Saturday, 24. July 2021, Online, Review: Web, Multimedia & Final Thoughts
About this Event
We’ve already checked out the design, camera and operating system. Today, we take a look at the web browser, music and video player and then give our final thoughts on Sony HD-toting touchscreen phone.
The web browser on the is a bit of a mixed bag. Selecting the web browser application or buy android app reviews in the main menu prompts you with a small pop-up asking you whether you want to use Wi-Fi or a data connection. This is fine for the first time you use the web browser but gets annoying after the 10th time of asking. That’s right, the won’t remember your selection and so will present you with this message every time you try to take the online. This is admittedly a great idea for those users who are on pay as you go, on a budget or using the phone abroad. If however you’re using your with an unlimited data bundle it does become slightly irksome after a while.
This is a minor gripe though and getting past it is just a case of a couple of taps to get past the message. On the plus side, switching between Wi-Fi and 3G is very easy thanks to this message. Once you’ve opened the web browser, you’re taken to a Sony portal from which you can choose to search on Google, enter a specific URL and access a selection of different shortcuts. The web browser is incredibly simple to use. At the bottom we find the main icons you’ll be using such as the zoom icon to zoom in specific parts of the page and the excellent ‘find’ function which lets you locate specific parts of a web page. This is especially handy when trying to find a certain part of a text heavy page. To type in a new URL, hit the globe icon in the middle and the will display the on-screen keyboard for you to punch in your desired location. Pages load fairly quickly and do an excellent job of rendering texts and images.
The addition of dedicated apps for social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter also mean that there is more than one way to access your favourite sites. Theses dedicated apps are tailor made for their corresponding web site and it really does show when using them. One drawback is that there is no Flash support so sites with flash content will load up the all too familiar building block logo telling you to download flash player (which obviously you can’t). Aside from this, browsing the web on the it is an enjoyable all round experience.
The music player on the it is fairly straight forward and will be instantly recognisable to those who’ve used a recent Walkman phone. Plug your into a PC or laptop and it will appear on your desktop as a mass storage device. From here, it’s just a case of dragging and dropping your desired tracks from your desktop to the phone and away you go. Firing up the music player in the main menu presents users with a very stylish monochrome list (ala the PS3/ PSP user interface) and lets you sort through your music by artist, album, genre and playlist. Once you’ve selected a track to play, the music player interface will appear on screen and is incredibly user friendly. At the top of the screen the phone lists the artist, album and track name info. Beneath this you get album art (if you’ve uploaded any that is) and below this you’ll find the buttons to pause and skip backwards and forwards, a timer telling you how far through the track you are, volume and more options (such as graphical equalisers).
There is also a back button and you may find this a bit odd but this is actually one of the best features of the music player. You see, hitting the back button won’t actually quit out of the music player but instead minimise it and take you back to the home screen. Your track will continue to play in the back ground and a miniaturised version of the multimedia player is added to the bottom of the home screen in the shortcut box. This works similarly to Windows Media player on your desktop when minimised; you still have full functionality of the music player (the ability to pause, skip etc.) only it’s not occupying the entire screen and allows you to explore other areas of the phone. This isn’t new to mobile phones but the way the it implements this musical multi-tasking is what really wins us over.
Video is handled in an equally impressive fashion. In addition to the excellent YouTube app, videos that you’ve downloaded elsewhere (such as *********** from Sony PlayNow store) or recorded with the 720p HD video record feature can be played back on the phone. The video player is clean and easy to use playing your videos in full on the vivid 3.2 inch screen. Tapping on the screen will bring up a host of semi transparent icons such as the timer which again tells you how far through your video clip you are and volume on the right. These disappear after a few seconds taking you back to the main event. Watching videos is a joy and you could quite happily watch a full length movie and the addition of a 3.5 mm audio jack and the superb sound quality really makes this a polished all round viewing experience.
From our time with the Sony we were highly impressed with what this smartphone/ multimedia hybrid has to offer. The stand out feature is undoubtedly the incredible 720p HD video capture. We’ve seen and used it before on the Samsung i8910 HD but it’s a much more refined experience on the Sony. The addition of features such as continuous auto focus and the ease with which videos can be posted to YouTube puts the it in another league altogether. Combine this with an excellent 8.1 Megapixel camera and Sony have definitely got both bases covered.
Elsewhere, the Symbian operating system has come along nicely since we last used it in the Satio. Gone are the bugs and in come even more customisation options and a host of great pre-installed apps such as Facebook and Twitter. The third party app support is a cause for concern with not much on offer at present (and with most of what is available coming at a price) but if Sony and the Symbian community can entice more and more developers this could all change. On the hardware front, the touchscreen does take a little getting used to and it is a shame that Sony didn’t opt for a capacitive display as it rules out the likes of pinch-to-zoom. But, the ability to use a stylus and support handwriting recognition do go some way to making up for this and for general navigation through web pages and menus, the it is more than up to the task.
Finally, the design of the phone is stunning, fitting comfortably in your hand and with enough style and subtle flair that you’ll want to show it off to friends. Build quality is equally impressive, despite the fact that Sony have opted for plastics (albeit high quality plastics) in favour of metal. The look and feel of the phone is spot on; the it is easily one of the best looking phone’s we’ve ever had the pleasure of using and thankfully these looks are backed up by a good operating system and some excellent features summed up by the 720p HD video capture.
Along with the upcoming Sony Xperia, the it is a pivotal launch for Sony. Thankfully then for Sony, the it is a real joy to use. The company has moved on from the disastrous problems surrounding the launch and failure to launch of the Satio and Xperia respectively, delivering a phone that has something to appeal to all users.