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Sony Xperia Go and Xperia acro S: Announcement

If I remember it well last summer the announcement of new Sony (тогда еще SE) models took place simultaneously with their world premiere, which is turning into a good tradition now. It is strange nowadays when products reach the market weeks, months or even years after the launch (nothing will help Blackberry 9900). Sony promises to deliver first samples soon, but it is not clear when we will be able to get our hands on engineering prototypes. Let's look at the models first.

Sony Xperia Go

If Xperia Active offered good protection, but fell short in terms of features and had a controversial design, Go impresses with features and has decent protection and design. The price is not known yet though. The main advantage is that you can swim with it and record video under water or even drop the device (preferably not on the concrete surface and not from too big a height). It can resist dust, sand and scratches. During the presentation we heard about the concept of 4 screens, but I am not sure everyone has all Sony brands. Do you own VAIO, Bravia, Xperia, Tablet and Playstation at the same time? We have to choose best models in particular niches. I like Sony TVs, use Xperia S from time to time, play with PSP3 and am not against VAIO, but Tablet drives me crazy. In the case of Go other points must be targeted, for example style, price and three body colors. The black is rough with bright blue coming from within near the headphones jack or a strap hole. I like the idea. People often ask why Sony always adds holes to their models, but in Japan consumers attach key rings, memory sticks or even soft toys. Cultures differ after all.

I did not understand the place in the press release dealing with market research data: "Market research shows that protection and water resistance are important factors for smartphone owners. For example according to the survey carried out by Mobile Marketing Data Labo in Japan water resistance is the third most important factor for smartphone owners. Survey among subscribers on the Sony Mobile fan page on Facebook confirmed the body strength as a major factor when choosing a handset. In Japan Xperia acro HD similar to Xperia acro S did extremely well when it appeared in March of 2012, which also underlines the attraction of rugged phone body and water resistance quality".

Success on the Japanese market is a tricky thing, because it has unique features and differs considerably from elsewhere. Android is getting more popular and Sony operator models attract attention. I can argue about the importance of ruggedness as the main criterion, because consumers usually choose value for money. Protected phones remain niche offerings and the research merely justifies Sony moves – people want protected models, here we are. I would target active lifestyle with water and snow to protect from.

A 5 MP camera is complemented by a mineral glass screen, which allows touches even with wet fingers. So far we get Android 2.3, but the upgrade to Android 4.0 will be available. In the lineup of black, white and yellow I favor black and yellow.

The detailed description of protection standards in the press release was quite useful:

  • IP67 = protection from dust and water between 15 cm and 1 m
  • IP55 = limited protection from dust without harmful components and water jets of 6.3 mm in diameter coming in any direction
  • IP57 = limited protection from dust without harmful components and water between 15 cm and 1 m

Xperia Go boasts IP67, while acro S has IP55 and IP57. Interestingly, Go has a decorative cover to access a memory and SIM cards, while the battery is protected by a serious cover. Why not have slots, which require no cover removal in the first place? I already asked the question in the review of Sony Xperia S.

Sony Xperia Go characteristics:

  • Protection: IP67
  • Networks: 3G UMTS/HSPA 850(900)/2100 MHz; GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Dimensions: 111x60,3x9,8 мм
  • Weight: 110 g.
  • Processor: dual core STE NovaThor U8500, 1 GHz; ARM Mali 400 GPU and NEON support
  • Platform: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with the planned update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Screen: 3.5" Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine and resolution of 480x320
  • Camera: 5 MP with autofocus and LED backlight; HD (720p) support for the video recording
  • Memory: 8 GB of inbuilt memory (up to 4 GB available to users), 512 MB of RAM and microSD slot
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, DLNA, USB 2.0 HS, aGPS, and a 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Battery: 1305 mAh

Sony acro S

During the presentation we saw a Japanese model with the NTT Docomo logo and appropriate antenna. There are caps everywhere here and the model resembles a jet serviced before the flight with many openings and connections. The screen is good and the same can be said about the camera. Sensor buttons are much better too. The design is not as impressive as that of Xperia S, but the Sony style is not missing. The build of a black, white and pink bodies is good. On one hand it is a practical variation of S, but it can be sold as a different device. As rumors have it acro S will be slightly more expensive than Xperia S. The handset also boasts a mineral glass capable of handling wet touches, you can record under water. The phone can survive rain and diving.

All in all the announcement did not set the ocean on fire, especially against the background of developments in the Android ecosystem with the arrival of Galaxy SIII. These niche models can find their owners, but the price will influence their fortunes a lot. I liked acro S more. Surprisingly, it is easier to handle than the original S, which is a serious improvement.

Sony Xperia acro S characteristics:

  • Protection: IP55 and IP57
  • Networks: 3G UMTS/HSPA+ 850/900/1900/2100 MHz; GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Dimensions: 126x66x11.9 mm
  • Weight: 147 g.
  • Processor: dual core Qualcomm MSM8260, 1,5 GHz; Adreno 220 GPU
  • Platform: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Screen: 4.3" РВ Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine and resolution of 1280x720
  • Main camera: 12 MP with autofocus and LED backlight; Full HD (1080p) support for the video recording
  • Frontal camera: 1.3 MP, HD video recording
  • Memory: 16 GB of inbuilt memory (up to 11 GB available to users), 1 GB of RAM and microSD slot
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, DLNA, HDMI, NFC, USB 2.0 HS, aGPS, GLONASS and a 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Battery: 1910 mAh

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Sergei Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)
Twitter Livejournal
Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 31 May 2012

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