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Recently sold this phone for the Xperia S. The Xperia U is quite a good phone for the price. It is quite stylish and streamlined, although the plastic back isn't the best. The coloured bar and flashing light strip I personally liked, although it will depend on peoples tastes.
The speed of the phone is very average, I found that it would freeze up a lot, and browsing websites could be very difficult sometimes.
The phones interface which Sony designed is very nice, and easy to use, one of the reasons I continue to buy Sony Phones.
I really liked the Ericsson music player on the device, and the playback quality through the speakers is quite good.
The screen quality, and brightness is amazing. However I found the 3.5" screen to be slightly to small for my needs.
Overall a cheap and basic affordable mobile in a sleek form from Sony.
The Sony U is actually a good, little Android powered phone. It fits in the palm of my hand so I don't have to fear that it will slip. It also looks good - it's eye catching. Also, with the phone you can also always change the bottom bar. Thus if you feel bored with your phone, you can change the bottom bar. There are many colours, such as, pink or yellow. It makes your phone look brighter and generally more eye-catching.
However, I dislike the constant flashing bar. Firstly, it drains a lot of battery and it also constantly is on, so using the phone in the dark is very annoying. Unfortunately, Sony does not have a feature that allows you to turn it off. However, there are various apps, on Google apps, which allow you to turn off the constant flashing bar.
My favourite feature is the keypad. You are able to slide your fingers, from letter to letter, to spell out a word. I love it. It can be so annoying when you have to spell something word by word, especially at night. This feature is amazing and so convenient.
What I truly dislike is how many google apps there are on this phone - that I cannot uninstall. This takes up various memory, when Sony does not have a micro sd slot. This, in my opinion, is the worst feature. After all, the phone only has 4GB memory, the other 4GB is not open to the user. If you thus like to have various songs, images and apps on your phone - Sony U is not for you.
The touch screen on the phone is great; it is so responsive. It's great how much the screen responds. You do not have to fear the slowness of the touchscreen or that it will not respond.
The camera is simply adequate. It takes pictures - but it is nothing remarkably amazing.
Overall, the phone is great, for somebody who likes a small phone and who does not need various memory.
I've had this phone for over a year now, on contract, it being my first smart phone I thought it was great at first.
It is a good little smart phone and has survived my daughter's wrath many times. I loved this phone to begin with, it is small enough for my hands, small enough to fit in my pocket, and any little compartment in a bag. It does all the things I want from a smart phone, social networks, games, camera, texts, calls, WiFi etc.
It's camera isn't amazing quality at only 5 megapixels but it's good enough. Although it's video recording is not the best though, it doesn't record sound very well. The camera has multiple different settings that you can put on for different environments, like night time portrait, portrait, documents etc. It even has a front camera, although not great quality. This phone is an android phone, it has plenty of free apps and games that you can download. I mostly use it for texting and social networks, and it's fast enough going from app to app. Although if you do have a lot of apps installed this will slow down your phone. It's memory isn't great but there isn't a lot you can expect from such a small smart phone really. It's battery life is also not the best in the world, but I use my phone most of the day and have to recharge it over night, every night, I haven't had to do that with previous phones.
After having this phone for over a year, I've recently started to dislike it, as I said it does slow down over time with all the apps and it's memory isn't great. It's started to become unresponsive but I think that may be mostly due to my daughter. For me, the absolute best thing about it is it's size, I don't want a massive brick phone, and this was just the thing for me.
At first glance, the Xperia U is a good-looking, smart little phone that fits nicely in your hand, and has the added bonus of an interchangeable bottom in black, pink white or yellow! The strip above this also lights up and is a different colour depending on the theme and colour scheme you choose, and also changes to coordinate with any photo you may be viewing.
The on/off and volume controls are situated perfectly for ease of use, and the swipe function to lock, and navigate menus is also very straightforward. You can customise the multiple home screens to include any apps, shortcuts or widgets you wish (e.g. if there is a person in your contacts you phone frequently, you can install a widget which, when pressed, calls that person immediately. The on-screen keyboard is fine for those with small fingers, but with the extremely sensitive touch screen and small keys is, according to my significant other, rather frustrating to use if you have larger hands!
