Hands-On With the Sony Xperia S

The split between Sony and Ericsson in their joint venture into the mobile handset market resulted into Sony taking over the business on its own. The first device they introduced earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) is the Android-powered Sony Xperia S.

Sony Mobile Philippines sent us an Xperia S review unit earlier today, and we immediately unboxed it and checked it out. Having owned and used at least three Android smartphones from Sony-Ericsson, I have a fair idea on how they built their handsets from the ground — stylish and an accent flair, sexy and pretty solid.

Its going to be a huge challenge for Sony to come up with its own design signature despite carrying the Xperia label. The Sony Xperia S will be a test case and it will set the tone on Sony’s entry into the mobile handset market.

Sony will not come empty-handed. It has bought everything it needs from Sony-Ericsson to continue the operations. As such, expect the devices to be similar or better than the previous SE Xperia line-up of 2011 and earlier.

Sony Xperia S LT26i hardware specs:

  • 4.3-inch Reality Display @ 720p (1280×720 pixels)
  • Snapdragon S3 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • up to 32GB via microSD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • NFC support
  • GPS w/ aGPS support
  • 12MP Exmor R rear camera
  • 1080p video recording
  • 1.3MP front facing camera
  • Li-Ion 1750mAh battery
  • Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread

The Xperia S comes with an HD display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels packed in a 4.3″ screen. That’s a pixel density of 342ppi, a bit higher than the smaller screen of the iPhone 4S. As such, you get really good detail, clear and crisp images and over-all impressive, high-definition display screen.

Sony’s expertise in imaging technology was carried over to the handset with the Exmor R technology integrated into the camera with its 12-megapixel sensor. So far, from the few test shots I’ve made today, the photos are great and does at good job even on low-light conditions.

The handset itself is very well-made — solid build, sharp corners with a smooth curved back panel and a pretty elegant design that reminds me of their Sony Bravia line of HDTVs. It’s not as thin or sexy as the Xperia Arc S but it packs a pretty good specs under the hood.

The handset still comes with Android Gingerbread out of the box but Sony promises it will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich once it becomes available.

So far, from the half-a-day use of the Xperia S we’ve had today, the handset gave us a pretty good over-all impression. I really have to take this device for a spin a bit longer to be able to make a more informed conclusion but so far, I am pretty much impressed. Nothing really ground-breaking but it’s a very good start.