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Sony Xperia Go Review

One of the latest additions to the NXT lineup, the Sony Xperia Go is set to succeed the rugged Xperia Active which was released last year. Will this phone live up to the standards that it’s older brother has set? Check it out on our full review after the break.

Design and Construction

The Xperia Go is basically what you’ll get if you sandwiched the Xperia Active and Sola. It has the tough exterior of the Active and minimalist design of Sola. The 3.5” screen sits in between of the Active’s 3.0” and Sola’s 3.7” display.

Despite its seemingly fragile appearance, the Xperia Go should be able to withstand some of natural elements. Just like the Xperia Active, this phone is IP67 certified meaning it’s dust and waterproof for up to a meter for 30mins. We submerged the device underwater numerous times and we were pretty pleased that it still functions as normal after being dunked in the pool.

Display & Multimedia

As mentioned above, there’s a half an inch revamp on this smartphone’s display as compared to Active but the screen resolution remained the same at 480×320, thus equating to a less dense display. But given the display’s poor resolution, it still provides a pretty decent viewing experience indoors. Outdoor legibility is also not so bad but not the best we’ve seen on a smartphone.

Speaking of display, the screen is actual pretty responsive even the user’s hands is moist or even damp. This is a definite plus for us, especially me because I have sweaty palms. As its older brother, the Xperia Go also boasts a scratch-resistant glass. But just like its bulkier counterpart, the display ceases to register touches when the phone is totally submerged.

We planned to do some crazy things with Xperia Go but we we’re a little bit squeamish to do it. Luckily some German bloggers have already done it for us. Here’s their video demo of how tough the Xperia Go is.

Not so surprisingly, the multimedia experience we had with the Xperia Go is pretty identical with the other Xperia smartphones that we’ve reviewed thanks to its Mobile Bravia Engine and xLOUD Sound Technology. You can read through our Xperia Sola review for a better idea about Sony’s proprietary audio and visual technology.

Unfortunately this smartphone inherits its predecessor’s audio issues. The sound coming out of the loudspeaker is too soft, so we suggest keeping an earphone handy for better multimedia experience.

OS and Performance

Just like the majority of its NXT siblings, the Xperia Go comes with Gingerbread out of the box with a heavily customized Timescape UI. If you want to know more about TimeScape UI, you can revisit our Sony Xperia S review here.

This smartphone is powered by a dual-core NovaThor U8500 1GHz processor backed by Mali 400 GPU and 512MB of RAM. This is the same configuration found on Xperia Sola.

The results of the Xperia Go and Sola on our usual synthetic performance benchmarks are almost identical to each other; to the surprise of no one since both has the same SOC on board. But for some weird and unexplained reason, we had a different experience in terms of performance.


The disparity in performance isn’t noticeable on typical apps and tasks. It starts to manifest once you open resource-heavy apps like games. The lag isn’t that terrible to the point that it freeze but it’s constant, even when there are no apps running on the background. We’re not certain if this is an isolated case, but having the same configuration as the Xperia Sola we’re inclined to believe that it is.


For better or worse, the camera features of the Xperia Go bares deep resemblance to that of the Xperia Sola’s. Unfortunately, the issue with the lack of secondary camera as well as the poor focusing that we’ve experience with the Sola is also present in the Xperia Go. We strongly suggest reading through the camera section of our review of the Xperia Sola for this.

As for the video clips, besides the ability to record underwater the 720p quality is pretty much the same as with the Xperia Sola.

Here’s a sample of that.


Albeit the 105mAh bump on the battery capacity from Xperia Active’s 1200mAh battery, the Xperia Go’s 1305mAh juice is far from satisfactory. On light to moderate usage, we were only able to squeeze in 11 hours of juice out of it.


If anything, the added resistance to the natural elements and from occasional bumps and scratches is the Sony Xperia Go’s greatest selling point. This should appeal to people who are looking for a smartphone that they can take wherever they are regardless of the weather. Considering that Sony is aiming at the said market, the phone’s below average battery capacity coupled with its lackluster screen resolution can be a huge roadblock for prospective buyers.

Well as you might have noticed, the Sony Xperia Go is basically just a rugged version of Xperia Sola with a slightly smaller screen and no NFC. In terms of pricing, there’s also not much of a difference between the two. Therefore if you can live with a slightly smaller and less dense screen in exchange for scratch-resistant display and rugged features, we definitely suggest getting this instead of Xperia Sola.

