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Sony Xperia S

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

Sony’s Xperia S phone comes with a 4.3-inch touchscreen that has a resolution of 720 x 1280. Xperia S runs Android 2.3 (with an update to 4.0 to come) on a dual-core 1500 MHz processor. The device can connect with WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, microUSB and HDMI. The phone comes with 1.5 GBs of internal memory and can be expanded using the microSD and microSDHC card slots. A 12 megapixel rear-camera is paired with the 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. The phone can also record video in 1080p.

Features List:

– 4.3-inch touchscreen

– Android 2.3

– WiFi, Bluetooth

– USB, microUSB, HDMI port

– 1.5 GBs of internal memory

– microSD, microSDHC slots

– 12MP rear camera

– 1.3MP front-facing camera

– 1080p video recording

Digital Trends’ Cell Phone Buying Tips:

The difference between a smartphone and a feature phone

You could divvy up cellphones into dozens of different categories, but these are the two umbrella groups that matter. Smartphones like the iPhone can serve as personal calendars, e-mail machines, Web browsers, gaming platforms, and a literally unlimited number of other purposes. They’re essentially mini computers. Feature phones are more basic, but they still offer features like cameras, text messaging, and even some limited data connectivity, like checking weather or sports scores. Although smartphones obviously have a lot to offer, they also weigh more, offer less battery life, cost more to buy and run, and can make basic tasks like calling seem more complex. If you plan to buy one, make sure you’ll really take advantage of all the extras.


If a building is only as good as its foundation, then a smartphone is only as good as its app store. Even as manufacturers continue to stack their handsets with YouTube support, instant messaging, and other essentials right out of the box, the features just don’t add up to the amount of capability a phone can take on in the hands of the right developers: You name it, a good smartphone can do it.

The app store you buy into will have a longstanding effect on the way you use your phone – perhaps more than any other feature. But it’s tough to get a feel for every smartphone app store when you don’t get to push a cart down the aisles until you have a carrier contract in your filing cabinet and there’s no turning back.

Apple’s App Store has been leading the market in sheer numbers of apps since the original iPhone was release. Android is catching up in total numbers and offers a higher ratio of free apps in the Android Market than Apple does. Nokia’s Ovi Store, RIM’s BlackBerry App World and Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace all offer quality apps but currently lag far behind Apple and Android.

Different form factors

Even after choosing between a smartphone or feature phone, you have a lot of choices to make to decide what your phone will actually look like.

A full touch layout like the iPhone has become popular for smartphones, but you’ll usually forgo a hard keyboard as a result. Some smartphones like the Droid 2 or the BlackBerry Torch offer a slide-out keyboard as a compromise, but get thicker as a result, too. Many smartphones also dupe the popular BlackBerry design: small screen on top, small keyboard below.

In feature phones, the flip or “clamshell” form factor has proven especially popular because of its small size and the fact that it protects the screen and keys when closed. Phones with both the screen and keypad on a fixed rectangular slab are typically called “candybar” phones. As with smartphones, you’ll many feature phones with dedicated QWERTY keyboards, which can be handy for frequent text messagers.

Whichever you decide to go with, make sure to physically handle the phone at a kiosk or store prior to buying. Pictures can often drastically misrepresent the size of phones.

Mobile operating systems

If you decide to go for a smartphone, choosing the right operating system can be an important factor. The big ones are Apple’s iOS, RIM’s BlackBerry OS, HP/Palm WebOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone (formerly Windows Mobile). Individual preferences reign supreme here, but Apple’s iPhone iOS offers the widest selection of apps and the simplest user interface, RIM’s BlackBerry OS is less intuitive but powerful and reliable, HP/Palm’s WebOS strikes a nice balance between the two, Google Android is among the most flexible, and Microsoft Window Phone 7 offers a refreshing design but it’s still finding its groove.

Choosing a carrier

Because most U.S. cell phone carriers heavily subsidize phone purchases in exchange for two-year contracts, and lock the phones to their networks, your choice of cell carrier will have more impact on which type of phone you end up with than any other factor. If you already have carrier and feel satisfied with it, the choice is easy. If not, you’ll need to choose one.

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon dominate the cell phone market in the States. Speaking in very general terms, AT&T has a reputation for having the hottest phones but somewhat flaky service due to its overloaded towers, Verizon has the best reception but expensive rates, T-Mobile and Sprint offer some of the most affordable plans but have  more limited phone selection.

Prepaid carriers like Cricket, Tracfone, and MetroPCS often appear to offer excellent deals, but caveats like poor customer service, limited phone selection and inferior coverage have to be taken into account.

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