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Hands-On: Sony Xperia Ion

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Jan 10, 2012, 3:46 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Here is a quick look at the Sony Xperia Ion, an LTE smartphone for AT&T

Sony kicked out the Xperia Ion for AT&T today. This Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone boasts some serious power, include LTE 4G for AT&T.

 

Xperia Ion

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The hardware of the Ion didn't quite feel finished to me. Sony's on-site reps wouldn't say if the hardware was final or not, but the plastics were not awesome, and the build quality was a bit off if you ask me. The Ion felt creaky, and the plastics were like a magnet for finger oils.

As with the Xperia S, the Ion is a bit overly-rectangular in shape. It has sharp-ish side surfaces, though the battery cover is smooth and rounded. It fits in the hand no problem, and will certainly slide into a pocket, but the overall feel is just so-so.

The Ion has just three capacitive buttons on the front for accessing the Android controls. They worked well. I would prefer is the search key were still persent, but more and more manufacturers seem to be ditching the search key. The display measures a huge 4.7 inches and has a killer 1280 x 720p pixels. That means HD, baby, and it looks great. It is bright, sharp, and I couldn't see an individual pixel anywhere.

The outer controls aren't too bad. The selection of buttons is good and they are all easy to find and use. The travel and feedback of the volume toggle wasn't exactly good, though.

 

Ion Interface

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The user interface was lightning quick. In my experience, Sony smartphones can be a bit on the slow side, but the Xperia Ion solves that problem. The user interface is clean and sharp, and very, very quick. I enjoyed using it. The Xperia Ion will ship with Android 2.3, but will eventually be updated to Android 4.0.

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