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Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

Sony Xperia Go waterproof Android phone review

Another blower for beer baptism benchmarking

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The arrival of the Nexus 7 has given me cause to reconsider my next phone purchase. Do I need a 4.6in superphone now I have a 7in Tegra 3 tablet? Surely a small, rugged handset with good battery life, a decent dual-core CPU and plenty of storage for apps would make more sense. An outright purchase price of around £200 would be nice too. Sony seems to have read my mind with its new Xperia Go.

Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

Hardy handset: Sony's Xperia Go

I certainly like the compact dimensions of the Go and its 110g weight. The matt-finished sides and rear make for a very secure grip, as does the recessed lip beneath the screen. The grommets that cover the 3.5mm audio and micro USB ports are a bit of a bugger to open but that’s the price you pay for an IP67 rating that among classes the phone as resistant to water and dust.

Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

8GB on-board with Micro SD card expansion

The back of the handset can be removed to access the SIM and microSD card slots but the battery is built-in. The whole things feels extremely robust and survived an inadvertent drop of over 2m onto a concrete floor with no signs of damage.

Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

The Reg Hardware beer test – patent pending

The 165dpi 3.5in 320 x 480 screen is no better in terms of basic spec than that fitted to HTC’s Desire C but thanks to Sony’s Bravia Mobile engine – with its contrast enhancement, sharpness filters and noise reduction – the end results are far more impressive. Even my 720p test videos looked good. There are no extra WhiteMagic pixels as found in some of the Go’s big Xperia brothers but I found the LCD panel bright enough for easy use out of doors.

Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

AnTuTu and Sunspider results

Buried inside is a dual-core 1GHz NovaThor U8500 CPU and 512MB of RAM which gives the Xperia Go some serious pace. An AnTuTu score of 5,500 is pretty dramatic at this price level and in more practical terms games like Shadowgun and Dead Trigger run perfectly.

Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

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