stage camera button, however, leaves room for improvement. Pressing it half-way is not much of a problem, but then pushing it all the way down requires excessive force to be exerted.


The LCD display on the Xperia sola measures 3.7 inches in diagonal and has a resolution of 480 by 854 pixels, which translates into a relatively high pixel density (265ppi). As a result, graphics look detailed and fine text does not require much effort to be read. On top of that, we are pretty satisfied with the display's accurate color reproduction. Blacks, however, do not look as deep as they do on some other display types, such as AMOLED and S-LCD panels. In addition, there is a barely noticeable motion blur, which might be annoying in some rare cases. Fortunately, the display is bright enough to ensure relatively comfortable operation in broad daylight.

Sony Xperia sola 360-degrees View:



1. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

Great phone --- but I will never buy any android device not running ICS again.

2. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I love this industrial understated design. Awesome work by Sony. And it's cheap, has two cores, a beautiful, subtle and classy UI, and works smoothly! Suck that, android haters!

3. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Best part is 8gb internal memory with sd slot:-x

5. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

yep, it can have more memory than xperia s -.-

4. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1251; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Looks like the original droid!

6. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

Galaxy ace plus really cant be a better option than this, it looks big but not better than this Sola. Also the Galaxy Ace plus doesnt have front facing camera & HTC one v doesnt have memory card slot. Sola rocks

7. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I think docking points off an Android for not launching with ICS shouldn't be allowed. I'm sure when Sony was developing this phone, they did so with Gingerbread in mind. And also, if an update is coming in Summer, what's a couple months of waiting.? PA and other mobile reviewing websites should know that most new Android phones aren't going to be released with ICS. There are still manufacturers releasing phones on Froyo for goodness sakes.!

25. spancer_87

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 02, 2012

I for one know exactly how unreliable Google Android upgrades can be when it comes down to the promises made for Xperia models of 2011 and up, so you should not be surprised if both summer and autumn passes by, and still no ICS upgrade is available.

8. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Dear Nick T...when you review a phone, check what you have written and go through it once again! On page one i see an image of the phone showing the "front-facing camera" and look what you wrote on the CONS corner...number 2 to be exact!!!!

12. Nick_T

Posts: 187; Member since: May 27, 2011

Sorry for the confusion. This is but a sensor, not a front-facing camera, although it really looks like it.

13. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Glad you acknowledged it!! :) Good on you mate!!

14. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Don't you be going off on Nick T. He knows what he talks about!!!!!! loljkjkj

9. p1natic

Posts: 7; Member since: May 22, 2012

im really confused. gsmarena specs shows that Sola doesnt have a secondary cam and yet here it says that it has. Which is really it? its confusing.

10. hitechredneck

Posts: 103; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

That picture is deceiving according to Sony in uk it does not have a front facing camera. Check it out.

11. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Vs Ace 2 .... buy this phone instead!

15. mike.messiah

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

I had high expectations from the NovaThor chipset.. but sadly, its not as power efficient.. The 1320MaH battery puts it in the league of budget androids...and we all know how they fare in terms of stamina...Very dissapointed at the non removable/upgradable battery thats as low as the Galaxy Ace, and Galaxy Ace was very poor in battery department.. I have seen the Floating Touch gimmick is a pain to use...its already difficult clicking links on such small screens, imagine aiming ur finger above a link!! Saw the video by gsmarena...looks tedious and very time consuming. No wonder other manufacturers have ditched this technology Better to opt for Galaxy Ace 2... bigger and removable/replacable battery,bigger screen(3.8inch),better snapshot & video capture quality,front camera...and has the same NovaThor chipset.

16. issy_i

Posts: 5; Member since: May 27, 2012

This phone is great! Do not think twice. Just get it!!! I almost bought htc one v, but this phone has better specs.

17. opopp

Posts: 1; Member since: May 27, 2012

i have seen in many websites that sola's headphone sound is not very loud is it true and which one is better sola or u......i dont want to know about any other brand mobiles either.......


Posts: 5; Member since: May 31, 2012

nice phone.


Posts: 5; Member since: May 31, 2012

really cool phone for more info he-smartphone-with-a-floating-touch-technology/

20. dlff168

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

I had a look & played with the HTC 1V & Sola. They are very similar in price, size & spec. IMHO, I find that the 1V is laggy probably due to the 1core pocessor. Built-in memory is only 4GB as compare to Sola 8GB. On the plus side, is a well built solid phone, the screen display is better than the Sola & comes out of the box with ICS. On the whole I would still prefer the Sola & I bought one. Good mid-range decent size phone & gets its job done.

21. farzinphonearena

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

i heard it has benn designed just for microSIM cards, is that right??? i want to make sure of the authenticity of this claim. let me know thanks

22. issy_i

Posts: 5; Member since: May 27, 2012

no it uses normal sim size

23. soulannihilator

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

I'm torn between this phone and HTC One V. Sola obviously has better specs, but HTC One V seems to have a better camera with more features. ICS out of the box as well. Also has other features like Beats audio and has better battery life as well.

24. abhishek1993c

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

i wanna buy a phone . budget around INR 20k shud i consider it ???? memory matters to me. sec. camera doesn't matters and dual core is a must... plzz suggest....

26. abhishek1993c

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

hey phone arena guys !! i bought dis phone on 1st AUG u shud make a correction there is only 4 gb of user accessible internal memory . and 2 gb for apps

27. abhishek1993c

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

and battery is of 2 days if u use above avg

28. suradipray

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

I had purchased Xperia sola on 27.07.2012 from mobile store. I have hardly used it because I had just inserted the sim on 05.08.2012. But already I am facing 2 big problems : 1. The leftmost letters of the qwerty keypad are not working most of the time. 2. Very very poor battery back up. I dont play games or listen to music till now, just surf the net for 30 mins to 1 hour a day. But even after charging fully the battery doesn't even last for a full day while I am also using the power saver mode to save battery. I already contacted the sony customer care executive on 08.08.2012 and asked for a replacement. But he told me that it can be replaced only within 7 days from purchase date. He told me to do a factory reset but that didn't work too. Now I have to visit sony service center and the phone can only be repaired. I am very very dissapointed with sony which I trusted blindly as I was super happy with the Bravia led and DSC HX 100v digicam which I have.

30. Seiei

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

didn't i see you commenting in gsm arena before ? with the same words

33. AdeelBaloch

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

I don't know if the problems you're are facing are genuine or not, but the phone works fine. The point that forced me to comment was your disapproval on Sola's good battery life. Dude, you're totally wrong. The cellphone can run for two days even if you use the internet for an hour or so everyday. With that, you can also listen to an hour of music, that too in each day. Note that apart from this, you can use the cell for texting and calls.
Xperia sola
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1320 mAh(5.00h 3G talk time)

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