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Sony Xperia S glows but doesn't shine in video review

The Sony Xperia S is a powerful Android phone, but it fails to live up to its full potential in our video review.

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Sony's first public outing after its split with long-term partner Ericsson sees it trotting out a powerful new Android phone with enough gloss and sheen to take the limelight off the awkwardness of its break-up. Sony got custody of the Xperia name in the separation proceedings, and as such its newest blower has been christened the Xperia S. Hit play on the video above to see it reviewed in all its glory.

The Xperia S is a flagship phone for Sony, and the lustrous figurehead on its prow is a glistening 4.3-inch HD screen. The 720x1,280-pixel capacitive display has a ridiculously high pixel density -- better than even the iPhone 4S' retina display.

Colours dazzle and mesmerise with their rich gem-like colours, showing off videos and photographs at their best. Speaking of which, the Xperia S also sports a rather smart 12.1-megapixel camera that shoots 1080p video and can capture a decent snap or two.

Inside the Xperia S whirs a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core chip, which will easily chomp its way determinedly through whatever tricksy variety of demanding tasks you attempt to test it with.

Unfortunately the phone doesn't come with the latest version of Android, although an upgrade from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich has been promised for a mystery date over the coming months. Sony's additions to Android amount to little more than bloatware, but thankfully you can get rid of most of it.

For all its great specs, the Xperia S is a clunky thing, uncomfortable to hold while you're making calls. A transparent plastic strip underneath the screen runs the depth of the phone -- a gimmicky touch on an otherwise tired design. The strip pulsates with an eery white light to indicate an incoming call, but it's so subtle you could easily miss it.

If you like the look of the Xperia S, hit play on the video above for the full review. You can also take a look at our camera test, where we pitted its mighty 12-megapixel snapper against the iPhone 4S in a battle of the snaps.

Let me know what you think of this luminous beacon of smart phone in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.