Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Sony Xperia S + P


So for the last few months or so I have had a new phone. Guess what brand (it's in the title). Now I have a soft spot for Sony phones. They have constantly been good feature phones; cyber shot, walkman, and of course now we are in the age of the smartphone. Now Sony was once in bed with Ericsson, and the first Android phone I bought was the Xperia X10. Now it had a lot of criticisms as it didn't come with the latest version of Android - it shipped with 1.6 - but over the lifetime of the phone it was upgraded up to 2.3 and by that point it was quite a good phone and did what I wanted, even if it was a little slow and laggy. But it still worked. Also compared to the phones at the time the X10 had a more original design in my opinion. It had a soft touch back that curved to fit in the hand well.

Now at the time my wife had the iPhone 3Gs. Now that still is quite a great phone. A bit limited for my tastes. It feels a bit clunky to use, but it still looks good compared to some of what comes out now. Also it had that nice pebble like back to it. It made is comfortable in the hand.

Now the new phones. So I have a Xperia S and same has the Xperia P. The S, P and the U, and the three phones of the new range, with the S being the largest and the P being the middle sized phone.

So design wise what do we have. We still have the curved back, and the S still has that nice soft touch plastic finish. It's a slim phone, and quite angular and imposing. Almost monolithic. Sharp edges and none of that pill-like overly curved corners. It of course as nice brushed metal buttons, and as always a dedicated camera button - which even when in locked mode the camera will spring to life. Otherwise it seems rather plain. Except that the phone as on the lower portion below the screen a clear strip that illuminates when the phone charges or is activated. This strip is also is where the antenna is. This strip really is a bit of a gimmick but also something that stops the phone being like all other black slabs. But recently this has become a useful design as an app now allows the strip to pulse when the phone receives a text or misses a call.

The P,  is of course a smaller phone, (4.0 inch diagonal widescreen HD rather than the 4.3 of the S). But rather than soft touch plastic the P is a aluminium body, following all the same design principles.

Now it's hard to say which phone looks better. Large screen and thinner, or aluminium body.

Now the S has just got android 4.0 while the P is getting the update from 2.3 in August. Now the difference between the software are subtle, and more so because Sony don't do any heavy skinning of android. The skin is an nice simplification of what was on my X10. Live wallpapers are simple but attractive, and the timescape app has been reduced in it's importance to the system. As for 4.0 compared to 2.3, Sony have backported some features.

Now if there is one thing I really like about the P is the white magic screen. So while both have Bravia Reality display screens, with the both using full HD, the P also has something extra. White Magic means the pixels are the typical green, cyan an magenta, but also a fourth white pixel. this pixel makes the screen brighter and also means the screen uses less power. It really does make a difference.

Is there much more to say? Well I think the improved screens and sizes make them both ideal for reading books, pdfs, comics, and are really good for watching movies.

If there is a phone that has got some unfair reviews recently it is the S.