The Sony Xperia smartphone has now arrived on AT&T. The carrier is selling the device for $99 with a 2-year contract. For those who want an even sweeter deal, Best Buy has made the phone available for only $49.99.
The Sony Xperia Ion phone was unveiled as early as January this year. It sports a fairly large form factor measuring 5.2 x 2.7 by 0.4 inches and weighs 5.1 ounces.
For its display, it has a TFT LCD HD Reality display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a measurement of 4.55 inches diagonally. Sony has integrated a display technology called Mobile Bravia Engine on this display which improves contrasts and vibrancy in images. On this display, Sony has placed four buttons for commonly-used Android functions. To ensure that the phone remains looking spiffy, it is covered by a mineral coating that makes it resistant to scratches.
Under the hood, the phone has a Qualcomm S3 dual -ore processor clocked at 1.5GHz and Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread as its OS. This processor is slower than the S4 one that comes with the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X. Meanwhile, the OS might cause some disappointment since many new phones are now shipping with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.
There are some reports of issues with its speakers and speakerphone function, whose volumes are too low, causing poor call quality. The microphone also picks up background noise, further adding to the cons of this device.
As for networking, the device supports AT&T LTE connectivity in 39 cities in the US, and global HSPA+ roaming. Given the right service plan, the device may be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot, as well.
A dedicated camera key on the side of the phone launches the camera, which is a 12 megapixel one packed with many Sony features, such as an Exmor R sensor. This is complimented by a 720p webcam. NFC capability, micro HDMI, micro USB, and a 1,900mAh battery complete the package.
Though the device packs some outdated features, it is still worth a look especially given its enticing price.