Big: Sony Xperia ion review

    Sony Xperia ion - one of the top models of Sony this year, a clear leader in screen sizes, the diagonal of which is 4.6 ”


    Sony Xperia ion is a large smartphone with a large screen and a polished aluminum back cover.

    The design of Sony Xperia ion was the main reason why I wrote about it “one of the top models”, and not just the top one, although the screen size is one of the most important parameters in the ranking of touch smartphones, as it were. The fact is that the Sony Xperia S, even though more compact - the diagonal of its screen is 4.3 ”with the same resolution of 1280x720 pixels - looks more refined and strict.

    picture from the internet

    It affects the orientation to the American market, obviously - Xperia ion initially focused on the US market, where it has been sold since June. America in industrial design is characterized by simpler forms with a touch of redundancy. In the appearance of Xperia ion, it was reflected in the number of touch keys - four buttons under the screen (the "Search" button was added to the "Menu", "Home" and "Back") are the standard for Americans. In general, Sony Xperia ion is like Toyota Camry - made by the Japanese for the Americans.

    a picture specially for this post

    However, to the broad Russian soul, as practice shows, such crafts are also to their liking.

    The body color of the Xperia ion can be black or red, more precisely, carmine - this is such a shade of red-purple, not as bright and catchy as ordinary scarlet red, so it suits both boys and girls.


    The dimensions of the ion - 13.3 cm in height, 6.8 cm in width, the thickness of the apparatus - 10.8 mm - seem large at first, but then you quickly get used to it. A surprising discovery for me was that girls even like these smartphones - the idea that ladies' smartphones should be small turned out to be a stereotype. Apparently, they like to hold large objects in their hands. It happens that in a pair a girl has a phone with a screen larger than that of a guy, for example. Xperia ion does not stick out of pockets, and a larger screen, all other things being equal, is always a plus, because it makes using the phone more comfortable.

    But what the girls (as well as I, by the way) do not like - these are the closed connectors. The microUSB port and HDMI are closed by a common plug on a thin rubber leg:

    With careful handling, she is not at risk (verified by the experience of 4-month operation by a colleague), however, ports with plugs are not very convenient in everyday use. And the girls, apparently, do not like them just because of the manicure.

    In this sense, by the way, I can praise the Xperia P - the best, in my opinion , Sony smartphone in design and ergonomics - it is a little more compact (4-inch screen), and the connectors are simply cut out in an all-aluminum case. It looks chic and comfortable to use.

    The rest is ergonomics ion without flaws. The convex back cover sits tightly in the palm of your hand, the power button located on the side is easily located with the thumb or index finger (for left-handed people) and is pressed without interceptions.

    The top end occupied a standard 3.5 mm audio jack:

    Access to the “engine compartment” is hidden behind the bar at the top of the back of the phone. It just slides, and below it is a sliding tray for microSIM and - cheers! - microSD card slot (up to 32 GB). The card was in my device, but it was recessed so deeply that I guessed about its existence only when I connected the phone to the computer, and found that there were not one, but two memory storages. To pull it out, you need to push it in slightly, and it will pop out with a pleasant click:

    MicroSIM is inserted on the removable tray. It is not recommended to insert an ordinary SIM card there - it may work, but it will be difficult to get it out of there later.

    The phone is assembled very high quality, there is practically nothing to break. At first I didn’t even pay attention to this - but after reading the reviews, I noticed that ion was praised for the assembly - and they did it right.

    They say that the kote in a post gives +30 rating

    First inclusion

    When you turn on the phone for the first time, it offers you to go through the basic settings that are familiar to all Sony Xperia owners - the configuration algorithm has not changed much, as before, these are seven steps that include setting up wi-fi, Google accounts and Facebook. It’s just that now you can (or rather, need) in the process to configure the keyboard - at least add English as the second input language to log in to Google.
    At the same time, you immediately feel the plus of a smartphone with a large screen– it is easy to type logins / passwords, as it’s much easier to aim at the buttons.

