Sony Xperia U review: Fun united
The Xperia S has all the spotlight to itself in the NXT series, but history has taught us that Sony (and previously Sony Ericsson) can do wonders in the compact class. In two generations of minis and the Xperia ray, the Japanese have delivered packages that no one in the same price range can beat.
We are not saying those smartphones were perfect - it's all about cutting the right corners in this class and Sony's engineers have proven time and time again that they are pretty good at that. The Xperia U is seemingly no exception, judging by a quick glance at the list of pros and cons.
- Quad-band GSM /GPRS/EDGE support
- 3.5" 16M-color capacitive touchscreen of Full WVGA resolution (854 x 480 pixels) with Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine
- Android OS v2.3.7 Gingerbread, planned Android 4.0 ICS update
- Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, 512 MB RAM, NovaThor U8500 chipset
- 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and geotagging, Multi Angle shot
- 720p video recording @ 30fps with continuous autofocus and stereo sound
- Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
- GPS with A-GPS
- 8 GB built-in storage (6 GB user-accessible)
- microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Voice dialing
- Adobe Flash 11 support
- Deep Facebook integration
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Transparent stripe changes color depending on screen content
- Replaceable cap at the bottom allows easy customization
- Limited storage with no expansion options
- No Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of box
- Some competitors are slimmer
The Sony Xperia U specs sheet reads like a high-end device for the most part and the design of the smartphone easily manages to keep pace. Sure it's not the slim sweetness of the Xpera ray, but the Xperia U is still nicely compact and the transparent strip, which changes its color to match the screen contents, is a cool accent.
The obvious catch is the very limited internal storage - 4GB for your documents and media files and 2GB for apps is what you get out of the box and, if that's a deal breaker, you should probably start looking for other options as there's no way around it.
If you think this kind of storage (with some help from the cloud perhaps) will suffice, join us on the next page for the hardware inspection of what might turn out to be one of the hottest devices of the season.