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on 19 March 2012
I've recently upgraded to the Xperia S from an Xperia Pro 10, so I don't really have a great deal of experience of smart phones, but I thought I would share some preliminary views on this phone from someone who's coming to smart phones with no preconceptions or initial comparisons. I think I would say that I'm something of a Sony Ericsson loyalist, and the bulk of my experience of mobile use is via the Android system.

This is a sizeable phone: I've got medium-sized male hands and it fits comfortably, but it is quite substantial. It provides a great screen for videos and gaming.

The design is very pleasing, with some sharp edges, and a transparent row of illuminated icons that Mark the bottom of the phone. These provide the go back, home and menu functions, and do so with touch sensitive points that are easy to use.

My overall impression is of a phone with some serious power behind it, and that's marketing itself almost a something of a palmtop computer rather than a phone. I have a little experience of iPhones owned by friends, and this must be a serious contender to their crown.

Setup is very easy, especially if you already have Sony Ericsson software on your computer: my phone was synced and updated this software with it a few seconds.

In terms of use, if you will have already got a Sony Ericsson phone you will find continuity of organisation of apps, symbolism, and the mechanics of using them. The organisation and access of features is rational and coherent, with plenty of opportunities to personalise the arrangement of apps to please you as a user. The camera is devastatingly powerful coming in at 12 megapixels. The quality of the images is excellent, and the inclusion of a lead to connect the phone to an HD television is a nice touch. I can see myself having to buy new computer drive if I take a lot of 12 megapixel photographs! The phone also includes a 3-D panorama feature which enables you to take an instant collage of high-resolution images that form a panorama-I haven't tried this yet but it looks tempting. Storage capacity is impressive, and the sound quality of music is excellent, with two different headsets provided.

Also included with this phone was the Tag system, which allows you to leave physical tags at home or in the car or at work, with pre-set arrays of settings your phone which allow to be placed in say for instance a low-energy wireless state just by placing the phone next to it. I have to say my feeling about this is it is something of a gimmick, but if you're a hardened phone user it might save you a little time. As a high-level version of Android included, and I was delighted to have quick access via an Amazon Kindle, allowing me to use the phone as, in effect, a mini Kindle handset.

I think just about scratched the surface of this phone: what you're getting is an incredibly high spec and set with lots of continuity with existing Android systems and Sony Ericsson phones, preconfigured, designed, and executed to a very high level of professionalism. If you're convinced iPhones user, with your eyes on the iPad 4, you're unlikely to be converted by this phone. If you are Android minded or very happy with your existing Sony Ericsson phone, have a look at Xperia S. It's about as far as the 3G phone is going to go I suspect.

I'm happy to leave some room for others to comment on this phone as I'm very much a novice, and there are probably more valuable opinions than mine. Thanks for reading.
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on 14 October 2012
Before your read this review I must confess to being a relative novice with smartphones and a relatively light user(although this is changing with this phone). This is only meant as my impressions and not a detailed comparisson with other smartphones on the market.....

I purchased the Xperia S because it looked great value in comparison to the more obvious choices of an iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I have to say that for what you get I think it reoresents tremendous value. It is half the price of the iPhone and whilst I am sure the iPhone is a better phone I really dont think it is worth the premium. I also prefer the openess of android rather than being locked into Apples systems.

I have previously had an iPhone 3Gs and I would say this phone is at least on par with it and in many ways better. The screen is fantastic it is really crisp and the active wallpapers look great. I have found the speed of the phone to be first class. It handles apps, internet browsing and the usual activities quickly and smoothly with no hint of slowdown, in fact it is quite addicitve initially as there is so much you can do with this phone.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think it is a smart looking phone, the clear transprent strip looks quite stylish and the screen quality and resolution is very good.

The negatives with this phone are really in two areas:

1. The main Navigation buttons at the bottom of the phone are unresponsive and hard to see. The buttons are actually small dots above the icons on the clear strip, the strip is purely decorative and doesn't actually do anything other than look nice. You have to press quite hard and sometimes several times to get a response from the buttons and as these are the main buttons for the master functions on the phone this detracts from the slickness of the phone. It isnt the end of the world and you can get them to work but it does take the polish of what is a very nice phone. My wife has the Arc S and the physical buttons that feature on this older model work much better. I think the idea is nice as it makes for a nicer more modern design but unfortunately the implementation spoils the idea.
2. The charge point is hidden under a fiddly plastic strap which I am convinced will snap off in the not too distant future. This is annoying as it is something you need to use everyday and again it spoils the user experience, it just doesnt feel like they have thought about the user having to charge everyday and have instead made it unnecassarily cumbersome.

Overall I am pleased with the phone and despite the niggles listed above I think this is a very good phone for the price. I would have rated this 5 stars if it didnt have these issues as these are really the only the things that I have found to complain about after a week of owning the phone.

