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Sony Xperia J
Available in Black and White
Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.
4 inch touchscreen
5 megapixel camera with flash
Hidden notification light strip
WALKMAN stereo with ClearBass and xLoud
MicroSD card slot
Read our full review here >>>
by Mike Leader
It is easy to see that Sony have stuck with their monolithic styling seen on so many of their technology products like their televisions and tablets.
At first glance this looks like another sleek black slab of android kit, further inspection shows the rear side of the Sony Xperia J actually has a convex curved panel which curves around, rather abruptly it has to be said, to the front panel.
Here it forms a very slightly raised frame which helps prevent any scratches to the screen when placed face down.
The front panel itself slopes away at each end of the screen to add to the unique sense of style.
There is a thin silver strip which goes all the way around the sides of the phone and hides a notification light strip at the very bottom of the phone which until it is lit is invisible. It's a neat and stylish touch.
It is a slightly unusual design cue and a welcome change from either a flat rectangular slab or a variously curved cornered one - the Samsung Galaxy range seemingly covering every type of those shapes.
As with any design you will either love it or hate it. We love it.
The iPhone 5-sized 4 inch screen has a decent resolution of 854 x 480 pixels which gives us a very creditable 245 pixels per inch.
We really like Sony's high contrast screens which show blacks as black rather than a deep backlit grey as on many phones and it really makes colours stand out as a result.
This means text is sharp and photos and videos really look sharp. This is one of the best screens we have seen on a mid range handset.
5 megapixel camera
Sony include a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus on the Xperia J. Their smartphone cameras are usually superb but our initial excitement was quickly tempered, and this isn't one of Sony's top end cameras.
Pictures seemed slightly pale and while video is recorded at 30 frames per second, it is only in VGA resolution while many smartphones at this range now record in 720p HD.
Video calling camera
A front facing video camera is fitted too but this 0.3 megapixels is purely for use as a video calling camera. To be fair it's probably the only thing the few of us who actually use our front cameras at all use them for anyway.
But this isn't a phone you would put at the top of your list if photo quality is a priority. It's fine for the odd snapshot but not the best camera we have seen and we are used to seeing better from Sony.
Sony's lock screen, which shows time and date, does have an on screen slider to fire up the camera which is a nice touch.
Fantastic Walkman sound
Sound quality on the other hand is just brilliant. The Walkman branded stereo includes xLOUD and Clear Bass and you can further enhance the sound with the built in equaliser.
It is as good as anything else we have listened to at any price level, especially with a good set of headphones via the top mounted 3.5mm headphone socket and the pair Sony supply in the box are well above average.
You also get a stereo FM radio with RDS, TrackID which identifies a track you don't know the title or artist of (great for finding out the name of a TV commercial soundtrack) and Sony's streaming music service, Music Unlimited which is one of the best out there.
The Sony Xperia J includes a large, swappable 1,750 mAh battery which has outstanding longevity and could keep your smartphone running for up to two full days use with reasonable use.
However this is partly because the phone ships with a 1GHz processor and just 512MB of RAM so it's not exactly power hungry. It's adequate, but no more.
A generous connectivity suite is included with Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth together with aGPS and DLNA, tethering and over-the-air (OTA) synchronisation. 4 gigabytes of internal memory can be added to with a MicroSD card up to 32GB.
There is a lot to like about the Sony Xperia J which is a worthy addition to the Xperia range. It has a superb screen and sound quality but is a little let down by a slightly below par camera and a faster processor would have been welcome.
If you can forgive those little shortcomings this is a very good smartphone overall at a reasonable price.
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