Powered by android, there is a wide range of apps and games that can be downloaded to the phone at the touch of a button via the Play store whch is simple to access and navigate.
A good camera is important to me when choosing a phone, and the Xperia's 5MP camera does not disappoint. The video recording, however, is disappointing. Not for those who want to record high quality videos.
Now for the main problem for me - the extremely oversensitive touch screen! I can't count the times I've accidentally pressed the mute or speakerphone buttons whilst making a call or sent a text before it was finished!
---When I first heard of and purchased---
Until about July 2012 I had been using a Nokia C3 and had slowly started thinking about upgrading to a new phone as my current Nokia was about 2 years old and was starting to wear out.
I had been looking around at different phones and was going to avoid a touch screen phone as I had owned a Nokia XpressMusic before the C3 and found it was really terrible so I was hesitant to try out another touch screen phone.
I found the Xperia U on the Carphone Warehouse website and was initially attracted by the 8gb of internal storage (I believe it uses 2gb for system, 2gb for apps and the other 4gb is for your media such as music and video etc)
I was still hesitant so I looked up videos on YouTube demonstrating the phone being used, I saw from the videos I watched that the touch screen was very responsive and so I decided I would try out the phone in a store.
After trying the phone in the store I decided to order the phone when I got home, the phone arrived within 2 days and tried it out as soon as I got my Sim card plugged in.
---What I use the Phone for---
I mainly use the phone to text and occasionally browse the internet which I find the phone does very well, although the on screen buttons for the QWERTY keyboard could be a bit bigger as I find myself accidentally pressing the wrong letter.
I find the touch screen very responsive almost like using a an I pod or an I phone and the android OS runs well without any problems (I have had the odd freeze or crash since updating the phone from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich.
The app store works really well and is easy to navigate, it is divided into Apps, Music, Books, Magazines and Movies and can easily just search for the app I require.
The notification bar at the top of the screen is also useful for telling me when an app has downloaded and installed, it also tells me if someone has sent a text or a message on Facebook, although since updating to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich firmware version I find that the phone doesn't play the notification sound and just vibrates so I find that messages may go un answered until I get the chance to check the phone.
---Issues / Disadvantages---
One issue is the battery life, I find it doesn't last more than about 3 days and it isn't helped by the fact that the alarm clock can't be used while the phone is switched off thus causing further drain on the battery life.
Overall I would give this phone a 4/5 rating as the phone is still very good apart from the problems I mentioned above, I hope this review helps anyone looking for a cheap alternative to the more expensive options available from Apple or Google
I think it was around September last year when i decided to buy this phone. I loved the way you get to change the bottom bar to many colors: White, yellow, pink and black. I got given the pink and the black one when i bought the phone. I first used the pink one for a bit then decided to change it to a black.
One of the things that i really love about this phone is that when your listening to music and you press the unlock button it straight slides to a widget on the lock screen that allows you to pause the music and change it. Talking about music, i also love the way they set the music gallery out. You can also add favorites etc.
The camera is one of the best things about this phone although the front camera is not as good unless your outside, which your always not. The normal view camera is very detailed and is High Quality (HQ). Same for video's, again the front camera is not as good and the normal view camera. There is also 2 3D-camera's which i really could not find the time to use yet but I'm guessing its good.
Another thing about this phone that really made me buy this phone is the fact that it is waterproof. If you are the kind of person that isn't responsible for handling phone's and you drop them frequently then i suggest this because you never know were exactly you are going to drop it. I dropped it in a puddle like a couple of months ago and i was glad that nothing happened.
It is an android phone so you get to take the advantage of Google play store, now android used to have its own market but thank god that Google bought it. There is most apps you can probably find in the apple play store however one very popular iPhone(iPod and Ipad) app that android yet does not have is 'Cam Wow' and that's a shame. Be careful, too much apps can mess up the phone, by that i mean freezing and slowing down, my phone only freezed 2 times since iv got it and i used to have a hell load of games.
