Sony Xperia S reviewed

Vlad Savov reviews Sony's Xperia S for The Verge. With a 1280x720 display, 12 megapixel camera and a dual-core CPU, it's the company's first major new design since buying out Sony-Ericsson. How does it do?

The Xperia S isn't a bad phone, it's just not particularly good at any one thing. I find this disappointing because Sony's brand ethos has always been about conquering the heights of technology, not settling for a moderately good device in the middle of the pack.

Dead on arrival, in other words. You can tell Sony is trying hard to catch up, however, because the edition of Android on it is only 14 months old.


  1. if only there was a way to update the OS in a month or so…

    Rob – I appreciate your covering technology, but it seems that you have the ability to make any Android device review a lot worse than it actually is.

    1. Actually, they really didn’t like it that much.  FTFA:

      “It’s not thinner, faster, stronger, or in any other way better than the pack.”

    2. If the device sells well enough there’s a chance it will get OS upgrades. But that’s a gamble that the majority of Android buyers (myself included) will lose. But hey, feel free to roll the dice, it’s a free market.

      1. I thought the phrase was “If you build it, they will come”, NOT “If you come, they will build it.” Why not just buy an iPhone and have 100% certainty of having both the latest version on the device as it ships and guaranteed access to updates for at least a couple of years ?

    3. I am not a 30 year old white gadget reviewer who says everything gets 7-9 out of 10 and is a solid entry in the cellular landscape that might be good for you if you’ve had enough of your iPhone, Galaxy Nexus, Nokia Lumia, Epic Touch 4G, Evo and Razr MAXX! I am a HUMAN BEING!

      1. I don’t blame you. But to be fair, you didn’t even review this phone. I’ve seen times when you like to a review and then summarize it to be worse than it actually is by picking a choosing parts of the review.

        I agree their review wasn’t glowing, but at the same time, I didn’t feel their review warranted a DOA label…

        1. Agree… we definitely need to choose the right reviewer, not necessary seeing mediocre reviewer`s articles with an extremely subjective point of view. Sometimes it sounds `too biased and just even paid by others to write like this`

          The phone works perfectly and its smoth in any application (and as usual, a well made product makes it get better performance than phones with “better” specs), PLUS, the display is and will be, for a long time, the best on market (no talk about the spectacular camera, the battery). The design makes the phone fit your hand very well and the materials used are just good and I accept SONY as a really respectful company with the environment unlike other many major makers.

          I love when I see people talking nonsense about processors and not even thinking about battery. I wonder what happen if anyone has an accident being unable to call an ambulance because he/she spent the battery playing angry birds with a quad-core and 3 hours battery-life phone.

          Good for SONY, the perfect phones for smart people. Keep buying mediocre samsungs, I will keep buying amazing SONY

  2. Depends.  The problem with getting a phone that flops in the market is that the support dries up really quick, leaving you stranded with an old version of the OS and no hope for updates short of hacking the phone yourself and trying your luck.  

  3. I think most Android devices have become like cars; they are all competent vehicles that do everything you want reasonably well, and few stand out in any significant way from the rest.

    Unlike a couple years ago, the mean quality of an android device is quite high, so people can choose based on specific features.

    For example the phone above looks fantastic, and checks all of the boxes that any decent phone has to, thus for many people it will serve them quite well

    1. “For example the phone above looks fantastic, and checks all of the boxes that any decent phone has to”
      NOPE. Missed the box on “comes with a modern OS.” The fact it missed that obvious box is kind of the point of this article.

      1. But is that a thing most people care about? I doubt most buyers even know what version of the OS they have and whether it’s the current version or not.

  4. Once you go beyond specs, you get into crippling flaws… Poor reception, build quality issues, etc… If Sony has a phone without those issues, it becomes one of a handful of current gen smartphones without serious drawbacks.

  5. Weird, the reviews I’ve read so far have been really positive: “The combination of a powerful dual-core processor, a stunning 4.3in screen and smart NFC and media sharing capability make the Sony Xperia S one of the best Android devices currently available, besting the flagship Samsung Galaxy Nexus in most areas bar the lack of Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. “

  6.  Except that it is made by Sony, a company that have been fighting against innovation, that spread rootkit to their customer, that let their customer info get stolen with lax security, that blocked legitimate use of hardware (PS3 other OS option), etc.

  7. What do Sony know about phones? They should have stuck to what they are good at, except everyone is just as good as Sony used to be these days, and do it cheaper. The brand name is no longer synonymous with unique quality anymore.

  8. One bit of lovely geekiness it does have: GLONASS support, meaning more accurate navigation performance because of many more satellites.

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