The 3 inch screen is nothing special; it’s not very bright as I barely noticed the difference between medium brightness and when I turned it all the way up but on the other hand it had very good viewing angles. I didn’t notice any drastic changes in contrast or colors washing out when viewed at an angle and that’s very good because while using the armband you will be looking at the phone from an angle. So while it’s not AMOLED or Retina display, the Active’s screen manages to perform better than the average 3 inch LCD found on other phones.
The camera was a mixed bag for me. While the 5 megapixel sensor was good enough to take decent photos, I found the camera button hard to press at times. Many pictures have been ruined while I pressed the button and waited for the picture to be taken. It has some form a two-step button where a half press gets it to focus and pressing it further takes the picture but the actual act of taking the picture took too long as it may get stuck trying to focus properly. It didn’t always happen though but it was enough to put me off taking pictures with it. Also thanks to the target audience’s tendencies for outdoor activities, the camera lens may become dirty and need cleaning. The lens is recessed inside the back cover so it’s not so easy to clean. On the whole the Xperia Active’s camera took decent shots when the camera didn’t have trouble focusing.
The Xperia Active comes with the same xLoud option as the other Xperia phones I’ve reviewed and it does an excellent job of enhancing the audio quality that comes out of this phone’s loudspeaker. I found the loudspeaker’s quality to be excellent, perhaps one of the best I’ve ever heard. Obviously it does not replace a proper sound system or earphones in terms of quality and bass but I could almost hear a bit of depth in the songs I used to test the loudspeaker out. If you don’t have a set of speakers in your pocket you may be able to keep a small room entertained for a while with the music coming out of that tiny speaker. The in-ear earphones included with the Xperia Active seem to be the standard that all Xperia phones are bundled with and they’re very good. You can definitely use these rather than buying a decent pair which isn’t as common as you might think when it comes to bundled earphones. Call quality was excellent as well, at no point did I or the person I was talking to sound muffled, cut out or too low.