[Hands-on] Sony Xperia S

Sony Xperia S front
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Sony Xperia S front
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Sony Xperia S front

Thinking about upgrading from your first gen smartphone? Are you partial to Sony products? You’ve seen the launch, so let’s take a quick look at the flagship Xperia model, the Sony Xperia S.

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Sony Xperia S rear
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Sony Xperia S rear

During the launch, we had a chance to fool around with the product. Although there weren’t much stress tests we could do, the look and feel of the Xperia S could easily be summarized as “solid”. Firstly, the 12MP camera is fast – click the camera button twice and you’ve already taken a picture from standby.  Never miss a shot! The 4.3″ screen displays crisp and crystal clear images in HD (1280 x 720 pixles). Playback should theoretically be fast and easy considering that it is powered by a 1.5ghz Qualcomm MSM8260 dual-core processor. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though.

What I liked about the Xperia S is that it fits nicely in the palm of my hands, a little thicker than most smartphones due to its design; but comfy – large enough that you won’t misplace it (not that often at least), small enough to fit in your pocket.

During the press conference, Ola Lilja Molen, Sony’s Head of SEA markets took a little of his time explaining the “integration” of Sony technologies into their smart phones. What makes a smart phone “smart”? Smart phones aren’t just about the hardware and Sony proves that point very clearly with the Xperia S.

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SmartTags
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SmartTags. Work great in the bedroom. Image credit: Sony Mobile

Firstly, the Xperia S comes NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled, giving it the ability to communicate with other NFC applications or services such as the Xperia™ SmartTags. These SmartTags are useful if you have multiple settings for your phones, different brightness levels or maybe different playlists for different locations. For example, I have different preferences when I’m at work (I like classical music) and when I’m in my room (I go all out), all I need to do is save my settings on the tags and place them where I need them, then swipe my phone at a tag and it will automatically adjust my settings to my preset environment.

SmartTags.
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SmartTags. Little things that do a lot. Image credit: Sony Mobile

To put it simply, NFC may work similar to Touch N Go, but instead of just charging money to your card, imagine reloading your card the same way. It would have been interesting to test these though; it was unfortunate that they were not available to test during their launch.

Secondly, the Sony Xperia S also packs the Sony BRAVIA® Engine to provide higher image quality and display. If you don’t know what it is, you can read about the engine and see some samples here.

Last but not least, when I buy a new phone, my biggest concern is its connectivity and compatibility to other devices I already have – is it going to be a new platform where I need to buy a whole bunch of other stuff for it to fully function? So I popped this question to Ola during the conference, needless to say he put my worries to rest. The Xperia S supports vast connectivity options, from USB 2.0, HDMI, Bluetooth, is DLNA Certified, uses Micro USB and the list goes on. If you’re already an Android user, swapping over to the Xperia should pose little to no problems. If you aren’t already convinced that this phone is for you, the Xperia S is already in the market at RM1,899 and for a limited time, will be bundled with accessories worth RM534. Pretty decent for a top-of-the-line-smartphone.

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For more info on the Sony Xperia S, view the Full Spec Sheet for a full list of features.

Sony Xperia S intro Video
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Sony Xperia S features Video
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So what do you think? Does the flagship Sony Mobile Xperia S tickle your fancy?

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AT - Time
  • Former Lecturer. Gamer. Idea Generator. Tournament Organizer. Loves Kairosoft games. Lived in a box twice in Recettear. Never turns down a Catan challenge. Cheats in Monopoly. Broke Skyrim. Sucks at Dance Central. Plays a fem Shep. Heavy bow-gunner in MH3p. Completed Persona 2 Portable 4 times. Well, he's just too damn free.

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