Sony Xperia S 32Gb (Xperia NXT Series LT26i) Android Smartphone Review
For some time Sony Ericsson have been a major player in the mobile phone industry and in their various guises have created some classic handsets such as the P900 and T10. Despite some fairly inventive handsets such as the Xperia Play and X10mini Pro which have been released in the last year or so they have failed to make a decent impact on the smartphone market with HTC, Samsung and the like pulling ahead. Part of this is down to consumers not really connecting with the handset designs, others were put off by the Sony skin on top of Android and others frustrated by the lack of support and delayed update process.
In a move designed to refresh their image and product line Sony recently dropped the Ericsson brand from their handsets and are going it alone in the naming sense with a new range of Xperia phones which look to jump start their Android sales. Sharing a similar design they all have unique selling points such as the Xperia P’s floating touch display were we simply hover over the screen to activate functions and sitting at the top of the product stack is the Xperia S. The Xperia S is Sony’s flagship phone for this generation and so is packed with decent specifications and features; today it is the focus of our review.
Packaging and Bundle
Sony package their Xperia S in a compact box which is less than an inch thick. It has a nice clear image of the handset on the front along with a note of some key features and when we open it a second box slips out and folds open to reveal the handset, wrapped in protective plastic, and the bundled extras.
Starting off the bundle we have a bunch of standard extras which include product documentation, USB data/charge cable and charger. The bundle gets a little bit more special with the inclusion of a HDMI cable and then we find a Sony Smart Headset otherwise known as "LiveSound". As well as providing us with a more desirable audio quality than most free headphones this model arrives with various earbud sizes and some advanced functionality. Through using the buttons on the control pod we can, as normal, answer/end calls and change the volume but an additional button "LiveKey" is present and can be configured in the operating system, using LiveManager, for various tasks.
The bundle of extras doesn’t stop there and Sony also include a free screen protector and application cloth as well as a set of SmartTags. SmartTags work in conjunction with the Xperia S’s Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality to activate different functions on the phone. We can for example leave one in the car, and when we get there and place the phone near it our profile can change to one more suited for vehicle use. Want particular set of apps/widgets to launch when returning home or even entering a particular room, no problem just leave an assigned tag there too.