FALL­ING SHORT

The Sony Xpe­ria ion is pro­ject­ing it­self as a con­tender in the top-end smart­phone seg­ment, com­pet­ing against the Sam­sung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X. But will this gam­bit pay off?

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - MOBILES -

1

LOOKS

The Xpe­ria lineup has seen some good-look­ing smart­phones. Ear­lier this year, the com­pany in­tro­duced a new de­sign with a domed shape and a thin, trans­par­ent panel at the bot­tom. Al­though it looked flashy, the strip did not add any value to the phone. The ion ditches the trans­par­ent panel though it re­tains the domed de­sign. The phone’s 4.6-inch HD dis­play makes it re­ally big to hold. How­ever, the menu, home, back and search but­tons be­low do not add up to a fresh look. The plas­tic-metal back panel is done in red and looks a bit in­con­gru­ent.

2

DIS­PLAY

The Sony ion packs in a 4.6-inch HD Re­al­ity Dis­play. This fancy term stands for 720p (1280x720) LED panel with a pixel den­sity of 342 dpi. Com­bined with the Mo­bile Bravia Engine, this means en­hanced sharp­ness, in­creased con­trast and sat­u­ra­tion. Over­all, a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence with im­ages and videos. The dis­play has an ex­cel­lent view­ing an­gle. But we rec­om­mend a screen pro­tec­tor as we could feel a cou­ple of scratches on our newish re­view unit.

3

CAM­ERA

Though their cam­eras are get­ting bet­ter, most An­droid smart­phones now don’t bother about a cam­era key. The ion is an ex­cep­tion and has one on the right panel to in­stantly launch the 12MP cam­era that cap­tures crisp and bright im­ages. Snaps shot in day­light were im­pres­sive, but as soon as came in­doors, we could spot some noise. Low light con­di­tions only made things worse. While the de­fault set­ting was at 9MP with scene recog­ni­tion, you can choose other modes as in a com­pact cam­era, to 12MP with nor­mal mode, for in­stance. We could also cap­ture full HD videos.

4

POWER

The ex­pe­ri­ence of us­ing this An­droid-pow­ered smart­phone was good but not ex­cep­tional. The phone in­stantly down­loaded the web set­tings and con­nected us to the In­ter­net for fetch­ing email, down­load­ing apps and brows­ing the Web. The over­all speed was good with­out any lag. To run the An­droid Ice-Cream Sand­wich OS, the Sony ion packs in a 1.5GHz dual-core pro­ces­sor com­bined with 1GB RAM. This also ex­plains the steep price tag. This phone is def­i­nitely faster than the Xpe­ria S but does not match up to the per­for­mance of the HTC One X or the Sam­sung Galaxy SIII.

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