You can shot pictures even quicker with the Sony xperia. when your phone is locked, simply press hold of the camera button and it will open up the camera and take a picture for you.
Another very cool thing is that while your talking with someone on the phone, you can 'Multi-task' basically when your talking on the phone you can press the home or back button and it will go to the main screen. You can even play games whilst your taking, baring in mind that you wont be able to hear the person your talking with unless there on loud speaker or earphones. Another thing is that you can also turn the lock button to a 'hang up' button when you are talking with someone on the phone. You will be able to find it in the call settings.
On the bottom of the front screen you have 4 slots to put things that you want to access quickly the things you use the most.
The color of the led bar changes, for example when your on pictures, i think it just picks out the main color from there and uses it in the led bar. However if you get annoyed of the led bar then simply download 'screen filter' from app store make sure the 'enable soft-key backlight' (on the app) is without a tick. Then you just have to press 'enable screen filter' and then your done. But, you still get the light on pictures and when your on the music application.
Sony Xperia U
Why purchase this one?
I have a good relationship with the Sony brand. I have enjoyed a number of products that have performed well. I began my mobile partnership with the K800i which was a smashing little phone with an awesome camera. A good camera is important to me as part of the phone package as those unmissable shots are much better if the quality is above average. I reluctantly upgraded to a touch screen Xperia X8 which served me well but my only niggle was the size of the screen - it was small and hindered my QWERTY technique. Therefore the main reason for upgrading to this model is a larger screen for ease of texting.
Brief overview of specification...
3.5" Bravia engine touchscreen (capacitive)
Google Android 4 (Ice cream sandwich)
8GB memory - up to 4GB user accessible (no expandable facility)
1GHz dual core processor
Dimensions 112 x 54 x 12 mm
3G standby up to 472 hours
3g Talk time up to 5hrs 36 minutes
5 megapixel camera and flash with 3D options, face detection and geo tagging + 16x zoom
Unpack and go...
I was not overly excited by the delivery of my new phone as the system is pretty much the same as the Xperia X8 that I already owned. It arrived well protected and security sealed in a small slim box. Not too much to faff about with and not overwhelmed by reams of paperwork. I don't like a gadget that takes a degree to work out how to get started. I don't want to feel intimidated by a phone, it needs to become a part of my life and be very user friendly. The phone was sat charging in no time as it was easy to remove the back cover and access the Sim card slot and battery pack. Simple.
After a couple of hours the phone was fully charged - impressive for a first charge - so I wasted no time in getting to know my new partner in life. I don't like to be reliant on gadgets but let's be honest today's breed of mobile phone pretty much holds everything in one place should you want it to.
Initially I felt like I had made a mistake in replacing my little buddy (the X8) as the U looks so much bigger next to it. The screen was reassuringly big but the phone has a black frame around the screen and then a unique blue light feature at the bottom. This adds to the length mostly and that was what put me off. It felt so big in my hand and was heavier. One thing that was better than the X8's shiny surface was the matt finish to the U on the back cover - meaning that my tendency to drop things was greatly reduced. That was the first sensation of ease and relief. I began to feel like I had made a good choice as I navigated the U with ease. Unlike the X8 which has three buttons on the bottom to navigate 'back' 'home' and 'options' the U is touch button and quite well hidden if I hadn't known what I was looking for. A new person to the Sony brand would soon cotton on and instructions are clear in the manual. I like the location of the on/off button which is to the right side and much more user friendly than the top spot on the X8. A huge improvement from the X8 is the charger slot which was a fiddly little flap which sat on top of the X8 - on the U it is an open access point to the left side. The only other buttons are a +/- for volume and manipulating picture size; and a camera button - both easy to access and use on the right hand side of the unit. The rear of the unit has the familiar Sony logo which is discreet and the small speaker system. The flash is also on the rear of the phone.
The more I played around with it the more I liked it. It sits snug in my hand and feels secure. It has the look that I like - black and quite square edged as opposed to rounded. Shiny with a black border around the screen, which is not too dissimilar to our TV. Great, responsive touch screen which easily out performs the X8 - which had a bit of a lag. The U even has a lovely blue light strip across the bottom - this lights up when the phone is in use and people are often asking what make of phone it is as they like the light! Not my main reason for having a phone but it is a nice touch. There is an option of colours for the bottom of the phone if you really want to personalise it - I don't as I like the whole unit being black. It is a bit of a novelty for those who want it.
