GOing for GOld

The Sony Ericsson Active surfaced about a year ago as the first phone from the company with water/dust/shockproof qualities. Coming about a year after the Motorola Defy it was a welcome addition to the market that sadly eluded my clutches for testing thanks to handset shortages in the Sony buyout of Ericsson.

Updating the handset for 2012 then it the Go, the spiritual successor to the Active. Ditching the shape of the Active and going for the standard candy bar, it’s a nice looking phone and feels quite meaty in the hand. The case has a nice rubberised feel to it, which should prevent it flying from your hands when slick with whatever fluid you’ve previously immersed it in.

I’ve been using a Go for about 10 days and I must admit I am impressed with how well it performs; it’s the little phone than can, compared to the Xperia U, which is the little phone that’s shit. It’s a sturdy device that really stands up to a significant battering.

I cable-tied my Go to my dog’s harness and turned her loose down the fields near my home. You’d probably need to take some sort of anti-emetic to view the footage as my dog is completely nuts, bless her, so she hammers around fields for all she’s worth producing shaky wobblecame footage that’s nigh-on unviewable!

The phone fares better when not strapped to a high-octane beast; skittering the phone through puddles, lashing it to the front of the car, putting it in the dishwasher and hurling it downstairs all yielded some interesting footage. If you’ve ever wondered what happens behind closed doors on your dishwasher, put said white good on a low-heat quick wash, put the photo light on and bung the phone in the crockery rack for amusing results!

Something else that sets this phone apart from the shitty U and the other, better, entries in the NXT range is the inclusion of MicroSD support. Yes, the tiny little card makes a more than welcome return to Sony mobiles after being conspicuously absent from the Spring 2012 range, the Xperia S, P and U. Being able to take almost 4000 music tracks with me on a 32GB card and still take a load of photos is a major plus point for the Go and I’m glad to see MicroSD support has returned to the the autumn 2012 handsets.

Minor niggles:

When wet, the screen has a mind of its own at times, so that’s something to be mindful of if/when wet finger tracking in a dire emergency. Or taking pictures.

The microSD card doesn’t ‘click’ into place, rather its held in place by a little rubber cap and presumably the outer shell. Be sure you’ve got the cap in place good and tight when you put the shell on as I suspect this could be a major point of ingress for water if its not securely shut. Or you could end up shearing the cap off completely, which would put paid to the waterproof qualities of the phone. Same goes for the USB port as well, make sure that’s closed too!

The Gingerbread OS that comes pre-loaded on this phone, while optimised for this handset and pretty zippy, is 18 months old. Mind you, the recent upgrade to ICS really throws a proverbial spanner in the works as despite being the newer of the operating systems available it’s touch and go whether it’s actually any faster than good old Gingerbread. Still, kudos to Sony for continuing to upgrade handsets.

The lack of a physical camera button is annoying; would’ve been very useful when trying to use the phone underwater, particularly in the bath, where the heat appears to restrict what the touchscreen ‘feels’.

Summation:

On the whole the Go is a pleasing device. It’s a welcome diversion from the perceived bulk of the Xperia S and will stand up to most forms of destruction. The novelty does wear off after a while and I will be back on my Xperia S in the next couple days; I need the 1.5GHz processing power and 1GB of RAM – I feel the need for speed!

Regardless of speed, if you’re looking to upgrade and want a relatively simple phone and something that will withstand the rigours of daily life with pets, babies, butterfingers and hamhands, the Go should be the goto phone for you.

 

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