The Xperia go is a water and dust resistant toughphone that combines sleekness with durability. It features a 3.5" 480 x 320 px display, dual-core 1GHz processor, and wet finger tracking for underwater use.
Editor's Review of the Xperia go
The Sony Xperia range is an aesthetically pleasing bunch of phones. With their no-nonsense, angular designs, brushed-looking shells and even the occasional bright colour on the chassis, you're never ashamed to whip them out in public.
Combining this formula with the raw durability of a Toughphone seems like a good idea, and the Sony Xperia go offers just that. If you're an adventurous type who wants a phone that can take some serious damage - and cringe at the prospect of a JCB Toughphone Pro Smart, then look no further.
Design & Build
The reason most people will buy this phone is for its IP67-certified ruggedness. This means that it's dustproof and waterproof, and can generally take some punishment. Oh, and it comes with a wrist-strap, just to really hammer home the point that this is a phone designed for outdoor use.
The Xperia go is the best-looking toughphone to date. While it does have an all-black chassis option, Sony offer several colour variants for the handset, should you be feeling adventurous with the look of your phone. The rubberised chassis also makes it feel more stable in your hands than other members of the Xperia family.
The 3.5" 320 x 480px display featured here is the phone's weak-point. Given Sony's reputation for high-quality displays, and the fact that the phone runs on a powerful processor, it's disappointing that the screen doesn't do justice to the phone or the company. It suffers from glare in brighter conditions, and the low resolution is made more for watching washed-out TV shows like Emmerdale rather than the latest blockbuster films.
OS & Performance
Android 2.3 Gingerbread is always a reliable performer, though it's perplexing why a mid-range Android phone released at this point doesn't come with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich. While a decent OS, Gingerbread lacks the sheen and customisability of ICS, so until Sony release an update (which is expected), you won't be enjoying this phone as much as you could be.
The whole show runs pretty smoothly on a dual-core NovaThor 1GHz processor, with no noticeable slowdown when flicking through the humble Gingerbread homescreens. Internet browsing is swift - if not particularly much to look at thanks to the screen - and you'll be able to run most of the latest games without much trouble, let alone the basic games that most people love.
The 5MP snapper featured here isn't the most ambitious camera in the Xperia selection. It features autofocus and LED flash, as well as nifty features such as the 3D sweep panorama, which makes for some spectacular shots.
The quality of the photos themselves, however, leaves something to be desired. The snapper here tends to go a bit haywire on the exposure in bright-light conditions, although the flash means that low-light shots aren't off limits. Also, the camera can take pictures underwater, and not a lot of phones having bragging rights to that, do they now?
Software & Multimedia
As you'd expect from Sony, the onboard music player is a stylish and functional offering. There are plenty of equaliser options, and there is the xLoud audio enhancement onboard, which with a good pair of headphones will enhance the depth and crispness of whatever sounds are emanating of your phone.
A feature that would've been welcome here would have been Sony's WhiteMagic technology, which makes viewing videos in bright conditions considerably easier. Given that this is a phone designed for the great outdoors, it's a shame Sony failed to take into account its usability in bright sunlight.
Battery life, Connectivity & Storage
The Xperia go contains a 1305mAh battery that technically offers up to 460 hours of standby time. Of course, this means nothing unless your purpose for having a phone is simply to admire how good it looks with a blank screen, and in real usage terms, you'll be hard-pressed to get a single day's use out of the go.
The go features all the connectivity you'd expect from a low-mid-range handset, with WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and even old-school EDGE all being onboard. At its top HSDPA speeds, you can squeeze out up to 14.4MBps of mobile internet speed, which should more than suffice for most moderate users.
Half of the 8GB of onboard storage space here is taken up by the OS and Sony's useless apps. Thankfully, there is a microSD slot allowing you to boost the capacity by a further 32GB of external memory. You'll need it.
Phones that are made for durability often compromise their stylishness, but the Sony Xperia go finds a pretty good balance. It's surprisingly compact, and easily the best-looking toughphone out there.
It's also more powerful on the inside than its rivals in this area of the market, with the dual-core processor making it smooth to run most moderate-intensity apps and functions. Perhaps the camera could've been better and the battery more long-lasting, but as toughphones go, the Go's the way to go, if you follow me...
Sony Xperia go News
Sony Xperia’s foray into rough-and-rugged toughphones begins today as the Sony Xperia go is now available to buy from O2. Customers have the option of either paying £230 for the handset, or getting it free on a 24-month contract for £18.50 p/m, which comes with 200 inclusive minutes, unlimited texts and 100MB of data [...]
O2 have updated their previously empty Coming Soon page, which now states that Sony’s Xperia go will be coming to the network in July. The go features a 3.5″ LED-backlit screen, a 5MP camera and a nifty dual-core 1GHz processor. Its outstanding feature, however, is that it’s IP67-certified, making it resistant to water and [...]
Toughphones haven’t traditionally been the most aesthetically pleasing handsets in the world. While Motorola’s Defy+ is certainly prettier than the likes of JCB’s building-site abominations, such phones always seem to sacrifice a bit of their looks for durability. Sony seem keen to amend this trend, as they’ve announced a pair of dust- and water-resistant smartphones [...]