Unlocking the phone is a simple swipe across with the finger - a slide bar if you like. This takes you to the home screen - which you can easily personalise with wallpaper or photographs and can fill up with applications of your own liking. The usual standard display of time and date appear - which I find really useful as I don't ever wear a watch now. The signal metre sits a long the top and is accompanied by alerts and battery life - this phone will do an alert for low battery which the X8 only did once unlocked from O2. Along the bottom of the screen are the widgets of your choice - the centre one brings the screen to home.
As I have come to expect, and one of the main reasons I like the Sony phones, the clarity and sharpness of the screen is good. The U does not disappoint. The images are all HD quality and easy on the eye - the larger 3.5" screen definitely makes the most of this and it is a pleasure to use. Other people have also commented on this.
A press of the home screen brings the phone to the slide screen facility and there are four pages up to now as I have not gone wild downloading apps...yet. Once again I find the responsiveness of the U fast and it really is noticeable when I remember the short lag on the X8. A host of familiar applications are ready installed and the familiar settings icon is easily identifiable - it is from here that the U will be personalised. Sound, ringtones, internet access, data roaming, sync etc are all accessed here and the best thing to do is have a good play around to get used to the format and see what things do. I am by no means a technically minded girl but this system is a doddle - that is why I stick with Sony. My daughter has the Sony Neo which is very similar and her previous Samsung was a similar set up - I like a phone that makes sense. My mum has a phone that is so difficult to navigate as things are not where you would expect them to be and doing simple things such as adding a contact means so much work. It is simple to add contacts on the U - all is self-explanatory and logical.
As this is a phone I feel it only right to tell you about the performance and ease of use when making or taking a call. Not something that I do often as I am more of a text girl. Basically if the phone rings you don't have to panic when you first get the smart phone wondering where the button is - as I did with my first smart phone the X8 - it is obvious and easy. The phone rings and you simply slide the green phone symbol across the slide bar with a finger of your choice. Once the call ends the phone has a great big red 'end call' button which responds quickly to your touch - really obvious and in my experience it is user friendly. Making a call is simple with only two steps to it - press the phone button from the home page and then the contacts list is available or you can manually input the number. I am really impressed by how quick and easy this is and the responsiveness makes it a pleasure. Sound during the call is clear as a bell, great for me when my blocked up sinuses make hearing difficult - easy to access the volume button during a call as it is long and slim. I have not had any problem with reception during the time I have had the phone.
Texting. This is the thing that I do most if I am communicating via the U. I wanted a bigger screen for ease of use and to stop silly mistakes being made when typing on the QWERTY. I am very impressed and happy with the performance. The screen size has made a big difference but the responsiveness is the icing on the cake. I hadn't really been bothered by the lag on the X8 whilst using it as I really like the phone but the difference in the ease of use and speed of texting is significant. I use the predictive text and have taught it some new words - such as names - so that improves speed too. I wondered how my daughter composed a message so quickly and thought it was me being clumsy and slow on my X8 - not so! I am impressive with my text speed now too! A bit of a whiz actually and the silly and embarrassing errors that repeatedly occurred on the X8 are very rare - when it does happen it is the predictive text not me, of course. As this was the main reason for changing my phone I can say that I am very satisfied and happy with the U's texting performance.
Another of the requirements on a phone is decent pictures - never going to be competing with a quality camera but when on the go and that perfect moment arises I am not likely to be armed with my camera and I like a gadget that offers me everything in one place. Once again I am impressed but I have to say that I was disappointed initially. This camera has the capability of taking pretty decent and clear shots without distortion or graininess but my first efforts produced camera shake images that had a grainy look to them - so even though I was delighted with the texting and phoning and clear screen I was displeased with the camera images. I knew that it must be capable of better images as the demo stuff was HD quality and crystal clear - really impressive. So I played about with the options of portrait and flash and other handy options and hey presto I can now get the images that I am happy with - fast. The only thing that is not as good is that the X8 and the U are both susceptible to camera shake whereas the good old K800i was unshakable - really that camera was damned good and only 3.5 megapixels. In fact someone has just bought the K800i just for the camera on it! The U beats the X8 again with the inclusion of a flash - I never understood the omission of a flash on the X8? Though, it did take a great photograph.
