Review: Sony Xperia Go (video)

16 Oct 2012

As a ruggedised smartphone laying claim to highest level of dust and water resistance in a smartphone, we really put the Sony Xperia Go through its paces, and though it’s certainly a compact and durable smartphone with top specifications, we’re not too convinced by its waterproofing.

Look and feel

As smartphone displays start to grow, it’s refreshing to see such a stylish compact model. The Xperia Go measures 111mm tall, 60mm wide and just under 10mm thick, and weighs 110 grams – perfect for the palm of your hand.

The tactile black model features a cool matte black finish that both feels and looks good, while the Reality Display powered by Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine keeps everything on the 3.5-inch screen looking good, too.

Water resistant, not waterproof

The Xperia Go is designed to be both stylish and durable. Scratch-resistant glass protects the display and the phone has received an IP67 rating for protection against dust and water immersion. This certification means the Xperia Go can be submerged to depths of up to 1m for up to 30 minutes.

However, though the phone functioned underwater (as our video proves), after we removed the phone from the water we noticed some issues with the display – it was dimly lit, flickering and vertical red lines were coming through the picture. Once the phone had completely dried off this issue seems to have been resolved, but in any case we certainly don’t recommended you go canoeing with the Xperia Go in your pocket.

That said, the phone’s wet-finger tracking, which lets you operate the touchscreen with wet fingers, worked particularly well on this device – a very useful feature for us sodden Irish folk.

Key features

Clearly targeted at active users, the Xperia Go comes with a range of pre-loaded fitness apps that can quickly be launched from the home screen. This includes digital pedometer Walk Mate, FigureRunning to make your runs more fun, and Adidas MiCoach.

As a Sony device, apps from the Sony Entertainment Network also come pre-loaded with the Xperia Go, including Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited, letting users listen to music using Sony’s xLoud technology.

The 5MP rear-facing camera can snap a picture from a locked screen in seconds using fast capture, and there are plenty of 3D imaging features to have fun with.

The Xperia Go is also DLNA-certified, which makes transferring images and video to other DLNA devices, such as a phone or smart TV, quick and easy.

The phone comes with 8GB of internal storage and up to 31 December 2012 Sony is offering 50GB of free cloud storage with Box on this device.


For a small, rugged phone, the performance of the Xperia Go is faster and smoother than expected. And why shouldn’t it be – it packs a 1GHz dual-core processor and though it comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, users can upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.


Considering other durable smartphones we’ve come across have been lacking in both style and performance, I was impressed by both the look of the Xperia Go and its specifications. It’s compact and easy to manage, and though it didn’t survive our underwater test, I was still very happy with the wet-finger tracking that allowed me to use the phone even in a downpour.

Though I wouldn’t go swimming with it, I would still recommend it to users that need a smartphone that can withstand a bit of tough love and still offer great performance.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic