51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
So far so good - a great little phone for the money,
This review is from: Sony Xperia U Sim Free Smartphone - Black (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I'll get it over with first: the well-discussed (if you've followed the forums and read other reviews) lack of a memory card slot is a bit naff, but with a small screen you're not likely to loading it up with oodles of videos. Bear in mind there is 6GB user memory altogether (2GB for apps, 4GB for media), not 4GB as many say. Know your needs, and take your pick. Rather annoyingly, the phone's memory does not appear as a standard mass-storage device when you plug it in with USB, instead it uses MTP for which support without installing bloated extra software is somewhat patchy. However I have successfully coaxed it to work with Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux.
The design is surprisingly decent, build quality average to good, and the screen is luscious - do fit a screen protector (at least one should be supplied) immediately to keep it that way. Some may not be so keen on the widescreen 16:9 ratio compared with the iPhone's 3:2, which does mean that although both are nominally 3.5" screens, the iPhone's is more spacious for portrait mode messaging. Android 2.3.7 works well enough so far, and Sony admit the specs (especially 512MB RAM) are a bit borderline for the promised ICS upgrade, so not sure whether I will bother with that. Battery life isn't too shabby, thanks to the efficient NovaThor processor - with light use, 2 to 3 days between charge seems about order of the day, but obviously not everyone's definition of "light" is the same. The camera is fair, with the 4mm f/2.6 lens well recessed to keep it protected, and a physical shutter button (also activates the camera from sleep) though it is quite stiff.
The supplied handsfree headset is about as cheap as Sony could muster, but the socket is a standard 3.5mm jack, and compatible with normal music headphones and CTIA handsfree devices (not the same as Sony Ericsson used to use alas). The (in)famous LED strip is surprisingly unobtrusive, even though it cannot be turned off altogether (though it's not illuminated constantly either; I haven't yet quite followed the logic, but it's fine), but the optional pink end cap is pretty horrid in my opinion. Dressed all in black straight from the box, the phone is smart and businesslike.