Phone, Smartphone, Notebook and Gadget Reviews and buyers guide
Phone Notebooks & Tablets Gaming Gadgets iPhone & iPad Shop Forum


Home > Android Phone Reviews > Sony Xperia Ion


Sony Xperia Ion

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: AT&T
Manufacturer: Sony
Discuss this product
Where to Buy

What's hot: Gorgeous display, elegant looks with quality materials.

What's not: Last generation CPU and ships with Android 2.3.


Reviewed July 6, 2012 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

This is a Video Review.

The Sony Xperia Ion is a sweet phone for a great price that's just not getting enough love. For $99 you get an award winning design with a sleek glass front and curved metal back, LTE 4G and a 12MP camera. And you thought the once $99 Nokia Lumia was a good deal? The Ion tops it for hardware specs. The phone has a 4.6" 720p display with Sony's various marketing names heaped on (Bravia, HD Reality Display) that's simply stunning, and it has HDMI out with an intuitive TV app.

Sony Xperia Ion

So what's the catch? It runs Android OS 2.3.7 Gingerbread rather than 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. That's doubly vexing when Sony recently updated older Xperia models to ICS. As a consolation, they say the Ion will get ICS too (no, we don't know when "soon" is). In the meantime, the Sony UI on top of Android is light, and you get a fairly clean Android experience.

Sony Xperia Ion

While the latest top dog phones like the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III run on the fourth generation Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU, the Sony Xperia Ion runs on a third gen Snapdragon S3 clocked at 1.5GHz. It has Adreno 220 graphics, and honestly it's no slouch. Human nature and our fear of obsolesce drive us toward the fastest thing we can buy, but the Snapdragon S3 was this spring's top performer and it's still respectable with a Quadrant score of 3100.

Sony Xperia Ion

Voice quality is excellent: we noted landline clarity on both ends and good volume. Reception is similar to the competition (One X and Samsung Galaxy S III) and data speeds are excellent on AT&T's LTE network.

Sony Xperia Ion

The star of the show is no doubt the 12 megapixel rear camera with flash. It has a fast f2.4 lens and a Sony Exmor R sensor that can shoot 1080p video and some of the nicest photos we've seen from a phone. Colors are particularly impressive: rich and accurate. We took some night life street shots and were impressed with the camera's low light color and contrast capture.

Sony Xperia Ion


  Quadrant GLBenchmark 2.1Egypt Offscreen AnTuTu Sunspider JavaScript Test
Sony Xperia Ion 3126 34 fps 6391 2410
Motorola Atrix HD 4627 55 fps 6123 1314
HTC One X 5001 56 fps 7074 1617
Samsung Galaxy S III 5102 51 fps 7011 1825
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket 3346 33 fps 5367 2237


Sony Xperia Ion


Deals and Shopping:


Sony Xperia Ion Video Review



For a budget priced phone, the Sony Xperia Ion, like the Motorola Atrix HD has a good helping of top of the line features. The display, elegant design, classy materials and excellent camera make our collective heart go pitter-pat. Voice quality and reception are both very good and battery life is in keeping with other big screen, fast phones on AT&T. The Qualcomm S3 CPU is still pretty strong but we really wish Sony had managed to ship the Ion with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich rather than making us wait for the free upgrade.

Price: $99 with 2 year contract, $449 without contract.



blog comments powered by Disqus


Display: 4.6" capacitive multi-touch display, 16 million colors. Resolution: 1280 x 720, supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer. Has ambient light sensor and gyro sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable. 1900 mAh.

Performance: 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor. 1 gig RAM and 16 gigs internal storage.

Size: 5.24 x 2.70 x 0.46 inches. Weight: 4.9 ounces.

Phone: GSM quad band with 3G HSPA+ on the 850/1900/2100 MHz bands, and LTE 4G.

Camera: 1MP front and 12MP rear camera with LED flash, 16x digital zoom. Can shoot 1080p video.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. Has FM radio.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.

Software: Android OS 2.3.7 Gingerbread. Full suite of Google Android applications. Sony Timescape, Office Suite 5, AT&T Navigator, AT&T code Scanner, YPMobile, AT&T Messages and AT&T U-verse Live TV.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot.


All Phone Reviews
Smartphone Reviews
Android Phone Reviews
Windows Phone Reviews
HTC Phone Reviews
LG Phone Reviews
Motorola Phone Reviews
Nokia Phone Reviews
Samsung Phone Reviews
Sony Phone Reviews
AT&T Phone Reviews
Sprint Phone Reviews
T-Mobile Phone Reviews
Verizon Phone Reviews
Unlocked GSM Phone Reviews


All Tablet Reviews
Android Tablet Reviews
Tablet Comparisons
Android Tablet Comparisons



Laptop Reviews
Ultrabook Reviews
Laptop Comparisons
Best Ultrabooks



Bluetooth Headsets
iPhone and iPad Accessories
eBook Readers

iPhone Game Reviews
iPad Game Reviews

iPhone Case Reviews
iPad Case Reviews


RSS News Feed

About Us

Contact Us


Site Map