The Sony Xperia Ion is the first 4G smartphone. released by Sony. It is available in the U.S. from AT&T for $99.99, two-year contract. So what is special about the Sony Xperia Ion and what’s not?
Let’s take a sneak peek at its features first:
- Mobie Bravia Engine
- 4.6 inches 1080p HD reality display
- 720p front facing chat cam
- 12 MP primary 1.3 MP secondary
- Android Gingerbread operating system
- 1GB RAM, 16 GB storage, extendable up to additional 32 GB with Micro SD card
- 1.5 GHz dual core Snapdragon S3 Processor
- Great Pricing: This is one of the most affordable smartphones in the market as of now.
- Superb Camera: This is the Ion’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Not many smartphone cameras come close to the Ion’s. The panorama shooting mode is an entertaining feature.
- Great Display: The 4.6 inch HD reality display powered by mobile Bravia throws up bright and clear images.
- Data speeds are impressive, making the multimedia experience awesome.
The SmartDock for the ion lets you connect it to your TV through HDMI. The TV launcher home screen is your starting point giving you access to You Tube, browser and all you media; browse your phone contents using your television remote (it needs to be a CEC compatible TV).
Watching videos on this big screen is a real pleasure. The phone also gives you access to Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited service. You can pay $10 for unlimited music streaming, or rent or buy TV shows and movies. Prices start at $2 for renting and go up to $15 for purchasing.
The New Factors:
- When most of the new smartphones being released are running on Android’s latest ice cream sandwich technology, one wonders what prompted Sony to use the older Gingerbread version for their first 4G smartphone. The task switcher button in ice cream sandwich, which lets you switch between apps easily, will be really missed here. The bright spot is, Sony has incorporated some features of ice cream sandwich into this Sony Xperia Ion, and it will be upgradeable later.
- Battery life is not very great for most 4G smartphones, but the Ion’s is a few steps behind with 7 plus hours. Also, it doesn’t have a user replaceable battery which makes it difficult to swap batteries.
- The large display also means that the phone itself becomes bigger and bulkier; if you’re looking for something sleek and compact then this one won’t do.
- Call volumes are not the greatest at the receiving end, especially when ambient sounds are present.
If I had to pick the best points about the Sony Xperia ion, they are the affordability, 4G connectivity and the multimedia experience.