Review: Sony Xperia go
Sony is finally getting into the grove since it broke up with Ericsson and has started launching some really interesting smartphones. We really loved the Xperia Active, and now we have an upgrade, the Xperia Go.
It’s a nice slim and slick smartphone which is dust and water proof, and yes you can completely submerge it in the water.
- 1 GHz Nova Thor U8500 Dual Core Processor
- Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), upgradeable to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Mali 400 GPU
- 512 MB RAM
- 8 GB (up to 4 GB user-accessible memory) internal phone storage
- microSD card support up to 32 GB
- 3.5 inch Reality display with Mobile Bravia engine
- 5 MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video recording
- IP67 certification
The Xperia go comes in a nice slim package along with the usual wall charger, a microUSB data cable and a pair of earphones which (weirdly) aren’t in-ear ones.
A simple and slim design, Sony has really started hitting the sweet spot with its new range of Xperia devices and there aren’t any exceptions with the Xperia go. The handset is just 10mm thick and is pretty light at just 110g. The company claims that the smartphone can be submerged underwater at a depth of up to one meter for around 30 minutes thanks to the IP67 rating certification.
The handset has a nice matte feel to it so you get a good grip on the handset. The display is slightly raised from the rest of the body and is perfectly sized to use with one hand. The three android buttons below the display are capacitive, and there are sensors, the front cam and a LED notification light right above the display.
On the right, there is the microUSB connector which has a protective cover to prevent water or dust to enter, and the volume control buttons which are in brushed metal finish. The left side has the 3.5mm audio jack which also has a protective covering to block water and dust. The top has just the power/lock/unlock key.
The back has the 5MP camera with an LED flash and the speaker right at the bottom. Under the back we have a sealed body, so you cannot remove the battery. You also find the microSD card slot and the SIM tray when you remove the back cover.
Getting back to the display, the 3.5 inch Mobile Bravia engine driven screen has a resolution of 320×480 which is pretty decent and the brightness and contrast levels are also good. It also has wet finger tracking just like the Xperia Active, which allows you to operate the touchscreen even if you have wet fingers.
Coming from the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, the Xperia Go is a stunner. Not only the slim profile and smart looks, the smartphone also packs an updated hardware which is just SWEET!
There is 4GB of usable memory; however you can put in a microSD card of up to 32GB for your media.
ANDROID AND UI
Sadly the unit that we received still ran on Android Gingerbread version 2.3.7, and we were met with the usual Sony UI layout. Although, while you are reading this, the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Xperia Go is already rolling out.
Sony hasn’t been the best with Android software for its smartphone and the Xperia go is again a repetition of how the company really needs to improve on its UI. I won’t cover much of the UI as we have already covered it in a number of Sony and Sony Ericsson Xperia smartphones. It is similar to the new Sony Xperia 2012 range of smartphones.
The browser works just about ok and seems a bit laggy, so you are better off with a third-party browser. There is Flash support and the 1GHz dual core and 512MB RAM provide just enough power for your pages to load smoothly.
Messaging, typing, etc. is all good and the addition of Swype makes it a lot easier to type texts.
The camera isn’t a big shot here with its 5MP sensor. The pictures do come out well but don’t expect a lot from the camera. The camera does tend to overexpose in bright conditions, and a lot details are lost on the pictures. In optimum conditions, the camera works fairly well.
The camera can also record videos at 720p which is decent enough and the recording is pretty smooth including audio.
The music player isn’t much but has a nice and decent layout like all the recently launched Xperia smartphones. There is an xLOUD option and also a number of EQ presets. The audio quality via the headphones wasn’t that amazing though, and the speaker also was a bit disappointing.
The device can run almost any video thanks to its dual-core processor, provided you have a good third party software with the required codecs.
There is also an FM radio app which keeps you entertained on the go.
Well, I really don’t see a huge software and performance upgrade from the Xperia Active, but definitely hardware and design changes which are appealing.
On the performance front, it’s a decent smartphone, but if you need a smartphone which can be with you all the time, even when you are swimming or just working up a sweat, then this is a good buy.
It’s high time Sony improves its software as it is still lagging behind.