A durable phone that needs a bit more polish
Okay, hands up if you’ve ever lost a mobile phone to the elements. I meant dropped your phone in a puddle of water, or taken it to the beach to find the sand going everywhere. Or if you thought you could listen to the music on your phone while lounging by the pool only to find that seconds later your phone is aimlessly drifting to the bottom of said pool. Yes, in this day and age of our electronic wizardry, we try our best to shield our precious phones from harm. We buy covers, screen protectors and the like to make sure that our little investments are safe and sound. So imagine my surprise when the Sony XPERIA acro S made its way to my desk – here was a phone that was supposedly dust and water proof, and I couldn’t wait to test that claim.
Build quality & design
The XPERIA acro S echoes the design of the XPERIA series, with a combination of black matte plastic and rubber gracing most of the phone’s body. The phone feels considerably bulkier than past phones I’ve looked at, probably due to its rather hefty battery.
Since this is supposed to be a dust and water-proof phone, Sony have deliberately covered the phone’s ports with flaps, so the HDMI connector, headphone jack, charging connector, and card slots are all covered up, and require a bit of prying to open up.
On the right side of the phone you have the power button, volume rocker, and a dedicated camera button – these buttons vary in resistance, which makes them a bit odd to handle. The power button is a bit stiff for my liking, while the camera button can be at times a bit hard to press down without slightly shaking the phone and blurring your photo.
Finally near the bottom of the phone are the three capacitive buttons for Back, Home, and Menu – these are not backlit but have a very small glowing dot at the bottom of each button. You need to tap above this dot to activate the button, so things can get a bit fiddly in low light or if you’re groping for your phone in the dark.
The XPERIA acro S sports the Snapdragon S3, and while this isn’t the speediest member on the block, it’s still fast enough to power the phone with little to no lag. The on-board 16GB of storage is enough to hoard plenty of photos and apps, but you can always splurge for a microSD card if you need to beef things up.