Review Price to be confirmed
Sony Xperia U - First Look
Sony's recent phone announcements didn't exactly set our hearts ablaze with whizzy specs or flashy designs. However, the whole Xperia range does look elegant and packs in hardware sufficient for most people's everyday duties, and the Sony Xperia U is no exception. Well, aside from some interesting colour combinations giving it a bit of pizzazz.
The Sony Xperia U is the baby of the bunch with dimensions of just 112 x 54 x 12 mm and only a 3.5in screen – positively piddly by today's standards. However, it's lost little of the stylish charm of the other Xperia handsets in being shrunk.
Like the Xperia S and P, it has a simple curved back and rectangular-fronted design, with matt plastic the choice for the back, and glass covering the screen and most of the front.
Bisecting the two materials is the signature Sony Xperia motif of the moment, which is a clear plastic strip into which are etched the icons for the touch sensitive buttons. More importantly, though, it alerts you to notifications and incoming calls by flashing. Unique to this handset, though, is that the colour of this strip can change.
Change the theme of the phone and it changes to suit. But even better, it acts like Philips' Ambilight TV technology whereby it changes colour to match the pictures that you're viewing. Of course it's a gimmick but it's a pretty neat trick.
Also up its sleeve is the ability to change the bottom section to one of a different colour. The white version comes with white and yellow caps while the black version also includes a pink one.
Inside the handset, it's running a dual-core 1GHz processor, which along with the quality fit and finish of the phone, suggests it won't be all that cheap, despite it being the baby handset of the range.
Android 4.0 isn't yet available on this phone but it will be updated in the next few months. In the meantime it runs a modestly customised version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
This being Sony, most of the additions are to do with its premium content portals, Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, which provide access to 50 million songs to stream or download and the vast range of Sony Entertainment's movie collection.
You also get PlayStation branded games, though from our quick play with some of them we'd suggest this is less of a draw than it seems, with few truly stellar titles.
The Xperia U seems a fun and capable handset. It's smaller and lighter than most modern Android handsets yet still packs the essential performance prowess. One to keep an eye out for if you're on a budget or fancy something a little smaller than the norm.
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