Why Buy the Sony Xperia ion - The Price, Specs, Reviews, Screen, and Accessories May Be Just Right
Reviews of the Sony Xperia ion Smart Phone
AT&T released the first Sony phone that doesn't include Ericsson on the name brand in June of 2012. It is called the Sony Xperia ion, and it is a decently expensive phone. As with many mobile service providers, you can get the phone pretty cheap when you sign up for a two-year service agreement, and this phone is no different. Below, I highlight some of the specs of the phone and then list some of the features in further detail. I then go through and provide some highlights of the reviews I have found around the internet, and then list some of the accessories that could enhance your user experience of the phone should you happen to own one already.
Operating System - Android 2.3 OS, also known as Gingerbread
Processor - 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 Dual Core, 1GB of RAM
Size - Height: 5.24", Width: 2.68", Depth: 0.43", Weight: 5.08 oz
Screen Size - 4.55" Touch Screen, 16 million color scratch-resistant TFT, 1280 x 720 pixels
Battery - Standard 1900 mAh Battery, Embedded, Talk Time of up to 10 hours
Memory - microSD card may not be included in all markets, 16GB internal memory, supports up to 32GB card
Features of the Sony Xperia ion
You can navigate this touchscreen like almost all smart phone touchscreens, where you can to touch, touch and hold, drag, slide or flick, pinch and spread, and auto-rotation. There are sensors in the phone that detect the ambient light and adjust screen brightness accordingly. The sensors also detect when you are on a call, and it prevents you from activating applications with your face while on a phone call.
While text messaging, you can use the Android keyboard, or you can use the Xperia keyboard, which allows for Gesture input, which is just another name for Swype texting.
Networks, Connectivity, & Communication
Most Android phones include GPS capabilities and Bluetooth technology, and this phone does as well. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to share photos, videos, audio files, contacts, and web pages directly to the next Bluetooth device. You can transfer files to another computer, but it is best to make sure that it runs Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you want to transfer many types of allowable files between phone and computer, get PC Companion, and you can include Windows XP with Service Pack 3 or higher.
With an HDMI cable, you can connect the phone to a television and view content on the large screen. The multitude of connectivity methods include 3.5 mm audio jack, micro USB support, native USB tethering, USB High-speed 2.0 support, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality, and Media Transfer Protocol support.
You can communicate in many ways with the phone other that phone calls and text messaging. Using different apps, you can connect by way of Facebook, Google Talk, and Xperia Timescape (which includes an integration for Twitter). ANT+ technology is included for the sporting enthusiast.
As mentioned earlier, this phone comes with a 4.55" diagonally measured screen, and it has a display of 1280 x 720 pixels with the ability to display 16 million different colors. There is the Reality Display with the Mobile BRAVIA Engine. This phone also has the ability for screenshot capture.
The touchscreen is scratch-resistant, with a shatter proof sheet on mineral glass. The owner's manual reminds you that the glass screen is sensitive to drops and mechanical shocks. Xperia ion screen replacement will not be covered by the Sony warranty service if they determine it was a case of negligent care.
Camera & Video
There is a 12.1 megapixel camera rear camera with a 16x digital zoom and autofocus. Face detection and red-eye reduction is included. There is also a LED flash on the rear, and it also works for video. It has the capability for 1080p HD video recording and 3D Sweep Panorama. There is also a front-facing camera of 1.3MP with 720p capability quite useful for video chat.
The phone comes with a RAM of 1GB, internal phone storage of 1GB, and a flash memory of 16GB eMMC. There is an expansion slot for a microSD card which can expand memory up to 32GB.
This phone includes xLOUD Experience, which is an audio filtering technology by Sony and FM Radio with RDS ability. This phone can play back many audio files, including the most used .mp3, .mp4, and .wav formats. The display of this phone makes this phone great for 3D and motion gaming. With any smart phone, you get media browsing, viewing of many YouTube videos, but this one also includes TV launcher. TV launcher is the name of the phone's program that guides you through viewing your phone's media on your tv.
