Sony Xperia Acro S LT26w 16Gb Black WiFi Android Touchscreen GSM 3G Cell Phone
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- Cellular Band - Quad-Band 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 Mhz
- Cellular Band 3G - 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 Mhz
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It’s a beautiful HD world Your kids playing tag in the pouring rain. The family cat going bananas over a bouncing ping pong ball. Capture the great scenes of everyday life in full HD video. Believe that eyes convey more than words can say? Then have your conversations face-to-face. The Xperia acro S touchscreen phone has a front-facing HD camera for video chats. Picture-perfect and powerful HD Android phone Au revoir, tristesse – enjoy TV shows, movies and your own video clips in magnificent HD. View in razor sharp clarity on the 4.3” Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine. Want it all to happen instantly? Then you’ll like the power of the Xperia acro S 1.5 GHz dual core processor. Surf your stuff, launch apps and catch that YouTube clip lightning fast.
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I'm certain that if I was in Europe, this would not be an issue, but somehow, this device fell short of delivering what I was highly anticipating for days it could do.
If you plan on using this device in USA (with ATT), consider that you will only get 2G/EDGE data speeds, and then ask, what's the point? I'm not sure the seller is even aware of this issue!
** The specs specifically mention compatibility with the bands that AT&T uses for 3G. If this phone lived up to its written specs, then I'd give it 5 stars. it does not.
The HDMI port is also a standard micro plug, unlike some others where they are combined with the USB port. Talking about ports, the largest downside to this phone is that due to it being waterproof, all its ports have a plastic cover. This cover makes listening to music on this phone impossible on the go. If you were to leave it plugged in with a headphone in a pocket, it will very likely snap off. Therefore, getting a bluetooth unit is pretty much required for listening on the go (like the Sony MW600, Samsung HS3000). The other is that, continuous opening and closing of these ports will also wear them down. There is a rubber layer under it that protects the phone from water. Therefore, USB transfers/charging should be done only if needed, it is why a dock is provided on these waterproof phones.
The other major issue is the camera. Yes it does have a high MP count, but on 100% crop, noise issues are very noticeable and quite bad. They are still great pictures, lots of details, good color reproduction, and fairly sharp, just that there is quite a bit of noise (even on ISO100 in bright sunlight). This shouldn't be an issue for most people because the pictures themselves look absolutely great when uploaded to FB and others (downsized). The front camera is alright for video calls, and is 720p. The phone's hardware is 100% the same versus the Xperia S, only waterproof and the inclusion of a micro-SD card slot (advanced users can even flash custom XS's roms onto the Acro S directly, only micro-sd doesn't work). This means the screen really is one of the best ones. It is fairly accurate in colors (not overly saturated), has good viewing angles, and looks very sharp (highest PPI in phones).
During normal usage, the first issue would be the capacitive buttons, you actually hit slightly above the icons, but you should quickly catch on after a day or two. The second thing is that quick capture doesn't always work, and that the Bravia Engine option is currently not working as well after the ICS rollout (but this should be sorted out later on with more software updates). The last issue I have had with this phone is that there is a slight creaking sound when you hold the phone at the bottom and top corners of the top battery cover (sounds a bit confusing I know). These looks like weaker points in the construction simply because there are button cutouts next to it, making it a bit less sound. However, it only does it if you hold it a bit firmly, and it does still feel secure. In the two months+ I've used it, I haven't dropped this phone yet, but have used it daily and pretty much just stuffed it into a pocket everyday. It has held up fine, no scratches anywhere (even the included screen protector), and the text on the back and button icons haven't rubbed off yet (they will eventually though...). I've only had the phone crash by itself two times, which for a smartphone, is pretty good (My old X10, and iPhone 4 would crash 2~3 times a week). GPS is fairly quick to get, though Wifi signal seems to be a bit weaker (not sure if it is a bar display difference, have no actually checked the true db values). All phones side by side in a room, the Acro S displays the only 2 to 3 bars (out of 4) versus 3 to full on the X10, solid full signal on a laptop. I personally have not tried the bluetooth (range) and NFC yet, so I cannot comment on those.