    I use Google’s two-step authentication (by password and SMS code), which includes authorization of applications (second browser, Android system on the smartphone) using a specially generated code. Therefore, the first setup always has to be done in front of the computer, as code is generated online. Plus, if you lose your phone, you can simply delete the application password, and the new “owner” will no longer be able to log in to your Google services.

    What Android still lacks is downloading the screen settings and applications that I already exhibited on the previous device. Presumably, Google believes that users change phones not so often - and the new device still has different screen settings, sets of background themes, etc. But my work involves a frequent change of phones, and the need to manually install all the applications that were on another device is already a little annoying. Although in the ritual of setting up a new phone there is a special pleasure.

    Four touch buttons have their advantages and disadvantages.

    The downside is that remembering their location and pressing blindly has now become much more difficult - it’s much easier to miss than with three buttons. But this is offset by the advantage of the convenience of access to search - in one click, which is much simpler than searching through the Google widget on the desktop, which, frankly, has always bothered me. And of course, the search button works as a context button in applications where there is something to look for - for example, “Contacts”. However, the very fact of the presence of such a button also seems to me a consequence of the pro-American orientation of the smartphone, such a typical overseas excess.

    The backlighting of the buttons is strange - instead of the buttons themselves, only the bars under their icons glow in the dark, which in fact doesn’t simplify navigation.


    The maximum resolution is 12 megapixels. Several photos of autumn Moscow in this mode (at maximum resolution - by click): You can choose where to save the data - to the phone’s internal drive or SD card. Of course there is a Fast Capture function - starting and shooting in just one and a half seconds even their locked state. In the Quick Launch settings, you can choose the option “Run and immediately remove”, “Only run” and simply turn it off (although it is not clear why such a wonderful feature is disabled).

    In the “Run and remove” option, the focus of the autofocus turns into a lottery, so I prefer to use just a quick start. In a good way, this is not even fast, but a normal start-up - when the camera turns on a second after clicking - this is normal. But when it is stupid for a few seconds - no. Thank God, Sony smartphones are spared such a drawback - all 2012 models come with Fast Capture technology.


    Sony Xperia ion is already sold preinstalled with Android 4.0.4, so its owners will be spared the tedious wait for the release of ICS. But they may already begin to languish in anticipation of the next version of Android, Jelly Bean, the upcoming update to which Sony has recently confirmed.

    Key differences of Ice Cream Sandwich:

    1. Sony branded software: Walkman triad, Films, Album

    There is no longer the Music application - the application, as befits a player from Sony, is called Walkman - however, the changes are more cosmetic, even the appearance of the desktop widget almost unchanged:

    Major changes were in the transition from version 2.3.7 to Android 2.3.4, 4.0.4 in the transition to a lightweight user and can not see anything to add, for example, the visualizer (a feature that Windows Media Player every Windows user knows)

    The capacity downloading information about tracks and albums, as well as editing information about them.

    The “Films” application is a more serious step, and in the right direction. A smartphone with a “cinematic” 720p display resolution definitely needs its video player. A beautifully made application so far boasts only basic functionality - for example, it plays video in the 3GPP, MP4, MKV, AVI format, but the movie downloaded from torrents in the popular .avi format did not work in my Movies application, but it easily started in a third-party video player . Video with subtitles is also in flight. So third-party applications are still winning, having an order of magnitude more functionality. But Sony’s Movies is suitable for basic needs, and, apparently, it will be further developed.

    Still unable to take screenshots of Android videos

    The application "Album" pleases more, which is not surprising, because it develops the ideas of earlier versions of Sony photo applications. The visualization of the photos has changed - in the fashionable “tiled” style, the photos are sorted by type (on the phone, downloaded to the Internet, by map, depending on the geometries) and by storage location (memory card and internal smartphone storage).

    But the most important thing is the photo editor, which is more functional than any Paint, for example:

    2. Of the other innovations - the choice of widgets has become clearer, including the space that they will occupy on the desktop. Widgets themselves can be pulled by the sides, thereby changing their size.

    3. The appearance of the list of recent applications has changed, also pleasing with greater visibility:

    4. The notification panel has become more functional - now there is a link to the settings and the ability to control the player. By the way, the settings button “moved” to the panel from the menu called by the menu key - now there are only design settings, and this is a minus, because getting to the settings via this key was easier. I had to make the settings shortcut to the desktop.

