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Review: Sony Xperia Go

Written By Unknown on Monday, 30 July 2012 | 14:16

It's the monsoon season. Rain gods have not been too kind to India, especially in Delhi and surrounding areas, this year, but there is a chance that one of these days you may find yourself in middle of a downpour.

Getting drenched in rain is an enjoyable experience but it may cost you your phone. Water and smartphones don't go together very well. But there is an exception. The rugged phones can survive rain with ease. These are the phones designed to handle tough conditions well. This means they are waterproof or water resistant up to a reasonable degree. They can survive moderate amount of dust or ice. They can handle a fall or two with grace, without shattering into pieces of broken plastic and glass.

We have one of these rugged phones for review today. Made by Sony, it is called Xperia Go. The name makes Sony's intentions clear - it is a phone meant for those who have active lifestyle and are likely to run into situations where 'normal phones' may be in peril.

But does the phone justify its Go tag? We find out.

Feels light for a rugged phone
Build quality and the material used are crucial for ultra-durable devices. After all, ability to survive odd conditions is the major selling point for these phones. Xperia Go scores well on the durability aspect. It has an all-plastic design, which helps it survive minor bumps and falls. Its ports are covered with plastic caps so that water should not enter into them. Even the speaker grills have thin protective layers on them.

When the back cover is opened, it reveals how Sony has made the phone waterproof. Battery and other internals of the phone are placed inside the phone's body and are not accessible by users unless they are willing to use a screwdriver. Camera and flash modules have rubber rings around them to seal any opening. SIM has to be placed in a tray, which slides in, sealing the phone while micro SD port has a rubber cap.

The use of plastic means the phone feels light and sleek despite its 'tuff' tag. It is also very sturdy, with no creaking parts anywhere. Our only complain as far as the design is concerned is the type of plastic Sony has used to make the back cover. It has a rough finish, similar to sandpaper. Yes, it's a rough-n-tough phone but a smoother finish would have given a better feel to Xperia Go.

Does this work?
Yes, the design works. During our use the phone had several falls or bumps (we made sure that it did). The device survived them with aplomb. Dust? With all its ports sealed, dust proved to be a no issue. And water? We did some extensive water tests with Xperia Go. We washed it, we left it open in rain and we dunked it in jug full of water. The device handled it all fine.

Xperia Go the smartphone
Durability is just one aspect of Xperia Go. It is also an Android smartphone. On paper, it mostly ticks all the right boxes. The phone is powered by a dual-core 1Ghz processor. It has 512MB RAM and 8GB storage, with support for micro SD card. The camera shoots pictures in 5MP and videos in up to 720P resolution. Unfortunately, there is no front camera so you can't use the device for video chats.

Xperia Go is powered by Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread. The original operating software is skinned with Sony's proprietary user interface called Timescape. The Sony's skin is definitely an improvement over Gingerbread in terms of user interface as well as functionality. It is also very pretty, with translucent layers giving it a classy look. That said, it is disappointing that the phone ships with an older version of Android and not Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) or Jelly Bean (Android 4.1).

In terms of performance, we found Xperia Go to be a fairly fast phone. The device handled web browsing, video playback, casual gaming and multitasking with ease. There was no lag in UI and animations were smooth. We also found the call quality to be good. The 5 megapixels camera turned out to be average. The phone clicked pictures that had good colours but lacked details. Battery life was also disappointing with the phone lasting around 9 hours on 3G connection when used for web browsing, Twitter, making calls, some gaming and photography.

Xperia Go looks like a mid-range phone and performs like one. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, there is one crucial aspect where the device falls short. The screen on Xperia Go is poor considering its price. The colours are average and level of brightness, though not good, is something that may not bother most users. But the resolution of 320 x 480 pixels is too low for a 3.5-inch screen. This makes the text look blurry around the edges and especially affects web browsing experience.

Sum of it all
In terms of performance and features, Xperia Go is a decent mid-range phone. Unfortunately, the poor screen means we cannot give it a nod ahead of the phones like HTC One V. The phone's price of Rs 18,999 doesn't help the matters. At this price, we feel Xperia Go doesn't have any value for money.

However, there is the 'tuff' angle to the device and it may appeal to some users.

If you want a phone that can survive while you walk in the rain, Xperia Go could be the right device for you. There are several other rugged phones in the market but all of them have a thicker body and uninspiring design. This makes Xperia Go an appealing proposition, if you can live with a below average screen.

Pros: Rugged design makes the phone water and dust proof, light and sleek, good performance, pretty user interface

Cons: Older version of Android (though Android 4.0 or ICS update has been promised), pricey, poor screen, plastic body feels rough in hands) 

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1 comment:

  1. If one looking to protect there device with good style and design through rubberized skin covers as like Sony Xperia Active Skins, which is very easy to put with perfect fit and also covers to protect from scratches and dust factor.


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