The Xperia U is a quad band GSM handset with 3G, Wi-Fi, DLNA and GPS support. The major addition out here though is USB on the go support. With the limited internal memory, you might just need that feature more often than not. The stock browser is quite slow for even slightly image heavy websites and we’d recommend you get a third party one if viewing web pages on the go is a priority. GPS locking was prompt and quick. With Timescape UI, Sony has handled social integration pretty well. A couple of widgets on the home screen allow you to create favourites and follow them and view their latest updates.
One of the most important grudges we have against the Xperia U is the hearing quality, the inbuilt earpiece wasn’t as loud as we’d wanted it to be causing us to press the phone against our ears. The speaker volume also was way too low for the recipient to be audible. Definitely a major drawback as the conversation has to inadvertently rely more on external factors like environment noise.
Sony has bundled all the essential apps required for you to get started. There’s OfficeSuite (only viewing, no editing), Play NOW, LiveWare Manager and the standard Wisepilot for your navigation needs.
The Xperia U comes with a 5 megapixel camera. Indoor shots capture quite a decent amount of detail but noise crept in as well. Outdoor shots are slightly better with more light capture and colour reproduction. Macro shots were pretty ho hum and they summed up what we felt overall about the camera - average.
The U supports 720p video recording at 30fps. It’s good enough for uploading to social media but you’d be better off taking another dedicated device to capture special moments. The phone has a VGA front camera and it’s important to note that the phone hanged quite a bit while initiating video chats. We had to restart the phone often while using video chat with GTalk.
Outdoor shots are good
Ho hum macro shots
Too much noise
The U is strapped with a 1320 mAh battery and the dual core processor shows no mercy towards it. Under normal usage, the phone would run out of battery less than three quarters into the day with the processor being the clear culprit. In our video loop test we managed a shallow five hours twenty minutes of usage.
Dual core processor shows no mercy on battery
In our loop test, the phone survived for six hours fifteen minutes. This included one and a half hours of calling, two hours of video, audio and forty five minutes of streaming via Wi-Fi. Be sure to carry a charger along if you have moderate to heavy usage of the phone.
Worth a buy?
The Sony Xperia U is priced at Rs. 16,400. If the dual core processor had got you excited during the launch, chances are high that you’ve already purchased this device. But, that’s not the whole story. For a grand more, you get the HTC One V, which may have a slower processor on paper, but you won’t be able to tell the difference - as both are equally fast (or slow, for that matter). The One V had the better (and bigger) display, a better camera and came with ICS on board. The cons list for this device includes a poor speaker and earpiece, no expandable memory, no 1080p support, software issues and a poor battery life. The Xperia U is a flawed genius and an accumulation of drawbacks prevent it from being a must buy.
Updated 18 Jun, 2013, 12:38 pm IST
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18 Jun, 2013, 12:38 PM
18 Jun, 2013, 10:18 AM
18 Jun, 2013, 10:07 AM
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