Product Type: Sony Mobile Communications Smartphone
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Sony XPERIA U
Member Name: adam_d
Sony XPERIA U
Date: 13/10/12, updated on 14/10/12 (26 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic price, great build quality, great performance.
Disadvantages: Poor 720p video recording, limited storage.
I have just bought this phone to replace my worn out Orange San Francisco. I have to say, I am seriously impressed.
First impressions when I bought the phone were that it felt really really well built. It has a good weight to it, the plastics feel very solid, and the back cover is rubberised. All the buttons are rubberised, and have a satisfying click to them. When turning it on, I was shocked how quickly it was on and up and running. I realise my old San Francisco was no speed demon, but this is really very fast.
Quick Spec Summary:
Dual Core 1GHz Processor
8GB Storage, 2GB for system, 2GB for Apps, and 4GB for your files
Mali-400MP GPU (Single Core)
5MP Camera with flash and 720p Video recording and front facing camera
480x854 3.5 inch screen LED screen with scratch resistant glass
Android 2.3 with 4.0 update available.
Seems a bit of a bargain, right? It definitely is.
Continuing with the performance of the phone, as I said, it is very very fast. I hardly ever get any sort of lag. Web browsing is fast, multi tasking is fast, games work brilliantly, I can't fault it here.
The screen is lovely. Due to being so high resolution on a smaller sized screen, everything is very clear with a great amount of detail. The touchscreen is very sensitive, and is very accurate. It also has the Sony Bravia engine software, which really improves picture and video colours.
Camera performance is almost perfect. The Camera comes with a load of features, infact, more than my actual camera! It even has the auto panorama mode, where you press once and then slide the phone across, a feature which has now just been included on more expensive fruity phones. The front camera works great in Skype, and the only disadvantage I can find in this area is the 720p video recording. While it does record usable video, it's not of the finest quality and won't be replacing a video camera any time soon. Standard picture quality however is fantastic, and the flash works brilliantly.
The phone also has a cool light bar at the bottom which I call the mood light. It lights up when the touch buttons below the screen are pressed, and lights in the color of your chosen homescreen wallpaper. It also is used in the Gallery, and changes colour depending on the picture being viewed.
The downside to this phone is the lack of micro SD card slot, and the fairly limited internal storage, with only 4GB available for things like music and video. For me this is not a problem as streaming music services can be used and I don't store or record a lot of video on my phone.
Sound quality from the rear speaker is so-so. It's better than a lot of phones, but it's still nothing to shout about, and isn't very loud. The phone does have Sony's xLOUD option to help with this, but I found it made the speaker sound very distorted, so turned it off. Sound quality through headphones is brilliant however, and the 3d effects that can be selected are excellent. In call quality is also very good, and having asked others, I sound very clear to them.
The overall experience of using the phone is also very good. I was a bit apprehensive about buying a phone with Android 2.3 Gingerbread this late on and having to wait for Ice Cream Sandwich, but Sony have done a really great job of making it a pleasure to use, without diverting too far from the normal Android experience.
As an end note, you can change the rubber cap at the bottom of the phone to personalise it, but as mine came with a black one or a shocking pink one, I think I'll be keeping the standard black one.
In short, if you like your phones to be a bit smaller like me, and don't mind the limited internal storage, this phone is an absolute bargain. The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update is being rolled out as I write this, but even with 2.3 this phone is great, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Summary: If you can live with the storage limit, this is possibly the best budget phone on the market.