The stylish Sony Xperia Sola runs on a powerful dual core processor @ 1 GHz and comes with a 5 MP camera. The Sola is loaded with Gingerbread OS (Android 2.3) but Sony will officially come up with an upgrade to ICS within few months.
Inside the Box
The box itself is of a small size and comes with the handset (weight 107 gram and 9.9mm thin), charger, headset (stereo), quick start guide and warranty papers. Apart from these the box also contains a microSIM adapter that is useful if you are using the latest micro SIM’s. The SIM slot present in the handset is the normal ones that we use, so in case you are confused with the microSIM word, just ignore it, whatever SIM you are using will work.
You also get 2 smart tags, now what are these smart tags? Well they are tags that works with NFC (Near Field Communication). I will use an example to explain its usage. You can place one smart tag in your car and can program it to switch on the phone’s Bluetooth, switch on the GPS and switch off Wi-Fi. Place the tag (you can stick it anywhere you want), but put it where it is easily accessible. The next time you enter the car just bring the Sola’s NFC (rear side) and touch it with the smart tag, vola it will do exactly what you programmed it, to do.
Just use your imagination on what you can do with these tags, bring the phone near the tag and it could switch on the music player, change profile and much more.
3.7 inch FWVGA touchscreen
The capacitive touch is smooth and the display resolution of 854 x 480 pixels is simply outstanding. The Mobile Bravia engine technology further makes it better. The touchscreen surface is scratch resistant and when you press the power button for few seconds you get the usually options like profile, power off etc and one more option i.e. screenshot capturing.
The screen brightness is awesome and perfectly visible under direct sunlight. When you run the stock browser for the first time you get an option to enable, floating touch. According to Sony with this option when browsing, users can use their finger to hover around over the screen, close enough without touching it. I did not find anything extraordinary about it; in fact it is the same experience that you get on any capacitive touchscreen phones.
Dual Core Processor, Memory and OS
The dual core (ARMv7 processor) @ 1 GHz coupled with Mali 400 GPU and with 512 MB Memory does an excellent job. The quadrant benchmark score was 2280. There is 8 GB built in storage of which about 3.9 GB is available for the user. The Sola runs on gingerbread and Sony will soon come with an upgrade to ICS, probably in a month or two.
Camera with HD videos
The 5 MP camera quality is simply superb. The 720p videos are amazing. There are a lot of functions you can choose from, for still photography or video shoot. There is the LED flash which does a decent job in low light conditions.
Check out some still images and video captured using the Xperia Sola 5 MP camera.
720p video sample
There is 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi, GPS, tethering supported, Bluetooth, 3.5 mm jack, NFC, Accelerometer, Compass , Proximity and Light Sensor. The media player supports common files including WMV and HD videos. The xLoud audio filter does improve the sound quality.
The touch is smooth, speed is good, sound quality is very good. There are a lot of pre-installed apps. This phone also came with some pre-installed images and videos (popular TV serial). The in call loud speaker volume is too low, which is disappointing.
You get access to Google Play, I tried downloading few games which worked well. You can play a lot of HD / 3D games thanks to the Mali 400 GPU. I tried the youtube app and HD video streaming was very smooth.
There is a 1320 mAh battery that is built in, you cannot remove it. In case there is a need to change the battery, you will need to take it to the Sony service center and the battery replacement (if not under warranty) will cost you a lot.
Standby time is about 3 weeks and talktime about 6 hours. If you are a heavy users you can expect a battery life of over 26 hours. Sola looks a bit different from Xperia U and Xperia P models.
Overall a good buy for under Rs. 20,000 (current price Rs. 19,499). The ICS OS could further improve the performance.