Sony Ericsson was showing off it’s forthcoming Xperia Active handset on show yesterday – you may have see the Mario Sharapova videos. It’s a compact water and dust resistant handset designed for anyone who might consider taking their phone cycling or swimming.
Measuring 92x55x16.5mm, it’s a really small handset fitting neatly into the palm of your hand, it doesn’t feel as premium as the metal Xperia Ray (which lets face it is a phone you wouldn’t dream of dunking underwater), instead it’s more plasticky, but feels reassuringly solid for sport.
There’s a lanyard attachment for hanging the phone around your neck and it’s supplied with interchangeable white and black covers with an orange trim, which look suitably sporty.
The highlight of the Active is it’s ability to work underwater, which Sony Ericsson demonstrated by dropping the handset into container of water (see above) where it continued to work, surviving for up to 30 minutes at a time.
The Active includes wet-finger tracking, which basically means the touchscreen is still fully operational even when wet, so you don’t have to wait for it to dry off before checking messages etc. In practice it works well, when we tested a wet phone and we could easily flick between homescreens and access the menu.
At 3-inches the screen is a good size, although the 480×320 resolution is good rather than being amazing, it’s fine for browsing and watching You Tube clips, because this isn’t a multimedia phone like the Arc . Unsurprisingly the screen is also scratch resistant.
Other sports features include ‘Sport corner’ where sport-related apps are in the corner of the screen and it also comes with a stereo headset and wrist strap.
Although we weren’t able to put the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active through its paces, we were impressed it. It’s easy to use, stylish in a colourful sports way and has impressive waterproof credentials. We’ll bring you a full review as soon as possible.