Sunday, April 14, 2013
Sony Xperia Go
Even Sony Xperia Go was delivered to the market all the way back in the 2012 we will deliver information’s about this device. This is mainly because it can be interesting to users that are looking for an entry level to mid range device.
You’d assume the Xperia Go looks like a phone version of the Michelin Man but it’s actually very reserved. Dare we say it: it’s actually slightly girly. But that’s not a bad thing. Rather than have deep tire-type ridges and a bulky frame like the JCB, which indicates you spend your day digging up roads, you get a mobile phone that is small, elegant and sturdy.
In fact, the only real indication it’s built to take a beating is the odd texture on the back, which seems to divide opinion as easily as marmite. In our preview we said it feels like you could use the Xperia Go for an impromptu wood sanding session because of its textured, slightly grainy feel, and we still feel the same way now.
Odd to the touch, it definitely is, but we soon became accustomed with the texture. Less so the scratches it picks up all too easily.
On the front of the device beneath its 3.5-inch display are three buttons, one for back, home and menu. The volume rocker lives on the right side, making it easily accessible. Sony has opted to put the power/unlock button on the top at the left, which is pretty typical.
Where the Xperia Go starts to push away from the crowd of rugged smartphones is on the inside. A dual core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM means the Xperia Go is better equipped to run the apps and games that require more juice.
It also means Android Gingerbread actually runs surprisingly fast, probably thanks to some work on Sony’s part. Unless you require the absolute best performance for something like Shadowgun, you shouldn’t be disappointed. This isn’t the sort of device you would buy for sheer performance, though, so it’s a moot point.
Take the back cover off and you find rubbery grommets protect the microSD and SIM-card slots, reminding you this is one tough customer. You also find a nice shade of turquoise, which makes us wonder why the much more attractive colour is hidden on the inside. It’s a bit like buying an Armani suit and wearing dungarees over the top.
Suffice to say, the Xperia Go includes lots of clever design to keep the water out, and the dust too, although we can’t say we’ve ever had to say our farewells to a device left on a particularly dirty shelf.
Overall, Sony has built a very solid Android device and we really think it could survive a drop into a pint, which makes it perfect for the more clumsy among us.
A 3.5-inch display is relatively dinky when most smartphones are striving to double up as runways, but for anyone who is used to a feature phone it’s plenty. In fact, it’s actually adequate enough for web browsing, email checking and sending text, although the latter depends on how small your digits are. The Android keyboard can be a frustrating beast at times, no matter how big it gets.
Powered by Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine, colours are natural and the brightness is pretty good. Not so great is the resolution, which is 480×320 pixels, but it’s just about adequate unless you spend a lot of time looking at photographs or HD video.
Camera and video
Firing up the camera reveals a relatively capable experience. Digital zoom, autofocus and a LED flash provide you with all the basics, and the quality in bright conditions is good. The contrast is strong and colours look reasonably accurate, too, and we liked how it very quickly detected faces when taking portrait photographs.
Video is 720p quality, and we were pleasantly surprised how good it was considering the Xperia Go costs £220 SIM-free. It adjusted quickly to light changes and even with fast movement it kept blur manageable. Minus its inability to light up subjects when the background is very bright, we were happy with how our test videos looked.
Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread is now two steps behind the latest and greatest version, Jelly Bean. This means you are automatically behind the times when you buy the Xperia Go, even if Ice Cream Sandwich comes along soon. And according to Sony, it will.
Android fans may shun the notion but Joe Public probably won’t care. The main point is Android allows you to do all the things you would expect from a smartphone, such as social networking, email, watching YouTube videos and making calls, and that’s great.
Android’s market, now known as Google Play, has more than half a million apps available, many of which are free, so you’ll find virtually everything you need and they won’t necessarily cause damage to your wallet.
Sony’s user interface overlay is fairly unobtrusive so we didn’t feel the need to ditch it in favour of something like Launcher Pro. But on the low-resolution display it did feel a bit dated, and even though you can customise Android to your heart’s content, we maintain the view that it can be a bit of a pain to find certain options.
Because of the Xperia Go’s small frame, it’s easily pocketed but not so light you forget its there, which means less of those panic moments when you think you’ve left it in the pub.
We weren’t too sure whether we liked it at first, but its odd looks started to appeal. Compared with the Sony Xperia S, the Xperia Go is relatively lacklustre but the simplistic lines are anything but ugly. Less really is more in this instance.
The call quality was good and a microSD slot meant we could upgrade the storage, if we so desired. That’s unusual, given the trend of previous Xperias ditching the option, so it’s another brownie point. Still, 8GB with 4GB usable is pretty measly.
Our only real gripe stems from how much dust, dirt and scratches the case picks up. It’s probably a non-issue for the white version but our black review model looked pretty tatty after a few days of use, which somewhat spoils the look.
Valuing our relationship with Sony, we decided to not catapult the Xperia Go into a wall or fire it out of a cannon. But we dropped it a number of times on a variety of surfaces and all was well. It survived a puddle, too, but we get the feeling prolonged periods of time sat in a pint wouldn’t end well. It’s not bulletproof or as strong as the JCB but the trade-off is subtlety.
We managed a good day’s use with the Xperia Go, even with lots of web browsing and gaming. In this department it was capable, but certainly not outstanding, perhaps due to the limited space for a large battery. Don’t think you’ll be taking the battery out, by the way – it’s integrated into the device.
For around £220 you could get the more attractive HTC One V and a more recent version of Android, but the Xperia Go is more about survivability, which it does very well. It’s got Sony’s much-improved build quality all over it, and although the display is quite low resolution, the addition of Bravia technology means it looks very good.
If you need a phone that can take a hit and you don’t mind being a bit behind the times, the Xperia Go is a very capable alternative to the Motorola Defy and the JCB.
View the original article here