The Xperia Acro S was launched by Sony alongside the Xperia Go. Both phones offer excellent smartphone features comparative to other handsets in the Xperia range, while at the same time including excellent ‘rugged’ features. As well as being dust resistant and impervious to knocks and drops, the Acro S and Go offer the best waterproofing available on any modern smartphone.
Since the Motorola Defy there has been a move by major smartphone manufacturers to blend rugged build quality with high end features. Many of these devices can be held under water for 30 minutes without suffering any damage, but the Acro S is the first smartphone that can be used underwater just as easily as above ground.
Rugged smartphones may offer protection against water damage but the presence of water on a typical touchscreen prevents it from operating correctly. Sony has developed a solution to this problem in the form of “wet finger tracking”. Water no longer interferes with the use of the touch sensitive sensors on the screen and the phone can even be used competently underwater – a claim that cannot be boasted by other rugged smartphones.
But aside from its superlative water resistance and ruggedness the Acro S is a pretty impressive smartphone, similar in what it has to offer to the Xperia S. As well as being waterproof and usable underwater, the screen LCD screen measures 4.3 inches with a sharp 720p resolution, BRAVIA mobile technology and a higher pixel density than the iPhone 4S.
A 1.5GHz dual core processor powers Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which comes with apps and games from Google Play and also Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services. For storage of media there is 16GB on board and a further 32GB is supported through microSD. The Acro is also PlayStation certified, although it does not come with a dedicated control pad.
The Acro’s camera is also very impressive, with 12 megapixels and 1080p video recording, continuous autofocus, a video light and LED flash, face detection and 3D panorama mode. The front 1.3 megapixel camera also includes 720p video which can be used with various video calling apps.
Externally the Acro S employs the same stylish design as other Xperia handsets including the popular Xperia S. The phone may not be quad core but Sony has stated it would prefer to release dual core phones that work efficiently rather than overpowered quad core devices replete with battery and performance issues. Sony has plans to develop quad core devices by 2013, but the dual core nature of the Acro should not be considered as a drawback.
In comparison to the iPhone 4S, which still remains the most popular phone on the market, the Acro S has a superior camera, superior operating system, more impressive LCD screen and peace of mind that comes from knowing you can jump into a swimming pool with your smartphone in your pocket and not have to waste time with bags of rice and airing cupboards. The Acro will be released in the third quarter of 2012 although no price has yet been confirmed.