There have been many phones released over the last few years that fall into the rugged category; phones designed to be dropped, bashed and submerged under water with minimal damage being accrued. Originally, these phones capitalised on their robust features and as such were fairly basic handsets, only offering the bare minimum additional features.
The Motorola Defy changed this attitude towards rugged phones, by providing an Android powered touchscreen device with the same level of sturdiness and water protection as earlier JCB and Sonim rugged handsets. But even though the Defy, and similar rugged Android phones released afterwards, could be held under water for extended periods, it couldn’t actually be used underwater.
This is where the Xperia Acro S from Sony singles itself out as the Android phone of choice for scuba divers, sailing enthusiasts or even just anyone who spends a lot of time at the beach. One of the limitations of traditional touchscreen designs is that the screen becomes unusable when it is wet, let alone held under water. Waterproofing may give you peace of mind for those occasions when you fall into a pool with your phone in your pocket, but will not help you too much if you actually wished to use your phone under water.
The Xperia Acro maintains the same level of responsiveness and accuracy when the screen is wet, or held under water, as it does in its normal dry state thanks to its unique “wet finger tracking”. Because of this, not only can you jump into a pool with your phone without worrying about it becoming damaged, but you can also play a bit of Angry Birds while you are at it – without the need to get out and wipe your phone down with a towel.
The Xperia Acro is a global counterpart to the Japanese-only Acro HD, and aside from its rugged and water resistant features is a pretty impressive smartphone – with a similar level of features and hardware power as the Xperia S. It boasts a 1.5GHz dual core processor running the latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich. It has a powerful battery, 4.3 inch HD Reality Display with Bravia technology, and an impressive 12 megapixel camera with HD video recording.
The Acro S was launched by Sony alongside the equally rugged but not quite as impressive Xperia Go, also known as the Xperia Advance. While this is not as high powered as the Acro is still comes with some fairly decent mid-ranged features, and both handsets include support for Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited online services, as well as DLNA support and Google Play.
The Xperia Acro S has all the aesthetic appeal of some of Sony’s more popular Android smartphones while boasting an impressive array of features and hardware. What really gives it an edge over other phones however is its exceptional waterproofing and wet finger tracking, which will make it a must for those who are accident prone around water.
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