Sony Xperia sola review: Light 'em up

GSMArena team, 29 May 2012.
Pages: 123456789

Introduction

Sony are busy extending their Xperia line, after the Japanese behemoth bought out their Ericsson counterpart, and the Xperia sola lies squarely in the middle of the pack. The flagship Xperia S has set the ceiling and the Xperia U will set the floor of what to expect from the company's Android offerings. The Xperia sola, for its part, must be keen to bolster the impression that Sony is in pretty good shape since going solo.

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Sony Xperia S official photos

Although technically not a part of the NXT series, the Xperia sola shares some of the design choices of its 2012 Xperia siblings. It offers a few notable features to make up for its lack of Ice Cream Sandwich (the Android 4.0 update is scheduled for summer 2012). These include a super-crisp Reality display with Floating Touch and a powerful dual-core processor, which promises tp run Gingerbread perfectly smooth. It also has NFC, and the retail package comes with a couple of NFC tags to play around with.

Here's the lowdown on the pros and cons of the Sony Xperia sola:

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM /GPRS/EDGE support
  • 3.7" 16M-color capacitive touchscreen of Full WVGA resolution (854 x 480 pixels) with Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine; Floating touch display
  • 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 geo-tagging, 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 (5 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
  • NFC connectivity and included NFC tags

Main disadvantages

  • No front-facing camera
  • No Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of box
  • Display has poor viewing angles
  • Stiff and unresponsive shutter key
  • Non user-replaceable battery

The Sony Xperia sola strives to give you a feature-rich experience to set itself apart from the crowd of midrange droids. The Smart tags are definitely a step in the right direction, with NFC continuing to pick up steam. Overall, the Xperia sola has a competitive set of features for its price range and the Floating Touch technology adds a measure of exclusivity. The display can react to not only taps but hovering fingers.

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Sony Xperia sola live pictures

Coming up is our unboxing of the Xperia sola, as well as an examination of its design and build quality.

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