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Sony Xperia U review

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

The Sony Xperia U's 3.5-inch display runs at a decent resolution of 480 x 854, meaning text and icons appear nice and sharp here - much like they did on the similarly sized and extremely loveable Sony Xperia Ray.

Sony Xperia U review

The dual-core processor does a great job of loading, displaying and scrolling through websites, plus there's Flash support in here for straightforward playback of embedded videos and all the associated animated advertising that tends to accompany them around the edges of pages.

Double-tapping on a chunk of text automatically zooms in the view for easy reading, and although scrolling can get a little crunchy if you try moving pages around too much while they're loading, the Sony Xperia U is certainly good enough for use as a pocket browser 99% of the time.

Sony Xperia U review

Embedded Flash content works pretty well, for the most part, although we found a few clips would see their audio and video lose sync quite badly.

Sony Xperia U review

Text selection is pretty useful, though. Long-pressing any chunk of text pulls up these movable little tabs, which enable you to select a start and end point - then press the highlighted area to copy the text to the Sony Xperia U's clipboard.

Behind the scenes, the browser's pretty bland and lacking in any Sony polish. Bookmarks and favourites are found through the Menu button or brought up by holding the Back key, and you get a rather outdated white-on-black text system that definitely errs on the functional side of things.

Sony Xperia U review

You get plenty more to play with through the browser's menu, where you can search the page, share a link to a web page through the usual Android share menu, manage your open tabs and more.

Sadly, it's nothing like as sophisticated as the enhanced Android web browsers we see from the likes of HTC and LG these days, but hopefully the imminent Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update, which should hit the Sony Xperia U some time in the summer of 2012, will add a bit more in the way of thrills to the phone's web use.

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
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density280 ppi
Height112 mm
Width54 mm
Depth12 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time472 Hour
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.