The Sony Xperia acro S review course is complete and it's now time to check out its scorecard and see if it's worth your hard-earned cash. To be honest, it's not easiest thing to call, as the worth of the Xperia acro S is very much dependent on how important water-resistance is to you.
If you are the outdoorsy type who likes to take your smartphone to the beach but don't want to worry about it getting water-damage or filled with sand, than the acro S should definitely be on your shortlist. There's no better smartphone with an IP57 certification out there and that's that.
But even if you could live without the extra protection against the elements, the Sony Xperia acro S is not to be written off too easily. It offers decent performance, a splendid 720p screen and an excellent 12 megapixel shooter, which turn the elemental resistance into an extra. You can think of it as an insurance against evenings ruined by damaged circuits. After all, as smartphones become an ever-increasing part of our lives, any accident that befalls them gets harder to live with.
Still, if you are the careful type, you will probably find better value for your money elsewhere. It's not that the acro S fails in any aspect of its performance as a smartphone, but it doesn't exactly excel either - while some of its price point peers do.
The first name that comes to mind is naturally Sony's own Xperia S. The former Sony flagship packs basically the same specs sheet as it water-loving cousin, but costs less, has a slightly better design with that transparent stripe and a slimmer waistline.
But the handset that really makes the Sony Xperia acro S pale in comparison is the LG Optimus 4X HD. For the same €399 price tag, the LG flagship (until the Optimus G comes out) will throw in two extra cores, a slimmer waistline and a larger screen.
The super-slim metal-clad HTC One S also costs about the same as the acro S, but puts two Krait cores and an AMOLED screen into the mix. It is missing on the HD fun, though, so sharpness maniacs should probably avoid that option.
Then again, if the IPX7 certification is a must for you (and if you are reading this review, chances are it is), you only have one alternative that can match the smartphone experience of the acro S.
The Panasonic Eluga DL1 has a far more compact shell then the Xperia, but having handled it a few times (though we couldn't keep it for long enough to make a review) we have to admit we were rather disappointed by both the handling and the software package. Maybe things will change once Panasonic issues the ICS update, but until then we'd pick the Sony Xperia acro S over the DL1 any day.
In conclusion, the Sony Xperia acro S is a very solid smartphone. It didn't manage to beat non-water-resistant smartphones at their own game (which is too much to ask of any such smartphone, realistically speaking), but it does the task it was created to do quite splendidly. Here's hoping that Sony will take good care of it and issue an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in a timely manner.