Summary: The Sony Xperia S is the first product to emerge from the newly consolidated Sony Mobile group. Although it'll inevitably be treated as the bellwether for Sony's attempt at going it alone on the mobile front, this phone's design and development can rightfully be attributed to the former Sony Ericsson partnership.
Pros: Attractive, distinctive design, High-definition display, Strong camera performance, Good voice clarity and reception
Cons: Ships with dated software, Color banding may spoil display for some, Still no good reason to care about PlayStation certification, No microSD card slot or user-accessible battery
Conclusion: Ironic or convenient, our review comes out the day Sony announced putting the Xperia Tablet S on hold over manufacturing faults. Essentially, the splash resistance is compromised and a recall is under way, meaning Sony already has a solution to the problem. If nothing else, this gives you some extra time to consider your options and our take on the Tablet S may help as well.
Pros: 9.4" 16M-color PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels); Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine and oleophobic coating, 1.3 GHz quad-core Cortex-A9 CPU, ULP GeForce GPU, 1GB RAM, Tegra 3 chipset, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, Quad-band GPRS/EDGE and quad-band 3G with HSPA connectivity (HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps), 16/32/64 GB of built-in memory, 8 MP autofocus camera, 1MP front-facing camera; native video calls, 1080p HD video recording @ 30 ...
Cons: Below-par screen resolution, Proprietary connector for charging and connectivity, Poor outdoor visibility, Peculiar design favors portrait hold, top-heavy in landscape, Splash resistance issues
Conclusion: Great design. Great screen. Great UI. Great camera. Great connectivity. Great phone. Specs are always only part of the story. In turn, no quad-core will be no problem for the majority of Sony Xperia S users. That the phone is so consistent in other areas is its real saving grace and one that users wouldn't fare badly dwelling on while basking in the phone's 720p, fast-capture, 12-megapixel, PlayStation certified splendour.
Pros: Classical design, Great HD screen, Fantastic camera, Attractive UI
Cons: Viewing angles distort blues, Capacitive buttons too close to screen, No removable battery, No expandable memory
Conclusion: The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is an excellent phone, boasting an incredible camera, slick design and fast performance. Compared to phones of a similar price like the Galaxy S2 (to which it is currently similarly priced) it’s not quite as powerful when it comes to things like gaming, but its perhaps a more stylish (if slightly less beefy) alternative.
Excerpt: It was the hypnotic, blue background swirl of the Xperia S which first drew me in. Like staring into the night sky, digital ribbons flux merrily on a 342PPI display. It’s gorgeous, an apt display of this 1.5Ghz dual-core beast’s powers. Sony’s gone and pulled an ace out of it’s smartphone collection and I’m pleased to say that the Xperia S is one of the better phones of this generation.
Summary: Sony really needs to push the ICS updates out of the door, very quickly. The Xperia S seems to have everything in place - good hardware, excellent build quality and design and a very good display. However, Sony needs to get the UI sorted. When compared straight with the HTC Sense, the UI just looks boxy. But with the ICS update inevitable, this is a pretty decent device to buy.
Pros: Premium build, Fits well in the hand, Excellent display, Lots of internal storage
Cons: Camera behaves badly during night shots, Timescape UI feels boxy, Needs Android ICS update quickly
Conclusion: What the Sony Xperia S does, it does very well. Performance is fast, the screen is great and the camera more than adequate. Owners however will have to wait a bit longer to get the most from the Sony Xperia S, when the Android 4.0 update drops. It’s a wait that for some will be too long. A capable phone the Sony Xperia S may be, but it might be worth checking out the competition first.
Pros: There’s only so much that can be done with touchscreen phone design these days, but it looks like Sony has nailed it. The Sony Xperia S is a striking phone made distinctive by its clean angular lines and illuminating bar running below the display, which also houses the antenna. It’s a real looker. The display too is very good, delivering some neat viewing angles, lots of detail and some wonderful colours. On occasion you may have to tinker with the brightness when vie...
Cons: Unfortunately with its good design, there are flaws. The Sony Xperia S severely lacks in grip. Its plastic body can easily slip out of the hands in a hurry: however the hand eventually gets used to the awkward grip. And it has to be said that the Sony Xperia S is hardly compact. Some buttons even require a little stretching to operate in one-handed use. Camera quality too, for what it offers could have a little more sparkle, detail in longer distance shots, and in som...
Excerpt: For some time Sony Ericsson have been a major player in the mobile phone industry and in their various guises have created some classic handsets such as the P900 and T10. Despite some fairly inventive handsets such as the Xperia Play and X10mini Pro which have been released in the last year or so they have failed to make a decent impact on the smartphone market with HTC, Samsung and the like pulling ahead.
Conclusion: Whether the Xperia S is recommended or not comes down to price – if it’s priced right (the upper end of the mid-range tier) the Xperia S can do very well. I can say right now that this is not the best Android phone out there right now – look the the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, or HTC One X for that – but if you like the design and don’t mind its bulk, the I-do-everything-just-fine-while-looking-good philosophy of the Xperia S makes it a solid choice.
Summary: No doubt that Sony put its best foot forward in releasing their first Sony-only phone. Designed with the BRAVIA concept in mind, the Xperia S is a half-phone-half-HDTV device, aimed at solidifying its solo-name brand.