Posted 21/Mar 2013 at 15:34
by in Science & Tech read by 92 people

The Xperia Go has finally replaced my X10 Mini Pro

About three years ago I was a latecomer on the smartphone market, when I got myself an Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro (gosh, that's a long name), and I've been using that ever since. It's immediate successor, the Xperia Mini Pro came too short after it to already upgrade, and I've been waiting for Sony to release a new phone with slide-out keyboard ever since. But it never came.

Instead, after bumping Ericsson, Sony has been focussing on making phones waterproof instead. But when the Go came out sometime in 2012 I decided to wait for a waterproof phone with physical keyboard. But it never came.

In the meantime, the extreme slowness of my X10 MIni Pro, running Android 2.3 thanks to CyanogenMod,  had been getting increasingly annoying. Until I couldn't wait any longer for the right phone to be released, and decided to upgrade to Xperia Go.

First Impression

I went to the store, got the phone, got home, installed MicroSD and simcard, placed the back cover, went through Google Account setup, ran updates and was ready to use the phone all within a timeframe of a single hour. Mostly thanks the wonders of Google all my contacts and emails were immediately there, dôh... And it even responded, immediately after tapping the screen. The only negative so far is that I sometime had to look down on my hands to check if I was indeed still holding the phone. I felt the plastic in my hands, it's jus that it's so light that I couldn't feel the weight of it.

But what else can I say, it's comfortable to hold, as responsive as you would expect considering the specifications. Almost everything runs smooth, just the browser is a bit sluggish. For my usage, I didn't buy it to browse the internet - that I have my Nexus 7 for, so I'm satisfied.

There is one major downer though. The quality of the speakers is far below the level I would have expected from a Sony product. Having been used to my X10 producing a loud and clear sound, listening to music Spotify on through the Xperio Go speakers almost hurts my ears. The included earphones are a lot better though. And where the X10 wasn't too good for making phone calls, the Go is a lot better there.

Water Proof

What can I say. When I held it under the water tap it felt a bit weird, my girlfriend's parents turned all pale - but the phone continued to work. The next day I took it with me under the shower for some more testing. You know, I'm not one of those people who sing under the shower, but I like to listen to music. It was there that it really failed, speaker wise. I simply couldn't hear anything - even with the xLOUD feature turned on.

But the phone continued to function, no matter how much water I splashed on it.

I only experienced one problem, which might have to do with the feature they call "Wet Finger Tracking". When a drop of water hit the screen a bit too direct, the device would interpret that to be my finger - and respond to it as if it got tapped. So, don't read important emails under the shower or in heavy rain. You don't want them to get washed away ;).

Sony's Customized Skin

Every company making Android phones gets critisized for their custom skin. That's just the way it is. But I'm really happy about what Sony added to Android 4.0. Things look good, work good, and the Xperia Keyboard even has the swype-type feature, that otherwise first got introduced to stock-Android in 4.2. Which is good, because the Swype keyboard app made my phone rather slow.

Missing & Final Verdict

The only thing I'm really missing is NFC support. I thought I had read somewhere that the phone would have it, but apparently I was wrong about that. Too bad. If I can look apart from the terrible loudspeakers, and I can, I have bought myself a good handset that should be able to last again for a couple of years.

Ingress

One of the games I was hoping to play more on this new, waterproof, phone is a Niantic Google closed beta game called Ingress. Now, I knew that the phone doesn't completely match the minimum requirements - in particular Google recommends a larger screen. But the game runs, that's the most important thing.

A little tip for other Ingress Agents out there using the Xperia Go: The "Upgrade resonator" button is not visible on the screen, but you can still press it. Tap into the portal, press "Upgrade". At the bottom of the screen there are two buttons almost entirely overlapping eachother. The bottom one is Recharge, but 10-odd pixels you can see above that is upgrade. Be precise to hit that.

Now choose the resonator you want to upgrade, and select the resonator you want to upgrade with. Now tap the screen, just a little bit left of the Home button. It might take you a few tries, but you'll notice soon enough that the resonator gets upgraded.

You might also want to explore these likealots