One thing that lets the phone down is the omission of expandable memory - both prior models that I owned - X8 and K800i - had this facility. As I have a Sony MP3 player which holds many tracks and has fabulous rich sound I knew that I would not be needing to rely on this phone for music - to be honest you would be constantly recharging it if you did and the MP3 players lasts almost a week of before it needs to be charged up. I was also happy to transfer photographs to my computer to free up space. If you want to store lots of music and images on here it may not be for you.
The sound quality via the speaker is really decent for a phone unit - in competes with the pretty decent sound that came from the K800i and the MP3 player too, not that I like to listen to sound this way but it is handy. Through the earphones the sound is rather impressive - not on the same level as the Sony MP3 (NWZ545b) but it is not to be sniffed at. I like good sound quality and if listening to a rock band (like Metallica) I like to be able to hear the instruments clearly and with a good amount of bass - this doesn't disappoint. The earphone slot, 3.5mm audio jack, is easily accessed at the top of the unit and for me that is the best place for it to be so that it is not knocked.
Video quality is crystal clear and HD quality. I don't watch full length movies on here and wouldn't want to but what I have witnessed has been very impressive. The phone can be connected to TV to view movies too. That was another thing that attracted me to the U - so many extra's that I may or may not use.
Internet access is superb. I am with Virgin media and the connection is immediate and signal remains strong. Not my favourite way of browsing as I like a big screen to view but when on the go and needing directions or to look up a restaurant on Trip Advisor this is very handy. I have downloaded the yahoo mail application which makes my account available with speed - any emails that are requiring attention are retrieved quickly. The U performs seamlessly when surfing though it does use up the battery life and I would say the battery only lasts a day if I am browsing and taking photographs and generally playing around on the phone. Otherwise if it is just an odd text and using the timer (very handy as is the stopwatch) the battery life lasts around three to four days. I am happy with the duration between charging and know that smart phones use up the charge faster.
I have been using the phone daily for the last few months and the casing is still sitting pretty. I do keep it in a pouch if I am out and it is going in my bag. The screen is scratch resistant, made from anti-reflective mineral glass, but I have used the protective plastic that was provided - I was impressed with the quality and little application tool (a kind of squeegee) that came with it. When the phone is sat unused the screen appears shiny and clear, I have to look closely to see fingerprints. When the phone is in use fingerprints are not evident at all. This has impressed me as I don't like to see finger marks.
Available from a host of stores including Virgin Mobile, Phones4U, O2 and Car phone Warehouse.
Varies dependent on provider or if it is unlocked - approximately £120 at this time.
What do I think of U?...
The only reason that the phone is awarded 4 stars instead of 5 is the omission of expandable memory - it would score 5 perfect stars otherwise. The phone oozes quality and for the price you get a fantastic piece of kit. Aesthetically pleasing in black gloss with a screen that does not reflect - making images crystal clear. Running on a fast platform the performance is great and a joy to use. Sound quality is amazing through the earphones with rich bass and stereo evident - listening from the small speaker is not bad on the ears at all, impressive in actual fact. Texting is a doddle with ample 3.5" of screen to play with. Phone calls are clear and reception has always been good. I did have a challenging time initially with the camera and was disappointed as I was used to what the K800i and Xperia X8 could achieve - this was remedied after practice. It is just a case of getting to know the phone and what it is capable of - this one offers lots to keep you occupied. Though I had my concerns about the weight in comparison with the X8 it has not been an issue - actually it does not feel heavy now that I am used to it. I am happy with the battery life and understand that the more I use/play on the phone the faster the battery will deplete - it is very quick at recharging so I don't find it a problem. Normally 15 minutes or so and the battery is ready to go again. So what do I think of U? I love U. It performs to my expectations and beyond - some pleasant surprises and I am still finding more. Oh and I do like the fancy blue light - novelty but nice.
