Sony Ericsson Xperia Active hands-on

How often do you carry your phone around with you? If the answer to that question is all the time, but not when you’re in the bath or the shower, Sony Ericsson’s latest phone might be the one for you. This information came to light after a quick hands-on with the new device at a Sony showcase event in London on Thursday.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Active is the company’s first mobile phone that can be dunked in water for up to 30 minutes, to a depth of 1m, making it perfect for outdoor types or those that just like to use their phone while getting wet.

Not one to shy away from testing the unique selling point of a phone, the first thing we did was to dunk it in some water to see what happened.

Luckily for Sony, the result was not much. There was no frying of the electronics, no cries of “What did you do!” from the product manager, just a slight smile that the demo had gone to plan.

Get past the water-loving elements of the latest smartphone from the Swedes and you’ll get Android 2.3.4 (remember SE promised to always have the latest Android OS on its handsets going forward) and a focus with the gym in mind - there’s a music player etc.

Hardware wise, it packs a 1GHz processor, has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and auto-focus that is also capable of 720p video recording, there's also a 3-inch Reality Display with Mobile Bravia Engine (320x480).

That screen is certainly crisp, if not a little small when compared to the Xperia Arc. We had trouble with the “wet tracking technology”, as Sony calls it, that allows you to use the touchscreen underwater, however we should state that this was still a prototype. Sony assures us it does work.

We especially like the fact that unlike other “tough” phones on the market, Sony hasn’t created a device that is big and overly bulky. Yet there is rubberising going on, but not to the extent that it won’t fit in your pocket.

Out in Q3 2011, prices are still to be confirmed, but this might be one for the boating set. 



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