Jumat, 06 April 2012

Sony Ericsson Xperia Active

Sony Ericsson Xperia Active
Before Sony Ericsson became plain old Sony it  released the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, now renamed on the web (but not rebranded on the handset) as the Sony Xperla Active. lt’s a neat little handset aimed at those who like the great outdoors, and it has some features well-tailored to that market.

The Active is a squat little phone. with a three-inch screen nestled in a rugged body that has a bright orange trim running around the edge. The chassis is water and dust resistant, and to that end the bottom-mounted headset and USB connectors are protected by rubber covers. There is a double backplate to help with water resistance too. You are provided with two versions ofthe outer backplate, one black and the other white. Remove this and you reveal an inner, second backplate that protects the SIM, battery, microSD card and the phone's internal circuitry.

For all that, the Active isn't heavy, butthe overall look is rathertoo chunkyfor our liking - it‘s a generous 16mm thick. There‘s a serious lanyard hole on the bottom edge of the chassis that we don’t like either, because it interferes with the device's otherwise clean lines. The screen has been made responsive even when tapped by sweaty fingers or under water. We tested this and it does seem to work better than other touchscreens, though it is by no means perfect. What's more, the Active comes with an armband so it's all ready to be used on the run. One thing we really like about the Active is its support for ANT+. This is a wireless data standard used by alot of heart rate monitors, cycling sensors and other sports equipment. Having it built in here means the Active can absorb heart rate data from lots of third-party equipment.

Add in the on-board software which includes a pedometerthat Sony has long favoured called Walkllnate and an app called MapMayFlTNESS, which you can get from the Android Market for other handsets. and you can see that in terms of attracting exercise fans a lot of effort has been put in here. Sony has even gone to the trouble of providing a pau sefplay and track skip function on the headset, so you can use this while on a workout instead of havingto fiddle around in your pocket for the phone itself mid-run.

This is all good stuff, but if you are attracted by these features you are, unfortunately, going to have to make some compromises elsewhere. Overall the Active is small, and its screen is a little cramped. Android does suffer a bit as a consequence. Three inches and 320 x 48O pixels are very much middle-of-the-road specihcations these days, and data-rich activities like web browsing don’t sta nd up well. Still, the screen is sharp and bright, has good viewing angles, and Sony does tryto make up for its cramped size for using the on-screen keyboard by including Swype.

The camera is average rather than great, with a mediocre flash. But it does, at least, shoot 720p video alongside its five-megapixel stills. More annoying, perhaps, is that there‘s just 320MB of built-in storage, which isn't much. This is redeemed slightly by the provision of a 2GB microSD card, but if you are serious about using the Active to help with fitness you might want to swap this for a higher-capacity card that can carry more music to help you keep motivated.

Battery lrfe is probablythe biggest annoyance. The 1.200mAh battery will probably provide a day‘s worth of life under normal circumstances. But using GPS is a notoriously good way of draining smartphone batteries, and if you take the Active with you on a long morning workout you might find it needs charging during the day. Sony's neat skin for Android gives you access to up to 16 app shortcuts via four comer icons on the home screen. This makes great use ofthe limited screen space available, and means you can create small app shortcut groups so that similar apps are kept together for quick access. There's also a range of nice widgets which you can spread across the five home screens.