Sony's First Non-Ericsson Phone
From the link below, you can see that the phone is pretty expensive. If click on that and then follow the link in the upper right for the Amazon Wireless store, you can find it for as cheap as $30, but that will depend on how you go about signing up for the service provider and contract. When you go directly to the AT&T website, you can purchase the phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract agreement. A one-year agreement makes the phone price jump up to $349.99.
If you have AT&T as a service provider, you know that you could pay a lot per month for service if you aren't careful. Sometimes though, the base price of service is worth it due to the coverage area you can get with AT&T versus other providers.
Highlights of the Sony Xperia ion Reviews
Android 2.3.7 - It is a little disappointing that a phone released only in June of 2012 doesn't come with Android 4.0, but the Gingerbread operating system is still an improvement over previous versions of Android, and it is the second most recent version of Android available for smart phones. The good news is that this phone will be upgradeable to Android 4.0, and it should be by the end of the year 2012.
Speed - Because of the Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 chipset, the computing power could have been better at the time of the phone's release. It can handle the typical tasks of a smart phone, but it does not have the speed of other phones that have been released in this time frame. For internet speeds, 2G and 3G work as expected, and the 4G is a good LTE experience on this AT&T phone where the 4G network is available.
HD Experience - With a 720p HD screen, 1080p video recording, and connecting to an HDTV, this phone tries to carry around an HD experience in your pocket. 12MP camera takes high quality pictures. People tend to love the quality of video on the screen, vibrancy of colors, and the sharpness of the content. The thing they don't like about hooking the phone up to a tv is that the cord was not included. You have to find where a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable is sold, and then buy it, because it is not included with the phone.
Battery Life - As with many smartphones, there is always the complaint about battery life. This phone receives the same complaints by some, but many users only use the phone so much, and the life is sufficient. The one thing about this phone is that the battery is not removable, so it cannot be upgraded, and you cannot keep an extra one on you, because you can't put it in. I added some notes below that you could use to improve it though, and these tips work for most phones.
Improve Sony Xperia Battery Performance
- Charging the phone frequently doesn't affect the lifetime of the battery.
- Internet downloading is power consuming. When not in use, disable data connections over mobile networks. Data will still transmit via wireless networks.
- When you don't need Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, turn them off.
- Synchronize applications manually, such as calendars, email, etc., or you can keep them automatic, but lengthen the interval of time in between occurrences.
- Lower screen brightness level, and exit all applications not in use.
- If you are in an area without coverage, set the phone to Airplane mode so that it will not keep scanning for networks, which consumes power.
- Streaming video and music consumes a lot of power. Keep that down or be in a location where you can charge the phone easily.
User Experiences Enhanced by Xperia ion Accessories
The first thing most people want for their phone is a case cover. It can help to reduce the occurrences of screen shattering when the phone is dropped, a brief nightmare situation. Below are some rubberized jelly soft skin and gel cases. If you want your phone to resemble a different color, you will need a case cover because the phone is only available in black.
There are also combination kits that include a hard shell case with rubberized coating, screen guard, stylus pen, microfiber pouch bag, and case opener. The price is nice for the first three items, but you really wouldn't use the last two.
A more useful 5-in-1 bundle for the Sony Xperia ion is the product below which includes a case cover, clear screen protector, micro USB travel wall charger, micro USB car charger, and micro USB to USB data cable.
Here is a multiple accessory kit with a leather cover case with belt clip, wall charger, car charger, and a windshield mounting kit that you can use when traveling and taking advantage of the GPS functionality of the phone.
In order to connect your phone to the television and view the images and video in high-def, you will need a cable the plugs into the phone (micro-HDMI) to the tv (HDMI). The cable below has that capability, and it is 15 feet in length.
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If your opinions differ from your use of the Sony Xperia ion phone, let us know what you like and what you don't. We could all use first-hand reviews on products before we shell out cash on them, and our fellow hubbers are a good source of information.
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