REVIEWS

Mac OS X Yosemite

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dyson DC78 Turbinehead Animal vacuum

BlackBerry Passport

Saeco Minuto

Martian Notifier watch

Runtastic Orbit fitness tracking wearable

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6

Moto 360

Moto X (2014)

Mazda CX-5 2015

MacPhun Software's Lost Photos

Parrot Zik Yellow Gold bluetooth headphones

Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro

Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile Wireless SSD

Sodastream's Home Carbonation System

TomTom Go 500 GPS

Nio Tag

LG G3

Jabra ROX Wireless in-ear headphones

SEIDIO's Innocell adds battery life for iPhone5/5S

Parrot Asteroid SMART

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Apple 13-inch MacBook Air (2014)

ASUS PB287 4K monitor

Hyundai Santa Fe XL 2014

Tech Armor SlimProtect Case for iPhone 5/5s

Roku Streaming Stick

Belkin QODE "Thin Type" keyboard case for the iPad Air

RFID fraud-proof HuMn wallet

Motorola Moto E

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony SRS-X9 ultra premium personal speaker

Shiny Soap frees up space on Macs with one click

Hyundai Veloster Turbo 2014

Arts Your Case StrongFit Silicon case for iPhone 5/5S

Fugoo Style Bluetooth Speakers

LG G Flex on Rogers

Red Clock app for iPhone weather and alarm

ASUS ZenBook UX310

Dyson DC62 Hand-Held Vacuum

Pelican ProGear CE1150 Protector Series case for iPhone 5/5s

Philips AirFryer

Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4

ASUS VivoPC

Alcatel OneTouch Idol X

Nomad ChargeKey for iPhone

Apple Mac Pro (2013)

Kensington Comercio soft folio case for iPad Air

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera

Jawbone UP24 Fitness Tracker

Dell Venue 8 Pro's wireless keyboard and case

ASUS MeMO Pad 8

Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth keyboard for Apple's iPad Air

2013 GMC Terrain

Honeywell HFD320 AirGenius 5 Air Cleaner & Odor Reducer

Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet

TomTom US & Canada App for Android

Withings Pulse fitness tracker

Sonos PLAY:1 wireless streaming speaker

Martian Passport series smartwatch

Nextivity Cel-Fi RS2 Signal Strength booster

HTC Desire (2013)

Motorola Moto G

iPad mini with Retina Display

Nexus 5

Microsoft Surface 2

Tenqa Fit Bluetooth Earbuds for Sports

HTC One mini

Apple iPad Air

Sony Xperia Z1

BlackBerry Z30

TYLT VU Wireless Charging Stand

Keizus Quadropod + Clamp

Sphero 2.0

Chromecast

Griffin Technology WoodTone Headphones

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Philips Saeco Poemia Espresso Machine

Nokia Lumia 1020

Huawei Ascend Mate

LG G2

Samsung Galaxy Mega

Apple 5c Case

Apple 5s Case

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5c

Apple Airport Extreme (2013)

Nexus 7 (2013)

Ultimate Ears Boom Bluetooth speaker and handsfree

2013 Inifiniti FX37 Crossover

Moto X

Sony Xperia Z

Huawei Ascend Y300 on Bell and Virgin

TIMEX Intelligent Quartz Linear Indicator Chronograph watch

BlackBerry Q5

MIO Alpha Heart Rate Monitor

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch Android Tablet

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2013)

Chevrolet Sonic RS Turbo

Sensu Brush

 

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Thursday
Aug022012

Review: Sony Xperia Ion Android Smartphone

 

Text and photos by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Sony’s Xperia Ion delivers on the promise of a 4G-LTE (Long Term Evolution) flagship Android smartphone. With a bright 4.55-inch touchscreen, an older 1.5 GHz dual core processor and an industry leading 12.1 megapixel camera, this NXT device is out to impress.

 

 

Now available on Rogers for $50.00 on a three-year plan or $500 for month-to-month plans, customers who buy one now will get a free Bluetooth headset.

 The Xperia Ion was previewed way back in January during the Consumer Electronics Show.  So, while it took a while to get it launched, Sony has made an extravaganza of the device’s debut by bundling in a number of optional accessories including the SmartWatch, the SmartTag NFC chips and an innovative Bluetooth headset.

The Xperia Ion itself, exemplifies the aesthetic and function that Sony has been striving for in its smartphones since the first Xperia devices shipped last year.

Trading the rubber and plastic of previous models for a more robust, stylish  black brushed aluminum rear case gives the device a stealthy, premium feel.

Running on Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread, effectively last-year’s Android OS, may be a deal killer for users seeking out the newer Ice Cream Sandwich or even Jelly Bean versions of Android.

 

Despite all the great features and benefits the Xperia Ion provides, I  personally wouldn’t buy it simply because the included OS is suboptimal and is really starting to feel old.

Add the fact that Sony has recently reneged on Ice Cream Sandwich updates for last year’s Xperia Arc and Xperia mini pro, casts a shadow of doubt that current Xperia models will get very far in terms of Android OS updates.

 

If you can look beyond this sad, fragmented reality, then the Xperia Ion is a pretty solid multimedia smartphone. 

Sony has really focused on delivering a strong multimedia ecosystem with its various unlimited media services. The Xperia Ion is a great device to deliver these subscription-based services.

 

The 4.6” HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine is simply stunning. Blacks are dark, colors are well saturated and clear. One expects nothing less from Sony and they certainly delivered on this front. During the launch event, Sony’s representatives also showed who the Xperia Ion can dock and quickly connect to their HDTV’s, making it an exceptional portable HD video player.

When paired with any HDMI-CEC HDTV, the Xperia Ion can be controlled by a remote control that can access various apps and features, connectivity was demonstrated to be seamless. This makes any HDTV a monitor for your smartphone. While an odd concept, it works with the Xperia Ion because the device is designed to render all video in high definition. So graphics don't look blown up and jaggy, they just look like you're using a giant smartphone.

Using the HDMI dock accessory, the Xperia Ion can easily take over any HDTV screen and run movies and videos in 1080p HD. This experience was better than we've had on any other smartphone and should be Sony's key differentiator. 

The built-in 12 megapixel HD camera is simply stunning and probably one of the best you can get in a mobile device today. Sony’s own expertise in digital cameras plays a big part here. The built-in 16GB memory can be upgraded to 32GB with an external microSD card.

 

The inclusion of LTE, puts the Xperia Ion in the very top echelon of smartphones today that can access the fastest available mobile data connections.

The camera is great for anyone who wants to ditch their point-and-shoot and is looking to quickly edit and share their photos. Then, there’s the promise of PlayStation Portable integration as this Xperia, like others before it, is PlayStation Certified.

So, there you have it. A strong flagship and multimedia smartphone from Sony with high speed LTE connectivity but mired by an older version of Android (and all the limitations attached to that).

The Xperia Ion has one of the best camera experiences on any Android smartphone today and for users who are cool with the dated OS and processor, they will be more than pleased by this phone’s performance and openness to Sony’s Unlimited Music, Unlimited Video and  various gaming and multimedia offerings.

Rating: 3 out of 5

 

 

 

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