In the midst of all the multi core smartphones that we see around us, it’s easy to forget about the low key smartphones that arrive in the market. With smartphones being so attractively priced these days, the feature phones or the rather lower spec’d phones are almost nonexistent to a lot of us. And Sony has made one such phone available in the U.S now, in the form of the Xperia advance. As with most entry level smartphones, this one too has a unique USP and that is its ruggedness. The phone is dust and water proof (up to 1 meter for 30 minutes) with IP67 certification, so this one is here to stay. The phone is known as the Xperia go in other parts of the world, and Xperia advance is merely an alternative name for the device. What’s interesting though is that Sony has launched this phone a good four months after its official release worldwide, which makes us feel if this is a holiday season special. Regardless, it’s a nice addition to the already crowded smartphone market albeit in a small package.
The smartphone features a 3.5-inch LED backlit LCD display with a resolution of 320×480 pixels and is powered by the Sony Mobile Bravia Engine. The rest of the specs are pretty standard with a 5MP camera, 8GB native storage (4GB user accessible) and a 1,305 mAh battery pack. Powering the device is a 1 GHz dual core NovaThor U8500 chip, with Mali 400 graphics. Sadly though, the phone runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which in this day and age is pretty substandard, but Sony is planning an upgrade to Android 4.0 soon like most of its Xperia lineup. The phone will be launched unlocked and free from contractual obligations and is compatible with AT&T’s HSPA+ networks, so you have the liberty to pick your favorite carrier. Gifting one of these to your family members isn’t a bad idea at all as it is priced at $249. Yes, in comparison to most other entry level smartphones, this one here is a little pricey, but given its water/dust proof credentials, it doesn’t seem like much. Besides the ruggedness of the device, it’s also pretty small and compact to hold. At 9.8mm, it’s not the thinnest, but is pretty much up there with the rest of the gang. It would make sense to keep this as a backup phone for your hiking trips where ruggedness would very much come in handy. The phone is available for purchase over at Newegg and Amazon.