The Good The Sony Xperia S flaunts an eye-catching design, Android 4.0, and a connection to Sony's large movie and music library.
The Bad The Xperia S has quirky capacitive buttons, slow 3G data, an uninspiring screen, and a pokey processor. Its $559.99 price is also steep.
The Bottom Line Sony's pricey, stylish Xperia S is packed with multimedia tricks but is undone by a slow processor and lackluster display.
Sony Xperia S (unlocked)
When Sony unveiled the Xperia S at CES 2012, many Android fans in the know dreamed that this ultrastylish handset could herald a new beginning for the company's mobile electronics. That's why it was even more exciting when Sony announced that the phone would arrive for sale in America. Also, unlike its watered-down cousin, the on AT&T, the $559 Xperia S features a tricked-out transparent band wrapping its base plus an upgrade to Android 4.0, something yet to grace the Ion. The phone also connects to Sony's large vault of movies, music, and TV shows so you can enjoy them on the device or in the living room. But if you're expecting a halo product to help bring back the golden days of the Walkman, you're in for a disappointment.
I can't deny that the Sony Xperia S looks striking. It comes in hues of fashion-forward white like the model I tested, and a more conservative black. Its design is also very futuristic with the phone flaunting a rectangular chassis chiseled in sharp right angles.
The Xperia S' attempt at high style, however, falls short. While a real head-turner, the boxiness of the Xperia S isn't as comfortable to grip as more traditional oval handsets sculpted with rounded curves.