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Sony Xperia S NXT series Android smartphone

Big is beautiful?

Brain drain

Music Unlimited is merely a link to the website so you can download the app (which costs £3.99 or £9.99 a month). Video Unlimited requires you to sign up before you can download videos. Still, Track ID, Sony’s own version of Shazam is free and effective, linking you instantly to music that’s playing which you just can’t name – and letting you buy it.

Sony Xperia S Android smartphone

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in the works

The dual-core processor handles everything thrown at it, with no sign of lagging. Call quality is good and the phone had consistently usable signal strength. Battery life on the Xperia S is not great, however. Of course, with such a big, high-resolution screen that’s not entirely surprising. But it does mean you’ll need nightly recharges.

Sony Xperia S Android smartphone

Out on a charge

When I didn’t charge the phone overnight, it had dropped from full to one third empty while I (and it) slept. When charged overnight, it depleted from full to nearly empty by 10pm with fairly moderate use.

Verdict

Sony’s first phone post-Ericsson is an accomplished, handsome, speedy powerhouse which does most things well. Although it currently lacks Ice Cream Sandwich, it offers genuine innovation, like the NFC Smart Tags, a more-than-decent camera and a splendid display. But this is a huge handset which is sometimes hard to operate and those capacitive dots beneath the screen take practice to use properly. And like many other dual-core handsets, it suffers from a disappointing battery life. If you want this level of features and performance you'll need to learn some power saving tricks to get you through the night. ®

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Sony Xperia S Android smartphone

Sony Xperia S NXT series Android smartphone

Flagship Android handset featuring a high definition display, dual core CPU and a 12Mp camera.
Price: £470 RRP