The Sony Xperia Go can be had for Php12,750 at Widget City (see listing here) and is also set to be officially launched this month by Sony with a price tag of Php14,900.

Sony Xperia Go ST27i Specs:
3.5-inch display @ 320×480 pixels, 165ppi
NovaThor U8500 1.0GHz dual-core
4GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD card
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, WiFi hotspot
Bluetooth 2.1 w/ EDR
5MP rear autofocus camera with LED flash
720p video recording
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
111 x 60.3 x 9.8 mm

What we liked about the Xperia Go:
* Solid and tough body
* Simple and nice design
* Certainly an all-weather, all-terrain handset

What we did not like about it:
* Sound quality is lacking
* So so battery life

This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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18 Responses

  1. John says:

    Screen is also hideous.

  2. Tof Salcedo says:

    It is still a cool gadget. More appealing than active though they have the almost the same features. This could go well for a sporty person like me. :) Thanks for the review.

  3. Marco says:

    Sony Xperia Go’s price-to-feature ratio seem to crowd the both the Sola and (Xperia) U’s mid-range dual-core spot. It’s a matter of preference indeed for buyers: a choice over similarly spec’d and priced phones.

  4. Nice review. I don’t seem to like Xperia Go though.

  5. roiji says:

    if someone could pound a wrench over this, throw it across asphalt pavement, and run it over with a truck and still survive, i’d go for this than the Active :-p

  6. ronmoncada says:

    currently a satisfied user of this device. my only gripe on this is the loudspeaker. just like yuga said it’s too soft.

  7. arnel says:

    Hi, please review the xperia acro s. thanks.

  8. Cndy says:

    Had this phone for over a month now. Right after buying this,i immediately sank it in a pale full of water and just what the ads been telling about this,its really waterproof!,havent tried yet in the pool though..

    By the way,im loving this phone despite others negative opinion..lol

  9. Greg says:

    Hi Yuga. Saw it here in Dasmarinas SM Xperia stall with 12,900 price tag. With its hardware specification of 512mb ram and a 1ghz dual core, you can get a much more better phone it its price range. I think Lenovo p700i is better than this, 3k cheaper though not as rugged as xperia go.

  10. DX says:

    just be careful its not under warranty if the phone gets wet

    • chabs says:

      How did you know? I believe my phones casing needs to be replaced. Do you have an idea if it is covered by the warranty? Please reply. Thank you!

  11. chabs says:

    I got the Xperia Go just 2 weeks ago. Last night while I was charging it, it fell from my bed which is hardly 2 feet above the floor and the screen broke. Though the phone is still working, the shattered glass irritates me. So much for durability. I just hope the warranty would cover it. Which I doubt would happen because the box did not even contain a warranty.

  12. Borgy Manotoy says:

    Got mine days ago… and I bought it for outdoor activities like running and biking.. but sadly I was not able to use the phone as it should be since it hardly lock gps position. I needed to remain standing from 10 to 20 minutes before I can lock position and started running T_T

    I am also having problems with WIFI connection since there are times I can connect to our network athome (huawei stock wifi from Globe DSL).

    Find it a bit laggy running on ICS ^_^

  13. Henry says:

    hi, i have a question and i hope anyone will entertain me..hehe..
    i’m planning to buy a phone by the end of january and i’m confused between galaxy ace 2 and xperia go..these two phones are my options bcoz they are upgradeable into jelly bean..
    what i like about galaxy ace 2 is that it has larger screen, higher ppi, higher ram, front facing camera and removable battery..
    while on xperia go, rugged, supports adobe flash player, higher processing power and higher internal memory..
    i want to consider x’go bcoz it has higher internal memory which means i can store many apps..but g’ace 2 has many features that will really be great when it has jelly bean update..
    so please help me out coz i really need to straighten my mind..thanks..

  14. Borgy Manotoy says:

    It would be greet if there will be a video showing XGO’s GPS capabilities specially using workout apps like endomondo since this is a rugged phone and runner and bikers will find this phone very useful :)

  15. Cndy says:

    Tried and tested in salt water..awesome phone in under water camera prespective..

  16. aldous says:

    I was a big fan of Sony until I dropped my Xperia Go last month during a trail run. The screen cracked. I’m not complaining about the crack because i dropped my phone shoulder-high. I just hate the fact that you’ll have to pay P7000 for the touch panel replacement!

    By the way, I also have a Sony Walkman. The cordless waterproof one. The usb port lock snapped after two months. The lock won’t seal it anymore, thus losing its water-resistance feature.
    I don’t believe in Sony anymore.

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