When Sony displayed the Xperia U at this year’s MWC, back in February, this new entry-level handset didn’t raise too many eyebrows. That’s most likely because this one still comes with Android Gingerbread, but when the company announced that it will most likely get the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade by this summer, you could see some people turning around to take a look at it.
The spec list is pretty impressive for a budget smartphone and you’ll be buying a mid-range smartphone for an entry-level price. Entry-level smartphones are quite handy that way, for people who aren’t looking for top-notch performance and aren’t willing to spend too much money for a high-end device they won’t be using at full capacity anyhow.
In terms of design, the Xperia U ST25i comes in a rectangular casing which is unfortunately made of plastic. That’s not very appealing for many people but for a entry-level smartphone, you’d expect to find that. What attracts the most attention when it comes to the Sony Xperia U though is the fact that the bottom side of the phone comes with removable caps, in a few different colors, which you can change depending on your mood or gender.
On the right side of the Xperia U smartphone you’ll be able to find three physical buttons for volume, power and camera, while on the top there’s a 3.5mm jack for compatibility with most of the headsets available right now. There are also three touch buttons just below the screen and a camera with flash on the rear of the Xperia U ST25i.
All in all, a pleasant design, although the plastic casing is never a great choice even if the phone is just an entry-level one.
In terms of features, the Xperia U ST25i comes with pretty much everything you’d expect from an entry-level smartphone except for a SD card. That’s not a great move from Sony as most people would like to have the option of expanding the storage space available using one.
The Xperia U is powered by a 1Ghz processor which is pretty great, and you’ll most likely enjoy a decent experience with Android 4.0 because of it. The 512MB RAM won’t be quite enough though, and that’s probably the most disappointing part. The display measures 3.5-inches and you could even say that it resembles the one coming with the iPhone. What makes the screen stand out though is the Bravia technology which Sony also uses with its 2012 TVs, leading to a great overall visual experience with the Xperia U. You will get 2GB of phone memory, 4GB internal storage space and unfortunately no SD card slot for expansion.
Even though the 512MB and the lack of the SD card slot are rather disappointing, you’ll be glad to know that this one comes with a 5-megapixel camera on the back with LED flash that will enable users to take pretty decent photos with this smartphone.
The sound quality is also an important plus for the Xperia U, and you’ll enjoy superior sound experience due to the xLoud feature and the Sony 3D Surround Sound.
All in all, the Xperia U ST25i is a decent option for a entry-level smartphone, although some important features are missing. If you buy this one, you’ll still get the Android Gingerbread until this summer, when Sony promises that a Ice Cream Sandwich is in the works.
You’ll be able to pick this one up in May for £170 in the UK.