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Monday, April 09, 2012

Sony Xperia S quick review

xperia s boxWhile I was happy with my HTC Desire and the Android experience in general,  I was looking forward to a new cell phone for quite a while now.
The HTC Desire didn't have enough memory for all the new big apps and the camera quality didn't satisfy my needs.
When my wife bought a Sony Ericsson Arc I was very surprised by the device's overall performance and appearance - putting the brand into pole position for my next phone.

Xperia S unboxingWent on to preorder the Xperia S at Digitec - for a low CHF 500.-

Box content (Switzerland): USB cable, loader, 2 NFC tags (check the video below), earphones, no hdmi cable.

PROS, now that I've used it for two weeks:
+ very good looking Android customization

+  very good FM Radio (screenshots below)
+  good camera (a bit grainy in low light situations)
+  decent panorama functionality 
+  ultra short start up time for camera, very useful
+  pleasing design
+  good build quality
+  screen quality
+  surprisingly good earphone sound quality!
+  very good hdmi out support, great usability, videos in 720p
+  front facing cam for Skype video calls just works
+  finally a good Sony full keyboard offered with the Update to 4.0.4

0  4.3" screen size a bit to small for my liking
default keyboard is bad, I'm using "perfect keyboard" instead. Why they don't offer an international version of their POBox eludes me. see above

-  annoying! no support for USB mass storage mode (MTP only)
-  sometimes you hear fizzling sound during calls (bad shielding against own antenna)
-  battery performance medicore (14hours standby with all my syncing)
-  camera without HDR function
-  mail client doesn't offer a peak time off/on configuration

Xperia S launcher
launcher and widgets look good (music app is Power Amp)
Two things bother me: battery performance isn't good enough yet and the absence of USB mass storage mode > using the USB media transfer mode isn't as intuitive since it doesn't allow Windows to display thumbnails for the pictures stored on the phone.
Hey! Overall I'm very very happy with the Xperia S. I totally don't care about the nonsense quad-core and duo-core discussion. The phone never ever lacked performance. My fav game Robotek isn't a resource hog either.
Also that everybody is complaining about the absence of Ice Cream Sandwich means nothing to me. It's coming a bit later, so wut. Current Android 2.3.7 is a charm - all the apps are very nicely customized by Sony!

Xperia S FM radio
using FM radio everyday - pleased with functionality
[update to ICS made the FM radio unworkable. It has been fixed with the release release of firmware 6.1.A.2.45 on 27.08.2012]

Xperia S default keyboard
default keyboard is waisting to much space
>> Keyboard has been updated with ICS 4.0.4 release!

finally - full keyboard with dark skin

BTW: Techies should head over to duosecurity.com for a very good read about Ice Cream Sandwich's poor ASLR implementation up to release 4.0.2. Quite a letdown.
Also make sure that you read Nick Kralevich's (Android Security Team) comments in the Wrap-Up Section. Good to know Sony will use at least ICS 4.0.4 from the start.

sony xperia s panorama shot
Xperia S panorama shot (original resolution 4912x1080