Monday, March 19, 2012

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Sony Xperia S Advantages And Disadvantages

The Sony Xperia S aims for camera excellence with 12MP still photography and 1080p video recording. It has an HD screen and a microHDMI port, not to mention a dedicated TV Launcher that lets you control the phone with your TV remote.

The Xperia S is a high-performance phone too - while quad-core phones will soon hit the shelves, the dual-core 1.5GHz processor and Adreno 220 GPU show good results in early benchmarks.

Sony Xperia S Advantages And Disadvantages

The Xperia S is better in almost every respect with Sony Ericsson Xperia arcs, save for thickness. Still, considering how thick those old 12MP shooters were (especially around the camera), 10.6mm sounds great.

The screen on the Xperia S deserves praise too. The 4.3" BRAVIA LCD of 720p resolution is up there with the best screens on the market. At 342ppi, it's definitely one of the sharpest.

The Xperia S design is a combination of square angles and curves. A strip of transparent plastic at the bottom, which lights up when the display is on, is a prominent accent.

The screen on the Sony Xperia S promises great things and it delivers - it's mesmerizingly sharp, with punchy colors and very good contrast. It's backed by BRAVIA engine which does very well on screens with high pixel-density - and the Xperia S display is one of the most pixel-rich at 342ppi. Its only downside (and it's not a minor one) is the poor viewing angles.

Xperia S Battery

The battery is a 1750 mAh unit, which is said to provide about 450 hours of 2G stand-by (420 hours in 3G) or up to 7 hours and 30 minutes of talk time in 2G (8 hours and 30 minutes in 3G).

Xperia S Camera:

Xperia S features the star of the show - the 12MP camera. It's located very near the top edge, which means you'll have to be very careful not to put a finger over it when taking a photo.

The camera is accompanied by a single-LED flash and the secondary microphone used when shooting video. The loudspeaker grille is also here.

3D Sweep Panorama On Xperia S:

The 3D Sweep Panorama is business as usual - you press the shutter key and sweep the phone from left to right and you get a panoramic photo in the end that can be viewed in 2D or 3D (on a compatible TV).

The Sweep Multi Angle was much more impressive - you take a photo in the exact same way, but the result is very different. It produces something like a lenticular card.

The Sony Xperia S captures 1080p video at 30 fps and does a very good job of it. The camcorder has similar settings to the still camera, including focus mode, metering, exposure value, image stabilization and so on. The layout of the shortcuts can be customized here too.

The Xperia S camcorder features continuous autofocus. It may take a few seconds to refocus after you re-frame but that's better than repeating attempts to lock focus that may ruin a video.

Videos are stored in MP4 format (14Mbps bitrate) and the frame rate nails the 30fps mark. The Xperia S videos come with stereo sound recorded at 128Kbps bitrate and 48kHz sampling.

User interface On Xperia S - Android Gingerbread again

The Sony Xperia S has received a slightly revamped custom skin, but it's still Gingerbread underneath (2.3.7). It will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich, of course, along with others in the Xperia line.

Connectivity On Xperia S:

The Sony Xperia S is well versed in modern connectivity. It doesn't have LTE like the Xperia ion, but it does offer quad-band 2G and quad-band 3G. Mobile data speeds are boosted by 14.4Mbps HSDPA and 5.76Mbps HSUPA.

Local connectivity is covered by Wi-Fi b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct support, that enables file transfer between devices with an easy setup.

The Xperia S also supports DLNA, so you can easily play media (photos, videos, music) from DLNA-enabled storage devices or push content from your phone to a DLNA TV or music player.

Bluetooth is also onboard, but the boring 2.1 version (although Wi-Fi Direct makes up for the lack of BT v3.0).

Then there's NFC support - you can use it to read NFC tags but also make the phone act as a tag itself. You can create multiple tags and choose which one you want to share. A tag can be anything from contact info (usually yours so you can send it as a sort of wireless business card), a URL or just plain text.

Xperia S has a microHDMI port so you can easily play those FullHD videos and show off the 12MP photos on an HDTV. There's a twist too - there's a dedicated TV launcher that is easy to use on a big screen.

Compatible TVs (we're not sure which TVs are) can talk back to the Sony Xperia S, so you can use the TV's remote to operate the launcher. Typing with the remote isn't very handy, you can use voice search.

The Sony Xperia S has a microUSB port with USB On-The-Go support. Flash storage worked. we even tried a USB keyboard and it worked (but a USB mouse didn't).

One more connectivity feature before we're done - the Xperia S has a built-in A-GPS receiver, which also works with GLONASS. This can give you faster locks and better positional accuracy, especially in dense urban areas.

And Here are the specifications:

  • Dimensions: 128 x 64 x 10.6 mm, 144 g
  • Display: 4.3" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen, 720 x 1280 pixels
  • CPU: Qualcomm MSM8260 chipset, dual-core 1.5 GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 220 GPU
  • OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), planned 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update
  • Memory: 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM
  • Camera: 12 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, face detection and touch focus; 1080p video recording at 30fps; 1.3MP front-facing camera with 720p video recording, sweep multi-angle shots for lenticular print effect
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA; Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, microHDMI port
  • Misc: Sony Timescape UI, TV launcher, built-in accelerometer, proximity sensor, Sony Mobile Bravia engine, multi-touch input, scratch-resistant surface, microSIM only

Final Note:

The Sony Xperia S is worlds ahead of the previous Xperia generation and we're genuinely impressed. The Xperia S hasn't got a quad-core processor (not even a next-gen dual-core) and it only comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box for now.

But here's what the Xperia S has going for it: the screen is nothing short of amazing, the camera is one of very few to offer 12MP resolution and the connectivity has plenty of useful features. And Sony really managed to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the Snapdragon chipset inside. We do like the new design line too.

The phone looks great and the build quality is worthy. If you can get over the lack of two extra cores and ICS at launch (the update is coming), there's plenty to like about the Sony Xperia S.

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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Anonymous
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March 19, 2012 at 9:43 PM delete

Sony Xperia is far a better phone than the Samsung galaxy S2

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Anonymous
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March 19, 2012 at 9:45 PM delete

However, overall this seems like a great phone so far. It always makes me laugh when people get all excited about User Interaces and whether it plays games or has the latest software, when hardly anyone comments on what it's like at making calls. The Xperia S is comfortable to hold, I get a very good strong signal and the audio is loud and crystal clear. Sony, after all, does have a pedigree of making high quality audio and video equipment, and I think this is reflected in the Xperia.

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