As long as you dont mind about these features I dont think you will be disapointed with the phone.

PS I upgraded from an old HTC phone and didnt realise I also needed a micro sim from my network which was an additional £10 from the network. No biggy and this may be common knowledge but I didnt realise that I would need this when I read the product description.

Hope this helps.
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on 19 April 2012
A few One word's about Xperia S - Perfect!!! Stunning!!! Superb!!

Well, before you go on to read this review, lemme say that i am a core Android user and have been using Android ever since it came into existence. I have had some of best in class Android phones like Xperia (Pro, Arc S, S), Samsung Galaxy S2 & HTC and also Apple iPhone 4S. I initially had Xperia Arc S and from there to Samsung Galaxy S2 and now to Xperia S. I was completely blown away with Xperia S!!! Its the best Android Phone i have used till date. Just awesome and overcomes an problems with earlier Xperia Phones.

Good Features/Likes:
1. Display: Awesome!! Very good... The Major difference when compared to Samsung Galaxy S2. Sony is the best when it comes to the display. You can actually use a high definition video with a lot of details like Avatar and be completely satisfied with the quality.
2. Performance: Extremely good!! Like a 100% improvement when compared to other Xperia Products. Now you can actually enjoy placing folders in the Home Screen. For those thinking if its a new feature - its NOT or if your thinking "whats the difference then", try out this one, if you have an android phone(Xperia Arc S or Samsung Galaxy S2 for instance) try placing a lot of folders on the homescreen. With less internal memory, the most obvious thing for us to do is to move everything to the SD card. Once you do that and group them in folders, the phone almost becomes unusable. Thanks to Xperia S, we no longer have to worry about it.
3. Camera: Incredible camera performance. Outstanding quality!!! My favorite feature when it comes to camera, you can access camera even when the phone is locked. This comes immensely handy when your in parties and want to catch a funny instant or the first time your kid walks.
4. Feel of it: Its amazing how it perfectly fits your palm. As much as you think it doesnt matter, it actually DOES MATTER how it fits your palm. Its very elegant to look at. It doesnt matter if your working or studying, it feels and looks good :) And when it comes to the weight, it feels the same as Samsung S2 or even lighter.
5. Sony Gesture Input in Keyboard: If your wondering what it is, its a way to enter text by Swiping over the letter than actually pressing the letters. Sony is OUTSTANDING when it comes to this feature. HTC doesnt have it and Samsung Galaxy S2's Swype is almost terrible. Its nothing new when compared to other Xperia Phones but is definitely one of the main reason i am with Sony Phones. If your used to it its absolutely top class. (and its NOT the same as Swift keyboard that you can purchase from Google play).
6. Battery life: Same as Samsung Galaxy S2 (much better than Xperia Arc S)
7. GPS: It actually can find your location even when your in-house (same as Samsung galaxy s2) which is not the case with other Xperia Phones.

Improvement areas/Dis-likes:
1. Email Application: I do not know why but most of the Phones do not have an Email Application that supports Multiple Folder Sync. The only one who gives you that out of the box is HTC(Sony gave Moxier Pro full version with most of their Xperia phones but we don't have it in Xperia S). You can always download an Email Application that supports it but most of the times you need to buy it. Since i am working, this is something i miss out of the box but i purchased an application.

Android is an incredibly powerful OS but there wasn't a phone to utilize it to its fullest. Samsung Galaxy S2 was close and my favorite but now Xperia S steals the show. A lovely phone and i am completely satisfied. Great job Sony!!! Thank you!!!
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on 23 March 2012
Pros: the display is gorgeous
Fast processor - browsing is fast, apps load quickly, scrolling around home screens etc is flawless
Design - looks good and feels nice in the hand due to premium materials.
Camera - taking photos just by pressing the camera button (even if locked) is a nice feature and the quality of the photos is as good as any phone camera that I've seen.
Comes with microHDMI slot and plugging into a TV and this works really well.

Also while browsing, I don't know if other smartphones do this but the text reflow by double tapping (so that the text fits in the screen when zoomed in) is a useful feature.

Cons - lock button is a bit hard to reach when holding the phone with one hand
Comes with Gingerbread. Apparently this is a bad thing but as someone who has never used an ICS phone I can't really comment. The xperia s performs really well with this software, which does everything I want it and I assume it will be even better with the update that should come by the end of april.

