Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Sony Xperia S: cameraphone competition


First sony smartphone

2011 has been a complicated year for Sony Ericsson between the events in Japan, the failure of the Xperia Play and competition unleashed! The manufacturer has finally announced the repurchase of shares of Ericsson. So now we must speak of Sony itself. Xperia S is the first smartphone that will happen in the Finnish name.


Sony (with or without Ericsson) requires, phones brand has always displayed an attractive design and generally successful. Xperia S is no exception to the rule and is very appealing.

Compared to the Xperia Arc, Sony opted for a more conventional design, abandoning the convex back. A direction that we approve because if the Arc was a successful aesthetic point of view the handling was poor. We are thus faced with a block on the back concave nests more easily in the palm of one hand. Another feature, the device is separated into two parts by a piece of clear plastic. While this may seem nice at first you can not help but find that all is not fake. Not that the unit is improperly installed or that the materials are of poor quality but this slice of plastic raised fears that the aircraft broke in two. An irrational fear but this insert likely does not contribute to give a solid feel. It is against very pleased that Sony has abandoned the plastic glossy and fingerprints. After the delicacy and lightness of Arc, the Xperia S is much more cumbersome with its 10.6 mm thick and 144 grams.

Sony finally going to double heart

Despite their qualities, the 2011 smartphone from Sony Ericsson and especially the Arc lacked power. Versions "S" of certain models had improved things by passing the CPU frequency by 1 to 1.5 GHz, but these chips could not compete with dual cores used by competitors. Xperia S puts the record straight with a double heart Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5 GHz, which allows him to do as well or better than his classmates. Add to that a gigabyte of RAM and you're ready for just about everything that exists on Android. If this configuration is very efficient, we can not help but find it is a little late. With Mobile World Congress that we should book several smartphones quad-heart, the Xperia S may take getting old quickly. Of course, raw power is not the major criterion for buying a phone but it still has the unpleasant feeling that the Xperia S would have done better to arrive a few months ago.

Like other smartphones of late, the Xperia S ignores the card reader Micro SD. If you do not like this neglect, however, Sony made it right by giving her baby up to 32GB of internal storage. Suffice to say that we should be able to store videos and music besides. The radius of the original, we see that the phone is compatible NFC. Applications are still pending but at least it is ready. No miracle for autonomy, we held a little over a full day on a single charge.

Where is my Ice Cream?

Although the latest version of Android has been available to manufacturers for several months now, we must be content with a simple Android 2.3.7 on Xperia S. Sony announced an update for the second quarter of this year but we can not help but be disappointed. The system is still perfectly usable and works rather well. Everything is fluid as long as one takes the trouble to clean up the mass of pre-installed widgets. We find that the overlay Sony makes some changes more or less useful as an integration of certain social networks or a records management application. The experience continues to be extremely similar to that found for already a year on Android smartphones of the brand, except that the processor provides an overall better flow. The screen and the processor are ideal for video and as long as you use a third party video player (randomly MX Video Player), you can read everything that exist almost. Even a 1080p MKV file encoded at a high bitrate is passed without any problems.

Balance sheet

Xperia S seduced us. Sony has corrected most defects of the Arc (poor memory, lack of power ...) while continuing to capitalize on its strengths. The picture is particularly successful and this model is clearly one of, if not the best camera phones today. The rest of the hardware is generally successful in possible exception of the ergonomics that is correct. The disappointment is more on the software side. By not offering version 4 at the exit, Sony clearly handicapped his smartphone. Although the embedded system is functional, it is not at the latest version of Android, overlay or not. As it stands, the Xperia S is in our Galaxy on a par with the Nexus, the lack of Android 4 being offset by some camera copy. Meanwhile the tide of new products at Mobile World Congress, it is clearly one of the best androphones the moment.

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