Sony Ericsson, which is well known for its Xperia devices, recently rebranded itself to Sony, due to changes in the partnerships recently and the Sony Xperia S and the Xperia Ion are one of the first phones to come from the new Sony branding Xperia in the Android platform. Both these phones were announced in the Consumer Electronics Show this year at Las Vegas.
While both the phones come with high multimedia features such as powerful cameras, there are quite a few differences in the specifications of both the phones along with some minute changes here and there, which are not that easily noticeable.
In this post, we take a look at the detailed specs of both the phones and compare them side by side, in every category:
Table of Contents:
- Form Factor Comparison
- Display Comparison
- Camera Comparison
- Memory Comparison
- Connectivity Comparison
- Operating System and User Interface Comparison
- Battery and Processor Comparison
The Sony Xperia S is 128 x 64 x 10.6 mm, while the Sony Xperia Ion is 133 x 68 x 10.8 mm. The Sony Xperia S weighs 144 grams while the Sony Xperia Ion also is 144grams in weight, making both of them similar in weight though they vary in their size dimensions, as you can see.
The standard four Android buttons are present on the Sony Xperia Ion, as touch capacitive buttons in the bottom, just like usual Android phones and comes with a solid build quality that is tough on the exterior with a plastic back while the Sony Xperia S has a new kind of button setup in it.
On the Xperia S, there is a small area containing three dots in it. These three dots are touch enabled and function as the activating dots for the Back, Home and Options touch buttons which pop up eventually on the transparent area just below the dots. Yes, we agree that this setup is confusing but Sony has tried something new with the touch capacitive buttons, unlike going with the same old boring pattern.
If you will like a new concept for using the touch capacitive buttons on an Android smartphone, you can try out the Xperia S certainly, as it might just improve as soon as Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich comes for it, as the new UI minimizes the usage of physical buttons to a great extent. However, if you would like the standard four-key setup seen in all Android smartphones, the Xperia Ion from Sony will be the better pick, especially if you are used to such a patter already in your previous Android phones, this will help.
Winner: Sony Xperia S ( New Concept ) ; Xperia Ion ( Easy to use )
The Sony Xperia S, comes with a LED backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen of 4.3inches with a pixel density of 342ppi while the Sony Xperia Ion has a similar LED backlit LCD screen, but larget in size ,of 4.5 inches and has a screen density of 323ppi. Both the screens are HD screens, also known as 720p screens and have a maximum screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels.
Both the phones support Multi-touch. The Sony Xperia S supports upto 10 fingers on the screen at a time, while the Xperia Ion supports upto 4 fingers at a time. Nowadays, apps and games more and more depend on multitouch and even Android Ice Cream Sandwich comes with various gesture support which requires multitouch. So, the Sony Xperia S, considering that its display supports upto 10 fingers at a time, is a good feature.
There is an accelerometer and proximity sensor on both the cellphones as well, along with scratch resistant glass on both phones.
Both the displays are powered by Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine and support upto 16M colors.
Winner : Xperia Ion (Larger Screen)
The Xperia S from Sony has a 12MP camera while the Sony Xperia Ion has a similar 12MP Camera. It’s interesting to note that Sony, which has always had the edge in camera optics, has powered both these phones with high-end 12Megapixel cameras.
There’s Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, 3D sweep panorama and image stabilization on both the phones, from Sony.
The Xperia S can take photos upto a resolution of 4000×3000 pixels while the Xperia Ion also has a maximum resolution of 4000×3000 pixels. There is autofocus and LED Flash on both the devices as well.
Both the cameras shoot video at FULL HD 1080p resolution, at full HD at 30 frames per second and come with continuous autofocus, video light and video stabilizer as well.
Also, note that there is a secondary camera on both the devices, of 1.3MP in both the phones. This is used for normal camera purposes, by various camera based apps or for video calling via Skype or the native Google Talk app, etc.
This secondary camera, also shoots video at 720p HD at 30 Frames Per Second. Note that the Motorola Droid RAZR is one of the other few phones to have HD recording in the front facing camera feature.
Similar Camera Units on Both
The Sony Xperia S has 32GB of internal memory, and no further expansion slot, as it does not have a provision for a microSD card slot while the Xperia Ion has 16GB of internal memory and is extendable as well, with support upto 32GB on microSD.
So, on the Xperia Ion, one could use a maximum of 48GB on the move and is handy as it comes with a microSD slot, allowing portability and ease of transfer of data, while the Xperia S limits you to 32GB of its internal memory.
Winner: Sony Xperia Ion
The Xperia S has GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 bands and HSDPA 900 / 2100 — LT26i / 850 / 1900 / 2100 – LT26a bands which gives maximum speeds upto 14.4Mbps on HSDPA and 5.8Mbps on HSUPA while the Sony Xperia Ion has bands, 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 on GSM and 850 / 1900 / 2100 bands on HSDPA, with a support of upto 21.1 Mbps on HSDPA and 5.8 Mbps on HSUPA and also support for LTE, Cat3 at 50 Mbps UL and 100 Mbps DL.
Both the phones have WiFi in them and support popular Wi-fi bands, compliant to the 802.11 standards. 802.11 b,g and n are supported and the WiFi Hotspot feature on them is also available on both the devices. To know how to enable Wifi Hotspot via tethering, follow these instructions here. Also, both the Sony phones have Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA capabilities.
GPS is available on both the phones and Bluetooth 2.1 is enabled on the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S. There is EDR support with A2DP on both the phones.
Both phones have Stereo FM radio with RDS.
Winner : Sony Xperia S
Operating System and UI:
Both the phones run on Android Gingerbread 2.3.4, one of the recent versions of Android from Google. Sony, still maintains the same user interface as its predecessor, Sony Ericsson’s, the TimeScape UI. Both the phones from Sony run the same User Interface over Android Gingerbread, spite the Xperia Ion having a bigger screen.
Sony’s TimeScape UI is known for its excellent Facebook integration over the phone’s User Interface, across apps and other small additions in places which make Android really fun to use. This version of Timescape is the latest one from Sony and it maintains the old features along with a few additions, which make the User Interface even more intuitive and fluid to use.
However, do not forget that Sony has confirmed that the Xperia S and the Xperia Ion will be receiving the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update very soon, which makes both these phones even more worth for the money.
Battery and Processor
The Xperia S has a 1750mAh battery under its hood while the Xperia Ion has a 1900mAh battery. As the Xperia Ion has a bigger screen than the Xperia S, the increase in battery capacity makes sense absolutely, but we feel 1750mAh might slightly be on the lower side for the Xperia S, considering the amount of features it packs.
The Sony smartphones come with powerful processors. On the Xperia S, there is a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor powered by a Adreno 220 GPU and supported by the Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon chipset while the Xperia Ion also has a similar 1.5Ghz processor on its phone and pretty much the same specifications of the Xperia S.
Winner : Xperia Ion
Note : The Sony Xperia S has a microSIM slot only on its phone, while the Xperia Ion accepts standard SIM cards on it.
Both these phones from Sony make an excellent buy at their price, considering the features offered in them. Though the Xperia S comes with a couple of shortcomings over the Xperia Ion, such as the lack of expandable memory, it still is usable considering the screen display which is reasonable and easy to carry along, unlike the Xperia Ion, which comes with a huge screen, which might, at times prove to be difficult in terms of carrying and handling. However, having a large screen in the hand might turn out to be very positive at times too, say while watching some videos/TV Shows on the move.
So make your pick considering the screen size, don’t think the expandable memory would matter much though. Both phones have good quality and come from Sony, so there’s absolutely no compromise on quality on both the Xperia phones.