Another thing is that I'm looking forward to trying out the NFC tags that I think are coming out in about a month or two?
So overall I am really happy with this purchase. it's a great phone with a beautiful screen, great camera, and is a joy to use. Highly recommended.
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on 21 April 2012
I've had this phone just over a month now and I love it. It was very frustrating trying to actually get the phone as I pre ordered it from amazon who kept changing release date I gave up in Tue end and got it from earphone warehouse.
This phone is truely amazing, everything I take it out of my pocket I'm still in love with the design the screen is fantastic and it's has in my opinion the best camera of any smartphone on the market. Only downside is the battery life and lack of ice cream sandwich but as it's coming soon I'm not too bothered. The PlayStation store does have limited games but when your mates playing angry birds and u can play Abes oddessey or tekken why would u buy any other phone?
It may lack ice cream sandwich from launch have a low battery life and not have 4g (which we won't get in England like America has for years despite what apple tell you) but this is the best phone I have ever had the best looking phone u can buy and has a stunning screen, just buy it you won't regret it.
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on 12 April 2012
ive had the sony xperia s in white for 2 months now, an upgrade from a HTC HD2 with android 2.3.
When i first recieved the phone you do notice the sice but its smaller than the HTC one x and roughly the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S2,
it has built in 32gb memory which is enough for plenty of games and films,
ive downloaded over 50 games from google play and it runs perfectly, no lag on any of the games ive played,
multi tasking is a breeze, quite often i will be playing a game and running skyfire browser and messaging at the same time, this phone breezes through it all thanks to the 1.5ghz dual core cpu,
the integtration with facebook is a nice touch by sony, without having to load up the facbook app i can access all the photos on my account from my gallery,
the phone comes with a HDMI out port, when you plug it into your tv you can use your tv remote to access your phone on the big screen,
playing angry birds on a 42" lcd is pretty awesome, perfect for my on demand tv and downloaded films,
the camera is also a fantastic peice of kit, when you recieve the phone it is set to 8mb, you can change this in settings to 12mb, from the lock screen you can hold the camera button for 2 seconds and it will automatically take a shot, from lock screen to a perfectly taken photo in 2 seconds, no need for my 12mp digital camera now,
you can even take panoramic shots and 3d shots. although you need a 3d tv to view them
The screen itself really does have to be seen to be believe, my wife has an iphone 4s and when sat side by side you can notice a huge difference in screen quality thanks to the sony bravia engine that is on the sony xperia s,
the phone will be recieving an update to android 4.0 ice cream sandwich by the end of may which means the browsing which is already one of the fasted in its class will get even better,

the only cons ive had with the phone are the charger and hdmi port covers, they havent broken but they do get annoying undoin them and putting them back in, but from my point of view i would rather spend 2 seconds undoing a flap than get dirt inside my phone.
Another review has stated the font is too small ? i havent noticed this at all its actually bigger than my HD2, although by installing the accessibility app on the phone which is not preinstalled you can change the font size with ease,
the phone call clarity is like any other phone, and the reception is excellent, ive always got 3/5 bars minimum. running on 02

with the phone you will recieve a live play headset for music and handsfree, it will also be preloaded with apps like the sony playstation store (as this is a certified sony playstation phone) so games galore, the facebook integration can be swithced off or on,
i recieved 2 smart tags, one which i leave at work so when i enter the building it turns off my 3g and sound, turns it onto silent and turns the wifi on automatically,
this phone does require a micro sim
********* update*****
had the phone for a while now, ive still got no problems, some users are saying they have battery issues, all new phones take a while for the battery to calibrate, i have no problem taking my phone off charge at 7am and putting it back on charge at midnight with 40% battery left with quite often use throughout the day,
there are two updates available for the phone which have been released by sony, one that improves the gps and another that improves battery by 30%,

still wouldnt swap my phone for any of the quad cores simply because the screen and camera are still the best on the market and there are no apps that can make use of a quad core cpu yet and not likely to be for over 6 months
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on 27 October 2013
I've had this phone on contract since release. I made the mistake of buying a new product in its early stages of development, buying the first generation of a series of products is always a bad idea. However for the first year I found this phone amazing. Firstly the screen quality is pretty nice, pixel density is rather high for its time and the colour quality is fantastic (As to be expected from a bravia engine). It's internal specs are great, back when it was released it was up there as being the fastest of smartphones, and could still be considered as being quite fast. In terms of aesthetics I think this is the best looking phone Sony have ever produced, it looks and feels amazing and that bottom luminous bar is a beautiful feature (which incidentally it seems HTC have copied with the HTC one). The camera is pretty decent too and the ability to shoot a shot while the phone is locked (something I really don't use) is a cool addition. However I can't ignore the downsides to this phone. Its battery is pretty shocking, you'll find your phone plugged into the wall more than in your hand. This is the case even while doing very simple tasks such as texting and connecting to the internet. It also gets quite hot. I have been informed by others who have this phone that sometimes it gets that hot, the screen malfunctions and creates dead pixels. A tip would be to use it without a case when you're doing demanding tasks. After a year using the phone, the charger door ripped off. The doors are really made poorly and even with the lightest of use you'll find they don't last long. The volume keys seem to be made out of paper; twice I have had the key replaced since they depressed into the phone body, resulting in the volume down key to constantly be pressed down. Some people report that the home/back/details touch buttons are unresponsive, I believed the same until I found out that you swipe them from the bottom upwards and they respond every time.
In essence it's a pretty good phone, maybe a little overpriced at the moment if we consider its drawbacks. If you're careful in looking after the phone then maybe you won't run into my problems but the chances are this phone was poorly made. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from getting this phone but do your research beforehand, there are a lot of decent phones out there for the price of this phone. And besides, with the new xperia Z range this phone is almost obsolete.
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Running ICS it's a fast phone, fantastic camera and display, and it's got a great feel. Listening to music sounds great (almost as good as my NW-A845 walkman, which to me was the reference of everything I had listened to). Downsides: There is no removable storage (but then it comes with 32GB, so it's not a big deal), and it's got a fixed battery. My other minor gripe is some design flaws. The MicroUSB is under a flap, and for a phone that needs daily charging, that sucks. I also find the capacitive buttons hard to "hit" sometimes, but there is a knack, drag down rather than trying to find them buy straight pressing. (EDIT: Sony have improved this in the latest ICS update, it's now much more responsive).