    5. Separately, I want to mention voice dialing and Google search. It works really high-quality - I had the SlideIT application installed specifically for this, but a parallel comparison showed that the built-in voice recognition capabilities in Android work much better, correctly recognizing even quite complex phrases. This is especially important on the go. I pressed the search key, clicked on the microphone icon, dictated the request, selected, got the result. Fast and convenient. And less likely to get under the car, typing on the go (:

    6. By the way, on the fourth android, as you know, the mobile version of the Google Chrome browser is finally available. Naturally, I downloaded it, played a couple of days, and turned it off. Mobile Chrome, unfortunately, is deprived of the main advantage of its desktop counterpart - laconicism and intuitive interface. The built-in browser still steers.


    Traditional results of measurements of iron performance:

    A fairly voluminous 1900 mAh battery is responsible for good performance. The screenshot below shows that its main enemy, as one would expect, is the screen - this is the reverse side of having a large display with high resolution.

    In one of the future firmware, a smart energy-saving feature “Advanced Standby Mode” should appear, which optimizes the battery consumption in standby mode so that the phone practically stops eating it. I came across a demonstration of her work when I took the Xperia P lying around for several days, on which the extended standby mode was already included in the last update, and found that the battery was more than half charged.

    In Xperia ion, the “Energy Saving” application is responsible for controlling the battery consumption, which allows you to configure the energy consumption depending on the time (for example, switch to a limited mode of consumption at night) or battery charge (when the specified minimum threshold size is reached).


    To store files, users have access to: approximately 11.2 GB of 16 GB of internal storage, 2 GB of memory for applications and up to 32 GB if you install a memory card.

    RAM - 1 gigabyte.

    ANT + and NFC

    You probably already know well how NFC works, and if not, I can advise the posts “How NFC Payments Work” and an overview of how NFC tags work in a post about Xperia sola.

    Also, the ANT + chip is built into the Xperia ion - to use it, you just need to install the necessary software and connect the corresponding accessory. For example, a cardio counter.

    Packaging and equipment

    Sony Xperia ion is sold in a traditional flat compact box with a cardboard pencil case hidden inside.

    In the kit, in addition to the standard microUSB lace, there is a charging of increased power Charger EP850, in-ear headphones with a remote control and a clip, and a set of some required pieces of paper.


    The final list of smartphone features for those who have read up to this point:

    • 4.55-inch screen with a resolution of 1280x720 from scratch resistant mineral stack
    • Dual core processor with a frequency of 1.5 GHz
    • Weight and dimensions: 68x133x10.6 mm, 144 g
    • Built-in flash memory of 16 GB (approximately 11 GB available to the user)
    • 2 GB phone memory
    • 1 GB RAM
    • Memory expansion slot: microSD, up to 32 GB
    • 12.1-megapixel camera with technology for improving the quality of shooting in poor conditions Sony Exmor R lighting, Fast Capture and the ability to record video with a resolution of 1080p
    • Front camera 1.3 MP with the ability to record video in a resolution of 720p
    • Playable video formats: 3GPP, MP4, MKV, AVI
    • Playable audio formats: MP3, 3GPP, MP4, SMF, WAV, OTA, OGG
    • Transfer HD content to other devices via DLNA, HDMI and BRAVIA Sync.
    • ANT +, NFC
    • Polished aluminum back cover
    • 1900 mAh battery
    • Android 4.0.4 OS, update to 4.1 in 2013
    • Black and red colors


    My list of pros and cons of Xperia ion is as follows:

    Large screen
    Powerful battery
    Expandable memory
    Camera quick launch function
    Promised update to Android 4.1
    Uncomfortable key backlight

    Sony Xperia ion is a good reasonable choice in its niche . In terms of basic characteristics, it is not inferior to competitors, while possessing a number of unique advantages - for example, in terms of camera characteristics and, of course, Sony's unique design and charisma.
    The phone is already on sale in mobile phone stores and in the Sony online store .

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