Sony Xperia S Android phone (preview)

Sony Xperia S preview: The first "next generation" smartphone from Sony

2012 may only be a few days old but that hasn't stopped smartphone manufacturers from continuing to churn out new product. Sony's Xperia S Android phone is one of the first phones to be unveiled this year. It's also the first smartphone in Sony's "NXT" series, short for next generation.


Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc S review

If you're wondering where the Ericsson name has gone, Sony Ericsson is no longer. In October last year Sony paid Ericsson US$1.45 billion to buy out its share of the Sony Ericsson joint venture. Sony therefore took sole control of the Sony Ericsson brand and the Xperia S is the first phone to feature this new branding.

According to Sony the Xperia S is the start of a new line of phones called Xperia NXT. The company is aiming to keep consistency in future releases so any new devices in this NXT line will have a similar look and feel to the Xperia S. At just 10.6mm thick and with a transparent band below the screen that hides notification lights, the end result is quite attractive.

The Sony Xperia S has a 4.3in screen with what Sony calls its Mobile Bravia engine. This is the same technology seen on previous Sony Ericsson phones like the XPERIA Arc, the XPERIA Arc S, and the XPERIA Ray. It claims to enhance sharpness, contrast and colour saturation of photos and videos while minimising digital image noise. It worked well on previous Sony Ericsson phones we've reviewed so we can only hope its performance on the Sony Xperia S is no different.

The Sony Xperia S display has a HD resolution of 1280x720, the same resolution as the Google's flagship Galaxy Nexus. It also has a pixels per inch (ppi) count of 342. As a comparison, the iPhone 4S's "retina" display has a ppi of 326, while the Galaxy Nexus has a ppi of 316.

Perhaps the best feature of the Sony Xperia S — at least on paper — is its 12-megapixel camera. Sony says it will takes photos in just 1.5 seconds from standby and it doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder. The camera uses Sony's Exmor R image sensor which claims to offer higher sensitivity and less image noise in low light areas than traditional mobile phone cameras. The Xperia S also has a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera for video calling that records 720p HD video.

The Sony Xperia S is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. There's also NFC (Near Field Communication) built-in and the Xperia S is a quad-band HSDPA device, so it will work on all three major Australian networks — Telstra (850MHz) and Optus/Vodafone (900MHz/2100MHz).

Disappointingly, the Xperia S lacks a memory card slot so you'll have to make to with the internal memory. Even more disappointing is the fact that the Xperia S will originally ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Sony says the phone will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the second quarter of 2012. The software delay is likely a result of Sony's exclusive entertainment services (Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited and PlayStation Store) being optimised to work on the Xperia S.

The Sony Xperia S is expected to launch in Australia in the first quarter of 2012, though no pricing or concrete local availability has been announced.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?