Sony Xperia U Review: the best music phone

The Sony Xperia U smartphone belongs to the new set of Android-flavored smartphones, which include the flagship device Sony Xperia S, the Sony Xperia P and the Sony Xperia Sola launched by Sony recently.

The new Android smartphones obviously no longer bear the “Ericsson” brand because Sony had already completely purchased Ericsson’s stake in the Sony-Ericsson joint venture.

The Sony Xperia U, which is the smallest among the new breed of Xperias that all feature the same striking iconic design boasting of semi-curved back, flat sides and a glass part that glows with color, is the entry-to-mid range handset.

Key features of the Sony Xperia U include a 5MP camera with fast capture, HD recording and 2D and 3D panoramic photo imaging. Its 3.5-inch display is powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine.

The Sony Xperia U runs on Android Gingerbread. What makes it different from the rest of phones having Gingerbread OS is the pre-installed Sony apps or technology, which renders the phone into an instant entertainment device.

For example, the xLoud and Sony 3D surround sound audio technology is integrated into the music player.

The best sounding media player

Based on my experience on reviewing Android handsets, I would categorically say that the Sony Xperia U has the best sounding media player, in addition to also having the best music player interface. In fact, I relied on the sound quality of the Sony Xperia U completely when I watched the Pacquiao-Bradley match on a website link provided by a friend. I was watching the boxing match on the bigger display of my Samsung Galaxy Note, which sad to say, produced sound that wasn’t loud enough. The Sony Xperia U boosted the sound of the match up to my expectation.

The good thing about the phone having flat sides is that you can easily put it on any flat surface on side position, making access of the media player convenient. You can easily scroll or choose the songs you’d want to play, without having to hold and raise the phone. The feature also makes for easy watching of YouTube clips or movies without having the phone on a stand/holder.

Another good feature is the Timescape, which is an app that integrates Facebook and Twitter feeds. The Timescape UI presents feeds in stack up file folder format that you can scroll up and down, with the latest feeds on top.

The TrackID app allows you to record music from TV or any external speakers and it will automatically get the artist and track information. The Music and Videos app provides a collection of music and videos culled from Facebook contacts. You can also set the phone as a media player with multimedia content streamed to other devices via the Connected Devices app. Other useful apps include OfficeSuite, Wisepilot (for navigation), and NeoReader (a barcode reader).

One nice feature is the transparent glass element that illuminates to match the color of photos in the gallery or the album art of music tracks currently playing.

The 5MP camera, which comes with software for different shooting modes or scenes, takes good shots particularly outdoor sceneries. The 3D camera feature, though, takes time to master.

As the Sony Xperia U is a small display smartphone—a small display eats less energy– the battery lasts for more than a day.

To appreciate the xLoud feature of the phone, here’s a video of the Sony Xperia U at work: