Written by: Melanie Hick
4 / 5 stars
At Mobile World Congress Sony had by far the best tapas at any launch event. We're talking tiny fried artichoke hearts, bowls full of hot mini sausages, a full bar and more.
The nibbles were a big deal, because Sony was launching its first ever smart phone as a stand alone brand.
If you like Android, and a slick, modern touch screen phone, then yes. The Xperia S is that slick, modern Android you've been looking for.
The Xperia S has the heavy-in-the-hand feel that makes a phone feel worth the money, with a nice matte back, and high sheen full-width high res screen.
Three tiny touch buttons - that anyone with poor eyesight could miss - navigate your way home and around the OS.
There's a modern, but ultimately gimmicky clear strip at the base which acts as an antenna. If colour's your thing, you can also slip the base off and replace with a coloured option. Also pointless.
There's not much point talking about calls and texts in phones anymore, is there? Other than sending texts on this phone is much more reliable than the iMessage system on iPhone which continually lets me down.
And so to the camera, which is what phones are mainly about now.
It's great that the camera activates just by holding down the shoot button at the side. With the lens position in the centre of the phone, I did find my finger naturally drifting into shot.
The 12 megapixel camera shoots multiple images in quick succession, and touching the screen focuses on your subject. Having all the camera features on the shooting screen, much like a digital camera display, is really handy for a quick change to front camera, video, or options like panoramic shooting.
Unfortunately you can't share straight from the image, or at least there was no easy or obvious way to do it.
The massive 4.3" screen, which is so clear it's almost retina, could be too large for some. But it's great for viewing high end apps like net-a-porter, or playing games like Angry Birds.
The Xperia S promises to be best friends with your BRAVIA TV using BRAVIA Sync to share video and music content. Apparently you can control your Xperia S with your TV remote control when connected to the TV, though that's not something we were able to test.
It's a shame, as with all Android phones, the navigation seems so cluttered. I don't really need to see the McAfee logo, a download symbol and diary link on every screen. The unnecessary details throughout the nav of the S, are the only things that lets this phone down.
· 4.3” HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA© Engine.
· 12MP camera with Exmor™ R sensor + HD video.
· HD sharing with HDMI (cable in-box).
· Super-fast1.5GHz dual core processor.
· 32GB internal memory.
· NFC compatible.
Sony Xperia S is available on UK carriers now. On Three, prices are £369.99, then £15 per month on Three pay as you go, or £30 a month pay monthly.