Sony Xperia Go review
|Review: July 2012|
In a nutshell: The Sony Xperia Go is a rugged smartphone that's water resistant and intended for sports, festivals and general outdoor use. It delivers on its promise, but the small display and ugly looks count against it.
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The Sony Xperia Go is very similar to the compact Xperia U smartphone, but is designed for sport and outdoor use.
It claims the highest level of dust and water resistance of any smartphone. Most manufacturers will scream "moisture damage" as soon as you take your phone, well, outdoors. Sony, on the other hand, positively urge you to take it for a walk in the rain!
The specifications are almost identical to the Xperia U, so read our review of that phone for a full assessment. In summary, it's a compact smartphone running Android Gingerbread 2.3. With a small 3.5 inch display, it isn't a high-spec phone, but it's comfortably mid-range with a fast dual-core processor and plenty of memory. Battery life is quite good, for a smartphone.
The Xperia Go looks similar to the Xperia U. It's a few millimetres longer, but thinner at just 9.8mm thick. It's the same weight. The plastic finish isn't as smart, and the design looks a bit clunky, but some compromise is necessary to make the phone rugged. And is it really worse than the cases many people use to protect their phones? We don't think so. Really.
The screen is the same size, at 3.5 inches. This is smaller than most Android phones, but the same as the iPhone 4S. Sadly the pixel resolution is less than the Xperia U at just 320 x 480 pixels. We also didn't find the outdoor readability of the screen to be as good as some other models. However, the screen incorporates "wet finger tracking", so you can use it even when wet, although not perfectly. The glass is scratch resistant.
Now, the question you're probably wondering is just how rugged the Go really is. Is it really better than a normal phone with a case? The answer is yes. As well as it being possible to use the touchscreen with a wet finger, you can actually submerge the phone in water for short periods of time with apparently no harm done. You can even continue to use it when it's wet. Technically the phone conforms to the IP67 international standard, which requires that dust cannot enter and that ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible if the device is dropped in fresh water under up to 1 meter of submersion for a duration of maximum 30 minutes. So, putting it in the washing machine is a "no-no", but using it in the rain or even dropping it down the toilet would be OK (we didn't test this - uck). It's a match for the JCB phones that we've previously enjoyed playing ducking apples with. You'd be well advised to make sure that the protective seals on the microUSB and 3.5mm ports are properly closed though. Also, don't drop it onto a hard surface, because the IP67 standard doesn't guarantee the phone against shock.
Adding to the outdoor sports theme, the Xperia Go comes with a couple of pre-installed sports apps. For example, the MiCoach app lets you share your sporting stats and achievements. There are, of course, plenty more similar apps on Google Play.
If you take your phone to festivals or like to go running, cycling, etc, this could be the ideal phone. Not only is it water resistant, but it's much more compact than high-end phones, yet allows you to use smartphone features. The strong battery performance will power you through a long weekend. It's the perfect platform for sports apps. Just the small screen and ugly duckling looks count against it.
Sony Xperia Go features include:
- 5 megapixel camera with 16x digital zoom, autofocus, face recognition and LED flash
- HD 720p video camera with 16x zoom and video light
- VGA front-facing video camera, Google Talk with video chat
- Display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 480 x 320 pixels (3.5 inches), 16 million colours with auto-rotation
- Media player with album art, shuffle, smart playlists, TrackID and PlayNow
- xLOUD Experience, Clear stereo and clear bass, 3D surround sound
- FM radio with RDS
- MP3 ringtones
- aGPS with Google Maps
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, conversations
- Vibration alert
- Internet: WAP 2.0, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, WebKit web browser, RSS feeds, YouTube, voice search, Adobe Flash
- Processor: 1 GHz dual core processor
- Memory: 8GB internal memory plus 512MB RAM plus microSD card slot
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, WiFi hotspot support
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900) plus 3G UMTS/HSPA ( 900, 2100)
- Size: 111 x 60 x 9.8mm
- Weight: 110g
- Battery: 1305mAh
- Talktime: 6.5 hours
- Battery standby: 520 hours
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Sony Xperia Go user reviews
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Average rating from 4 reviews:
Reviewed by Temitope from Nigeria on 15th Dec
I wanted to go for blackberry but decided to go for this phone. It handles applications well and I notice no lags. it goes smoothly. I also love typing on this phone especially the haptic feedbacks I get when typing away, also am somewhat faster typing on this phone but with a more mistakes compared to a physical ring. Now my dislikes; the camera produces very noisy photos. Also there isn't a camera shutter button on the phone you'd have to settle with taking picture by tapping your screen and also forget any impromptu photo taking. I give my phone 4 stars because I don't get intimated by other high end android devices. this phone ticks most boxes and it gets better. it's water resistant phone.
Reviewed by Me from UK on 22nd Oct 2012
Haven't tested how waterproof this phone is, but managed to heavily scratch the screen with keys in two days, so "rugged" is extremely questionable!
Interface runs pretty well, screen is responsive, Internet works well on data and wifi, and battery normally last 3 days-ish.
Overall pretty pleased with phone after trading in my Lumia 800 as it wouldn't connect to new car. Not high end, price reflecting this, but an extremely good mid-range smart phone, and would recommend - just make sure you get case and screen protectors before sticking it in your pocket!!
Reviewed by Vangelis Tsakirakis from Greece on
7th Aug 2012
"It claims the highest level of dust and water resistance of any smartphone"
Well, I bought it and after 8 days of very careful usage a dust particle inserted under the screen!!! Now, my brand new phone is for service!!!
I feel so sad...
Reviewed by UNDERDOG from INDIA on 1st Aug 2012
Well I haven't personally seen this phone, let alone test it, but seems to be a promising rugged Android from SONY. It's predecessor, ACTIVE is also good but more bulkier. GO is slim Arnie & ACTIVE is Franco ;-)
Reply by Thewix from UK on 14th Aug
You haven't seen the phone but you've reviewed it and given it 4 stars. Stop messing up the review system.
Reply by UNDERDOG from INDIA on 3rd
Sorry Thewix. I may buy the phone & I'll give the actual ratings as per user experience.