Review: Sony Xperia go
A sleek, well-made, waterproof handset.
Water- and dust-proof; Sturdy build; Sleek design; Impressive sound quality; Smooth UI.
Weak earpiece; no front-facing camera.
Sony Xperia go
MRP: Rs 20,000 (Store Locator)
Street price (As On 11-Oct-2012): Rs 17,800 (Infibeam.com); Rs 18,500 (BuyThePrice.com; Flipkart.com)
No matter how careful we are with our smartphones, accidents do happen. One fall or a single water splash, and you might end up killing your beloved phone. To address this, manufacturers have come up with water-resistant and extra-sturdy handsets in the past. Sadly, most of those phones were so ugly that I wouldn't want to carry them in public. Sony is hoping to change that with its sleek Xperia go; let's find out just how tough this Japanese fella is.
Design And Build Quality
The retail box comes with the phone, charger with detachable USB cable, and earphones. The handset measures 4.4" (l) x 2.4" (w) x 0.4" (9.8 mm) (d), and tips the scales at 110 grams. The Xperia go is an IP67 (Ingress Protection 67) compliant phone. The number 6 refers to total protection against dust particles, and "7" refers to the gadget's ability to withstand water immersion (max. 1 metre). I've verified Sony's claim, and the Xperia go is indeed a waterproof phone. It's worth mentioning that the touchscreen is responsive even when it's wet.
The phone is rugged, and manages to look trendy too. In fact, it looks like any other modern smartphone, which is big plus for a phone labelled "tough". (Remember how fugly the Motorola DEFY+ was?) The Xperia go's back panel is extremely sturdy, and all the ports are sealed by plastic flaps. All in all, the Xperia go is the best looking waterproof phone I've ever seen.
The handset's 3.5" screen with Mobile BRAVIA, with pixel dimensions of 320x480, is protected by scratch-resistant mineral glass. The display is bright, and it offers wide viewing angles. Because of the low pixel density, however, the icons tend to have jagged edges. Apart from that, the display is good, considering the device's price tag.
The Xperia go is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core CPU, and has 512 MB of RAM. It sports a 5 mp camera with LED flash. Here's are the detailed specs:
- 1 GHz NovaThor U8500 dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, ARM Mali-400 GPU, 512 MB RAM.
- Quad-band GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 Mhz); Dual-band 3G (900, 2100 MHz).
- 3.5" capacitive multi-touch screen (480x320 pixels) protected by scratch-resistant mineral glass, Mobile BRAVIA Engine, 16 million colours, Handwriting recognition.
- 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, 16x digital zoom, Face detection and Smile detection, Fast Capture; No front-facing camera.
- FM radio with RDS, Micro-USB 2.0, 3.5 mm jack.
- Wi-Fi with hotspot functionality, DLNA certified, Assisted GPS.
- 8 GB of internal storage (4 GB user-accessible), 32 GB microSD card slot.
- Supported Video: 3GPP, MP4, MKV, AVI.
- Supported Audio: MP3, 3GPP, MP4, SMF, WAV, OGG.
- 1305 mAh battery.
- 4.4" (l) x 2.4" (w) x 0.4" (9.8 mm) (d), 110 grams.
- Available Colours: Black, White, Yellow.
UI And Applications
The Xperia go features Sony's custom UI on top of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). The interface is the same as what we've been seeing on the latest Xperia series handsets. Thanks to a dual-core CPU, the phone runs smooth, except when you have too many apps open in the background. Sony has gone quite some way to make this phone a pleasure to use; the upcoming ICS update will probably make things even better.
Although the onboard web browser is snappy, it's not as fast as its ICS counterparts. It supports Flash 11, so you can watch 720p web videos without any problems. Google Maps works fine with A-GPS (Assisted-GPS). The handset comes with preinstalled apps including Compass, Torch, and miCoach; the latter is meant for wannabe athletes and is available for free at Google's Play Store.
The Xperia go has TrackID music recognition support; TrackID can download album art and info for your music library. The music player's interface as well as the sound quality is very good. Additionally, you get plenty of equaliser and surround sound settings.
Coming to video playback, the handset can handle MP4, DivX, XviD, and 3GP videos up to 720p. Needless to say, you can get additional codec support by downloading RockPlayer or MXPlayer.
The 5 mp autofocus camera is accompanied by an LED flash. It's packed with features such as Sweep Panorama, Sweep Multi Angle, and 3D Sweep Panorama. There's also the Fast Capture function,which allows you to take a snap without unlocking the phone. Check out the second screenshot in the gallery.
The snapper delivers decent pictures by 5 mp standards. Photos show a good amount of detail, but the slight yellowish tint can be annoying.
The Xperia go can record 720p videos at 30 fps in MP4 format. Video playback is smooth, and the detailing is good. Click here to check out a video sample.
Telephony, Messaging, Battery, And Verdict
The device's signal reception was good throughout our tests. However, I find the earpiece is quite weak - but I guess that's the tradeoff with a waterproof phone. On the messaging front, the portrait keyboard feels a bit cramped; it's good in landscape mode.
In our tests, the 1305 mAh battery kept the device powered on for a little less than 5 hours under heavy use. With normal use though, you can expect it to last for a day. The Xperia go offers excellent build quality, sleek design, great music quality, a good camera, and a pleasant UI. On the minus side, it lacks a front-facing camera, and it hasn't received the ICS update yet. Overall, it's great value at Rs 18,500.
Design And Build Quality: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5