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Sony Xperia U review

Sony's small Android smartphone offers a dual-core processor and plenty of charm

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 6.60 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 854

View full specification

For

  • Solid construction
  • Clear display
  • Fast, smooth Android
  • Clever Facebook integration
  • Nice music player

Against

  • Awful 720p video
  • No SD card slot
  • Only 4GB storage
  • Browser looks dated
  • Stiff camera button

Sony Xperia U review

Sony's text messaging system is pretty straightforward, offering a minimalist and quite stylish solution for those after an easy way to tell someone you're going to be late.

You're able to add photos and videos to messages, which the phone crunches down to multimedia message size, or you're able to directly record a video or take a photo from the SMS message attachment menu, should you be able to predict when something noteworthy is about to happen.

Try to attach a whopping great 720p video to a text message and the phone will admonish you for your lack of knowledge about the capabilities of the ancient text messaging network, dumping you out to a video trimming tool. Here you chop the start and end off your file until it complies with the file size rules.

The QWERTY keyboard's great to use, very fast, accurate and responsive.

Even on a fairly small 3.5-inch display we found the accuracy to be excellent, plus there's word prediction in here and Sony's own take on line-drawing input, as popularised by the Swype alternate keyboard.

Sony Xperia U review

The line drawing tool is not activated by default, for some reason, but once you've switched it on you're able to write by swiping a line between the letters of a word. It's pretty accurate, too.

Sony Xperia U review

Punctuation is handled well, with the word prediction bar changing to a list of common punctuation marks after you press the space key.

It's a bit of a shame there are no long-press alternate keys for accessing numbers, mind, which have been farmed out to a second screen.

Sony has also pre-loaded the WhatsApp alternate messenger service on the Sony Xperia U.

Verify this through inputting your phone number and you have access to cross-platform messaging services with other users of the app, should they be on a BlackBerry handset, iPhone or something old and weird from Nokia.

The email app has been very stylishly skinned by Sony, also coming with a useful preview pane to quickly access messages.

Setting it up is as simple as entering your email address and password for most of the major email providers, with the app automatically filling in the server details for our Hotmail account.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia U
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack, White
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time6.60 Hour
Product ModelST25a
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution480 x 854
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)110 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerST Ericsson
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density280 ppi
Height112 mm
Width54 mm
Depth12 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXperia U ST25a Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Product LineXperia U
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number1261-4174
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Experience fantasy. In great quality on-screen.

Watch every moment from every movie or video in razor sharp clarity.

See every smile from last year's party in a true detail. Sheer video magic on your Android mobile's 3.5" Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA® Engine. And you can easily find the latest Hollywood blockbusters on the pre-loaded Video Unlimited application from Sony Entertainment Network.

Experience beat. In 3D surround sound.

Blast out the music through the speaker with xLoud loudness enhancement.

Fancy some movie "me time"? Get it with 3D surround sound. Plug in your earphones and sit back and listen as the deep bass and high treble shoot around your head.

Want more sounds? Enjoy a global catalogue of millions and millions of songs easily accessible through the preloaded Music Unlimited application from Sony Entertainment Network.