Sony XPERIA acro S Review

By on September 17, 2012
submit to reddit

A durable phone that needs a bit more polish

Good: Water and dust resistant, great audio, vibrant display
Bad: Port covers feel a bit flimsy, capacitive buttons don’t always register, camera has mixed results
Price: AED 1900
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Benchmarks and Performance

In our benchmarks the XPERIA acro S did fairly well, zipping through 3D tests with decent frame rates, so it should be able to handle most of the 3D games and apps that are available in the Google Play store.

Swapping through apps and navigating through the phone was generally quite responsive, even with multiple apps running in the background. Though as with many Android phones, if you’re running multiple widgets on your home screens, you’re going to notice a slight lag when minimizing apps or swiping between screens.

UI and Apps

The XPERIA acro S runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich, along with Sony’s own interface slapped on. Sony haven’t tried to do anything drastic with the interface, which is a good thing. You’ll get a few of Sony’s apps such as the social-media app Timescape which is great for managing Facebook and Twitter feeds. There are also apps for navigation, news, as well as Sony’s Music Unlimited service.

What did take be a bit of time to get used to was the on-screen keyboard. At first it felt a bit typing, but after using it for a few days I was able to correctly position my taps so that I was typing out the right letters. The software is fairly forgiving in that way, and will often correctly suggest words to replace anything you’ve misspelled.

Screen and Camera

As with other XPERIA phones, the display on the XPERIA acro S is gorgeous. The 720×1280 screen makes pictures really come alive, and the mobile Bravia engine certainly kicks into high gear when watching HD video. While colors weren’t as flushed out as on the XPERIA ion, they still looked quite impressive to the naked eye, and held their own when viewed outdoors.

The camera on the XPERIA acro S had its ups and downs. Sony preach that it takes less than a second for the phone to launch the camera app once the camera button is pressed, but I had mixed experiences with this. Some times the app launched, and some times all I got was the lock screen, where I had to manually launch the camera app. Having said that, on the moments when it did work flawlessly, the camera app did fire app and take a photo almost instantaneously, ensuring that you can always capture things just in time instead of wasting time trying to unlock your phone and find the camera app.

The photos taken by the XPERIA acro S vary in quality – outdoor shots and macro photography are no match for the phone, but indoor shots tend to have plenty of noise added to them, especially when using softer light sources. The camera is able to automatically detect what kind of scene you’re shooting, but I suggest turning off this feature as often the camera can misjudge the scene so you end up using the wrong settings. But complaints aside, capturing images and video with the XPERIA acro S is a snap, though results will depend heavily on the kind of lighting you’re using.

Since Sony touts the XPERIA acro S as being dust and water proof, I simply had to test out this claim. I asked my nephew to bury the phone on the beach, and half an hour later we dug it back out. Though the phone was warm from the hot sand, it was in perfect working condition and a simple shake got rid of any sand. I then poured water over the phone while it was playing some music, and again it continued working without a hiccup.

Sound, Call Quality & Battery Life

Being a Sony phone, the bundled Walkman app is great for listening to music with. Every single note and pitch is produced perfectly, and even the loudspeaker does an excellent job of playing back music without jarring. The inbuilt equalizer is also great for fine-tuning your listening experience, so audiophiles will certainly enjoy listening to music on this phone.

Call quality was also good on the XPERIA acro S, with no calls being dropped or any problem with audio quality. The phone’s loudspeaker is also good for conference calls, and a secondary mike also acts to cancel out unwanted noise.

Battery life on the XPERIA acro S was decent, clocking in at about 6 and a half hours before the battery indicator flashed red. That’s with Wifi and Bluetooth on, Timescape set to update social media on the main screen, and two email accounts syncing. I’m sure you can squeeze out a bit more life if you tweak some of the settings, but as long as you’re not too far away from a micro-USB charger, you’ll be fine. I did notice that after a while the back of the phone got a bit warm, so this may be something for Sony to keep an eye on.


It’s difficult to say who the XPERIA acro S is targeted to, but it’s certainly for those who fear water and dirt destroying their phone. With a fairly snappy OS and UI, the XPERIA acro S makes for a decent Android phone with some good points for the camera and screen. It’s certainly not the most powerful phone in the market, but it’s a phone that won’t quit on you when you next stumble into the pool.

« Previous Page Next Page »


A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys hurling fireballs and tinkering with the latest gadgets. Follow him on Twitter as @theregos

Most Read
Most Commented
Win two Toshiba AT200 tablets

This festive season Toshiba has 2 tablets to giveaway.

Win an MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Motherboard

Thanks to MSI we have an great AMD FM2 motherboard to giveaway.

Win a Nokia Asha 311

Thanks to Nokia we have a great entry-level smartphone to giveaway.