Sony's Xperia U smartphone - hands on review

Sony released Xperia U previous year in May, in an effort to target mid-range smartphone market. Xperia U is a very compact smartphone with interesting specifications.

I purchased my first Android phone Sony Xperia U earlier this year. Here I am writing what I have practically experienced using this phone, its features, plus points and its shortfalls.


This smartphone from Japanese smartphone maker is a very compact and easy to hold device with a screen size of 3.5 inches. I never need two hands to hold this phone like big ones from Samsung or HTC. It has a power button placed on the right side which, I feel, is easy to use than phones which has power button on the top. Besides power button, others are volume keys and a dedicated camera key on the right side. Camera key is not the best one and you have to hold it for too long to launch camera. On the right side it has a micro USB port which surprisingly has no cover and can accumulate dust over long use. On the top is 3.5 mm Headphone jack and microphone.


The most exciting feature of this smartphone is a multi colour LED bar seen in no other phone. LED bar changes colour according to to the colour dominant on the screen and the colour of theme that you have set. LED bar is very accurate and changes colour while browsing pictures and also displays colour dominant in current Album Art while listening music. Other features include a small notification led for displaying notifications in the upper right hand corner. This smartphone comes with 8GB memory onboard out of which only 4GB is user available. There is no memory card slot which is the biggest shortfall of this amazing device. The smartphone has 5MP primary camera which clicks nice shots in good lighting condition. But if the lighting conditions are poor then even with flash the pictures are OK-OK. But the camera records videos at 720p HD with high detailing. 8X zoom of the camera is worth mentioning. It has a secondary camera also which is nice for video calling.

This phone accepts normal sim card with no hassles of Mini or Micro Sim Cards. One more interesting feature is replaceable bottom caps. The screen of this phone is 3.5 inches with 480x854 pixels at a pixel density of 285ppi. It has a capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch upto four fingers.Tge touch response is excellent. For connectivity, it comes with WiFi, Bluetooth and HSDPA support up to 14.4Mbps. The screen is fairly visible in daylight and graphics also look detailed. It also features like GPS, FM radio and HTML browser.


Coming to performance, this phone comes with dual core ARM processor on Novathor chip set, which is not much popular. It has 512MB of RAM, which is somewhat low for a phone like this. Xperia U has Mali-400 GPU which performs very well in games. This smartphone initially came with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and was very smooth. But when I upgraded it to Android 4.0 ICS then this phone lagged too much despite Dual core processor and 512MB of Ram. So I was forced to Root the device and remove the bloatware that improved its performance. Currently I am running Cyanogenmod 9.3 (Android 4.0) on it and it works smooth like butter. It has a 1320mAh battery which can't be rated excellent but I can say phone has a good battery life.


OS -- Android 2.3 upgradable to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
SIM -- Single SIM
Screen -- 3.2 inches Capacitive Touch screen
(Support 4 finger Multi touch )
Storage -- 8MB internal storage(4GB user available) with no microSD support
RAM -- 512MB
Connectivity -- GPRS ,EDGE(236 kbps)and HSDPA 14.4 Mbps; WiFi ,Bluetooth 2.1 and microUSB port
Camera -- 5 MP primary camera with Video recording
at 720p
VGA secondary camera.
GPS -- Yes, AssistedGPS
Battery -- 1320mAh Li-Ion battery
Others -- FM Radio, Photo Editor, Organiser, Java
Colours Available -- White and Black

Verdict and review
Xperia U was launched at a price of Rs 14,999 but now it comes at a price of about Rs 12,000. At this price,this is a smartphone with great specs like dual core processor and is a nice performer with proper tweaking. The only negative point about this phone is the Memory card slot. With a memory card slot and slightly more RAM this would have been a 10/10 phone.

Rating - 8.5/10.

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