Excerpt: Sony wasn't kidding around when they said they would only make smartphones and abandon feature phones completely. But we feel they’ve reached a point where it’s a little ridiculous now and they seem to be getting really sloppy with their launches. A case in point is the Xperia ion, a phone that shouldn’t exist, but still does, only because Sony was too lazy to think things through when designing their high-end model the first time around.
Summary: It's been over five months since we first saw Sony's Xperia ion for AT&T, an Android device with LTE and a lot to prove. The Xperia line hasn't had much success here in the US, thanks in no small part to delayed launches and underwhelming hardware. The Xperia ion continues that late-launch trend, but the hardware has specs that indicate that Sony is aiming a little higher than your standard mid-range Android phone, including a 720p display, 12-megapixel camera, and the...
Pros: Great 720p screen, Solid, well-built, LTE
Cons: Android 2.3, Camera doesn't live up to its megapixels, S3 processor
Conclusion: What does kill the experience a bit are the touch-sensitive buttons at the bottom of the screen – these didn’t always respond to my taps, no matter how hard or soft I pressed. They’re also not backlit, so good luck tapping the right buttons in dim light.
Conclusion: The Xperia Ion is not a bad handset, but it does feel about six months old. This is likely because it was first shown in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. Many things have changed since then, but the processor and operating system on the Ion have not. This phone runs on Android 2.3, which is two generations behind, and its processing speed isn’t in league with newer superphones like the One X and Galaxy S3.