battery-wise it's not spectacular, merely adequate, but then it's a high performance phone. I get a day out of mine, and that's fine, as I charge overnight, and that's texting during the day, web browsing, music via Bluetooth headset etc.

This is confirmed on Sony's list for Jellybean (which after using on my Nexus7, I can vouch for it being superb), and this will make it even better.

Worth noting, it takes Micro-SIM, not the regular SIM, you can get them cut down, or just go to your network shop and they will give you one (T-Mobile did for me).

Initially there were a couple of minor niggles, but Sony have sorted them out via firmware updates, and the great camera, display and sound quality mean if you can't quite stretch to the "Bond Phone" - Xperia T, this is a great alternative.
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on 23 June 2012
Well this is one hell of a gadget, I had been delaying my purchase comparing with the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC One S and decided to make the jump and ignore the warnings about battery life...

Going from a trusty HTC Legend after over 2 years I wanted something that didn't keep running out of system storage. (The Legend only had around 200MB and this restricted all my app purchases) The Xperia S has 1.8GB available of the 32GB internal storage for system storage leaving around 26GB for app storage so all is well for me, anyone migrating from an early Android phone will understand this all too well...

This is a very powerful phone, there is no lag on anything, the camera is lightening quick and the ability to get it working from sleep in a second is brilliant for catching a great shot. The Gingerbread version of Android 2.3.7 supplied is not the latest version but ICS is being released for this phone as I type so will upgrade soon, however in all honesty the Sony overlay is very clean and as I am not sure what I am missing it is absolutely fine as it is at the moment.

The build quality is really good, although it's a plastic case it is very high quality and matt in finish. I really don't like the USB/Charge and HDMI flaps though as they feel like they will come off over time and are so fiddly. The screen is covered in a protective film that you can see if you follow around the edges, it is unobtrusive though and allows you to see the best smartphone screen I have ever seen... See if you can find a pixel...

Battery life... Right ok, yesterday I spent the afternoon getting all my fave apps onto the phone and adjusting setting to my personal preference and after charging to full the night before I got 6 'full screen on' hours... This sounds poor but I was really putting it to the test...
I charged up from empty to full in 2 hours last night, turned it on and left it on the bedside from around 11pm in standby turning off data and lowering screen brightness to 20%ish with a timeout of 30secs, it is now 9pm and after some light use making 4 brief calls and a handful of texts, one brief trip with Google Nav, some News and Sport reading via apps and the browser plus some good photos I have 48% remaining of battery life... The one little thing I did forget to mention that I did upgrade firmware via Sony's PC Companion which is onboard the device, this I understand has helped with the battery life but even so 22hrs of light use with plenty of battery still left on a Dual Core Smartphone is pretty good I think...

It's a great phone/mini PC really, I am now looking forward to plugging it into the TV via the HDMI cable I found in the box.

Love it so far, hope I dont drop it...
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on 18 November 2012
I can not recommend this phone highly enough. Superb camera on it, just a top phone. Please note this though. I previously bought 2 Xperia T's, one from Sony one from Amazon, sent them straight back! They suffer from a major manufacturing defect, a terrible buzzing noise on auto focus on the video function. DO NOT BUT A T UNLESS SONY SORT THE PROBLEM OUT! Search google of youtube for 'Xperia T noise on focus' Sony said there will be an update that may solve it BUT if it came after my 14 days returns period I would not be able to return it for a refund and at just short of £500 I wasn't willing to risk it. To be honest I can't see how the T can be any better than this S though.

Xperia S highly recommended! Xperia T avoid like the plague (until fault is fixed)
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