Anti-aquaphobic: we review the Sony Xperia Go, a phone that likes water

Not everyone stays on dry land. Some people actively seek adventures and activities that take them into the water, and Sony has made a new phone just for those people, that won’t, you know, stop working, when water comes in contact.

Features

With a name like “Go,” you’d think that Sony was eyeing off a group of people who intended to go places further than their home, social events, and a workplace or two.

You would be right, because Sony’s Xperia Go is the company’s first adventure ready smartphone for the masses, bringing with it IP67 certification, allowing it to be immersed in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes, and even having some level of dust protection.

That level of proofing isn’t common for smartphones in this part of the world, so it could be very useful to those with active lifestyles.

With water and dust in mind, the removable back is made from a textured plastic, and is pressed tightly against the unibody phone, which encases the battery inside, but has pull out flaps for a microSD slot and a small drawer for the regular sized SIM card. The 3.5mm headphone jack has a water-sealing flap over it too.

Put the case back on again, and make sure to press it tightly into place, sealing the phone properly, and it’s ready for a swim.

Sony is pairing this level of resistance with a dual-core 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, and 8GB of storage inside, although that microSD slot underneath means you can add more storage.

Looking at connection options, it’s pretty standard here, with Sony providing WiFi on 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0, though unlike other Sony handsets we’ve seen this year, Near-Field Communication is not included.

The screen sits at a 3.5 inch size, covered in strengthened glass and supporting 320×480, showing roughly 165 pixels per inch, which is exactly the same resolution and PPI in the iPhone 3 and 3GS (as well as the original which was never released locally).

You’ll also find a 5 megapixel rear camera here with LED flash, capable of taking 720p HD video, though there is also no front-facing camera.

Like most touchscreen devices available today, there aren’t many physical buttons on this handset, with a power button up top and a volume rocker on the right side. Three soft buttons sit at the bottom of the screen, supporting back, home, and menu bottons.

The Sony Xperia Go features a 1305mAh battery, a little lower than the phones we’re seeing of late.

Performance

Sony’s phone division – previously known as Sony Ericsson – made some really good phones, and when you first pick up the Go, it’s a comfortable hold, with a nice weight and balance to it that reminds us of the Sony Ericsson Ray, another of the company’s smaller devices.

But one of the main reasons to buy the Xperia Go stems, most obviously, from its ability to work in water, and wow, does this work well.

With the warmer months only just starting now, we haven’t had the ability to go swimming or diving with the phone, but we were able to leave the handset in a tub of water for over 20 minutes with no problems.

That suggests that if you do some light swimming with it and keep it tethered to your person, you should be fine, something few phones can offer.

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