Audio quality is good, headphone output is clear. Call volume isn't super loud, but it is acceptable. Microphone is fairly clear and reduced background noise, but any wind will still silence you.
The other thing to remember is, the battery is sealed! If you need to travel long distances, carry a portable battery charger (already do, so this didn't concern me). The battery inside is not user serviceable even if you open the back lid, it has been sealed with waterproof film, unlike the XS. On the bright side, it is a 1840~1900mAH one that holds up fairly well.
Also any advanced users out there will have to know that the development community (XDA) on the Acro S is not as active due to late entry into the US market, however, there are many mods still available for it (as it works with any XS mod). Root can be done with literally 2~3 clicks should you worry about that.
Most people should know that this phone does NOT work on Tmobile's (or Verizon/Sprint) 3G network, at least for now and most places. There ARE some places that you can get 3G, though mostly in the large cities. You can check their progress (unofficial) on airportal.de , which shows areas where the 1900/2100 band has been spotted (means iPhones and other international phones can work on 3G!).
Overall, this phone is great. Its very well optimized (Sunspider, and other benchmark scores are quite ahead of other similar hardware phones), designed, and so far, seems fairly sturdy and well built. Like I said before, if you use your phone as your main music device, you might have to consider either using a bluetooth unit, or look away because the cover is flimsy and will snap off if you stuff it in a pocket and go jogging with it. Also don't expect this to replace your main camera other than for quick FB posts because there are quite severe noise issues (but they still look good). I really enjoy using this phone.
For whoever is also looking at the Xperia V (I was), the successor to this phone, the V at the moment (October) does not look like it will enter the US market because the "h" version with US 3G bands has not been announced yet. The normal LTE version does not have LTE or 3G bands that the US can use (only Europe/Asia). Also it has 8gb internal memory instead, a VGA front camera, and no dedicated camera button. Similar camera sensor (13MP, but still same Exmor R, not RS), though with the S4 chip instead. You trade off some features to get a bit more speed and slightly better battery life (just a speculation as the S4 is more energy efficient but the Xperia V comes with a smaller, replaceable battery). If you are holding off on this phone for now to wait on the V, it is a tough choice since there are quite a good amount of trade offs, plus the Acro S's price has dropped now.
Update December : 4 Months, though I dropped it a few times, no chipping at the chrome paint (or the body) yet, still waterproof. No new bugs/issues to report. Latest version of fw is .55, which you will have to use XDA's method of flashing (Flashtool) in order to keep root (no longer possible to use the old simpler method).
Update Jan : After winter vacation my parents dropped my phone while trying to take a photo. There is a slight dent (nearly invisible, and you can hardly feel it) in the plastic housing but nothing major. It was about a meter drop onto solid marble. It is still waterproof. I forgot to say that Bravia Engine is working if anyone cares about it. Furthermore, after spending time home with a DLNA TV/BD Player, I've tested the Media Remote and Media Server (Connected Devices app). The app works flawlessly and while there is obvious room for improvement, nicely for a HX750 and a S590 player. It replicates the remote functions, can act as a keyboard input, and stream music and videos quickly to the television or to the player.
After messing around with quite a large number of apps installed so far I have suffered only one freeze, but it was recoverable after about 10~15 seconds. The phone has not reset itself yet.
The stock Sony firmware is decent. I personally run an unoffical CyanogenMod 10.1 firmware; mostly bug free. The Xperia S/Acro S CM kernel is currently being developed by a few semi-dedicated developers. There are a few modded Sony firmware images available, along with a few others based off of CM. The XDA section is pretty active, but since Sony phones have such a large presence outside of the US, the forums for the Xperia line is flooded with people who don't speak English as their first language.
Overall a good phone.
Like -> 1. Good materials , 2. Great display 3. Great multimedia, 4. Good hardware ( for this price)
Dislike -> 1. NFC label on back end is little bit higher than the body (1-2 mm) , so it scratching in the pocket