Expert Review of Sony Xperia Acro S Black
The Sony Xperia Acro S is a rugged Android-powered smartphone launched by Sony Mobile (formerly Sony Ericsson). The Acro S is the international version of the Xperia Acro HD that Sony had launched exclusively for its home market Japan earlier this year. The only distinctions between the two versions are that the international version lacks certain Japan-specific features like mobile wallet, mobile TV and infrared port data exchange. The Xperia Acro S sports a bright 4.3-inch capacitive LED-backlit LCD touchscreen of HD resolution (720 x 1280 pixels), powered by Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA engine. The display is protected by a sheet of scratch-resistant shatter-proof glass. The smartphone runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a capable 1.5 GHz dual-core Scorpion processor with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and 1GB RAM.
The smartphone also features a 12-megapixel autofocus camera along with LED flash, capable of taking pictures of resolution 4000x3000 pixels. Some of the features included in the camera are touch focus, Geo-tagging, face and smile detection, image stabilization and 3D sweep panorama. You can also shoot 1080p HD video along with stereo sound and continuous autofocus. A 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera has also been provided for video-calling functionality. As far as connectivity features are concerned, you get everything that you can ask for, including Wi-Fi, GPRS/EDGE, 3G, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, NFC connectivity, microUSB v2.0 and USB On-The-Go support. The Xperia Acro S is powered by a 1910 mAh standard Li-Ion battery that gives talk time of up to 6h 40min on 2G and up to 7h 10min on 3G, and stand-by time of up to 290h on 2G and up to 310h on 3G.
User Interface and UI functionality
From the outside, you notice some of the imperfections in the form and usability of the Xperia Acro S. The lock key is much too soft and the capacitive buttons are a bit difficult to press since they are tiny and located at too much proximity to the sensitive display. The Android 4.ICS interface has Sony’s own skin pasted on top. ICS features like accessing the camera interface or the drop-down bar from the lock screen have been retained. Sony has also added in many beautiful wallpapers, some of them live wallpapers. The social-networking crowd would be pleased to know that Facebook and Twitter have both been duly integrated through the Timescape application, which gives you a feed depicting the latest stories and useful widgets to keep up with what’s going on in the social networking world
Music files on your device are handled by the Walkman music player and it does the job pretty well. The minimalistic interface comes with useful and handy functions and features properly-organized playlists. It is also very versatile, searching up music videos and artist information on the Web directly from the “Now Playing” window. Various audio enhancements have also been packed in, such as XLOUD, which amplifies the loudspeaker's maximum volume without causing any painful distortion; Clear Bass which lets you control the lower frequencies; and, of course, the five-band manual equalizer that lets you fine tune the audio to suit your preferences. Video playback is handled beautifully on theXperia acro S, which manages to play almost any video file format you throw at it, be it QuickTime (.mov), MPEG4, MKV or even DivX. Beautiful 1080p HD video playback will enamor you and there is no lag when you rewind or fast-forward playback. The large 4.3-inch HD display makes it an absolute delight to watch movies on your smartphone.
Pictures and Video quality
When you take out the 12MP camera in the Xperia acro S for a spin, you will notice that it manages to take really neat photos in the outdoors. If you zoom in you’ll notice a little bit of graininess that shouldn’t be present in a 12MP camera but overall, the pictures are magnificent. Close-up snapshots show a lot of detail and the shutter is very responsive. On the indoors however, the photos are only good when there is adequate light. In low-light conditions, the camera finds it difficult to focus despite having help from the LED flash.
You can connect to the internet via a variety of ways on the Xperia acro S- whether it be Wi-Fi, 3G or GPRS/EDGE. The stock browser is great and manages to handle even heavy web pages with élan. Zoom in/out works smoothly and switching between multiple tabs requires you to simply swipe your finger in a horizontal manner from one edge to another. Although native support for Adobe Flash is not included, you can separately install a compatible version from the Adobe website.
Internal and External Memory
The Xperia Acro S comes with 16GB of internal memory storage capacity, out of which you have access to 13GB. If you want more, you can easily use a microSD card and expand memory capacity up to 32GB.
Applications and Gaming
The Xperia Acro S comes preloaded with many applications such as Walkman, Document Viewer, Timescape integration with Facebook and Twitter, Google Search, Maps, Latitude, Street View, Gmail, GTalk Calendar, Picasa, Play Store and YouTube. The smartphone is also PlayStation Certified so you’ll have access to many of the past, present and upcoming titles from PlayStation.
The Xperia Acro S runs on a powerful 1,910mAh standard Li-Ion battery that gives talk time of up to 6h 40min on 2G and up to 7h 10min on 3G, and stand-by time of up to 290h on 2G and up to 310h on 3G. You can also enjoy continuous music playback up to 23 hours.
The Xperia Acro S has no dearth in connectivity features, with support for Wi-Fi, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot, GPRS/EDGE, 3G, Bluetooth v3.0, microUSB v2.0, USB on-the-go support, GPS and Near Field Communication (NFC). A HDMI port is also provided. Since the phone is water-resistant, all the ports are covered by removable plastic flaps.
Google-owned Motorola is also launching its RAZR HD smartphone around the same time as the Sony Xperia Acro S. While the Xperia Acro S has a display powered by Sony’s Mobile Bravia engine, the Motorola RAZR HD is looking to employ a Super AMOLED screen (like that in Galaxy S III). Both phones run Android 4.0 ICS out-of-the-box but will soon receive upgrades to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. However, the 12MP shooter of the Xperia Acro S scores some serious brownie points over the 8MP camera on the RAZR HD. On the other hand, the RAZR HD packs serious muscle in its 2500 mAh battery that can let you enjoy 10 hours of continuous movie playback. Also, the Motorola RAZR HD is LTE-enabled while the Xperia Acro S still packs 3G.