Published on Ciao
© dawnymarie 2013
I had this phone for about 2-3 months now and have yet to find a fault. This phone was picked amoungst a whole shop full. I paid £129.99 at a phone shop on o2. My one came with a pink extra strip at bottom which is very pretty. Above that is a colour changing strip which the colour can be changed in phone settings. The phone is a touch only phone and is always in perfect sync. It has an android system and uses google play for all its apps, ive found that the phone I can download most apps with no problems. The phone has both wirless and phone internet connections and always runs at top speed. My husband brought another top phone at same time but prefers mine as his keeps crashing. The only draw back to this phone is there is no sd carf slot which isnt too bad as ive never run out of space. It has an amazing camera at 5mp and flash, with which uve taken some amazing pictures and videos. This phone is defently worth its price and maybe more as it cannot be faulted what so ever
I have just bought this phone to replace my worn out Orange San Francisco. I have to say, I am seriously impressed.
First impressions when I bought the phone were that it felt really really well built. It has a good weight to it, the plastics feel very solid, and the back cover is rubberised. All the buttons are rubberised, and have a satisfying click to them. When turning it on, I was shocked how quickly it was on and up and running. I realise my old San Francisco was no speed demon, but this is really very fast.
Quick Spec Summary:
Dual Core 1GHz Processor
8GB Storage, 2GB for system, 2GB for Apps, and 4GB for your files
Mali-400MP GPU (Single Core)
5MP Camera with flash and 720p Video recording and front facing camera
480x854 3.5 inch screen LED screen with scratch resistant glass
Android 2.3 with 4.0 update available.
Seems a bit of a bargain, right? It definitely is.
Continuing with the performance of the phone, as I said, it is very very fast. I hardly ever get any sort of lag. Web browsing is fast, multi tasking is fast, games work brilliantly, I can't fault it here.
The screen is lovely. Due to being so high resolution on a smaller sized screen, everything is very clear with a great amount of detail. The touchscreen is very sensitive, and is very accurate. It also has the Sony Bravia engine software, which really improves picture and video colours.
Camera performance is almost perfect. The Camera comes with a load of features, infact, more than my actual camera! It even has the auto panorama mode, where you press once and then slide the phone across, a feature which has now just been included on more expensive fruity phones. The front camera works great in Skype, and the only disadvantage I can find in this area is the 720p video recording. While it does record usable video, it's not of the finest quality and won't be replacing a video camera any time soon. Standard picture quality however is fantastic, and the flash works brilliantly.
The phone also has a cool light bar at the bottom which I call the mood light. It lights up when the touch buttons below the screen are pressed, and lights in the color of your chosen homescreen wallpaper. It also is used in the Gallery, and changes colour depending on the picture being viewed.
The downside to this phone is the lack of micro SD card slot, and the fairly limited internal storage, with only 4GB available for things like music and video. For me this is not a problem as streaming music services can be used and I don't store or record a lot of video on my phone.
Sound quality from the rear speaker is so-so. It's better than a lot of phones, but it's still nothing to shout about, and isn't very loud. The phone does have Sony's xLOUD option to help with this, but I found it made the speaker sound very distorted, so turned it off. Sound quality through headphones is brilliant however, and the 3d effects that can be selected are excellent. In call quality is also very good, and having asked others, I sound very clear to them.
The overall experience of using the phone is also very good. I was a bit apprehensive about buying a phone with Android 2.3 Gingerbread this late on and having to wait for Ice Cream Sandwich, but Sony have done a really great job of making it a pleasure to use, without diverting too far from the normal Android experience.
As an end note, you can change the rubber cap at the bottom of the phone to personalise it, but as mine came with a black one or a shocking pink one, I think I'll be keeping the standard black one.
In short, if you like your phones to be a bit smaller like me, and don't mind the limited internal storage, this phone is an absolute bargain. The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update is being rolled out as I write this, but even with 2.3 this phone is great, and I would recommend it to anyone.