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Sony Xperia Advance, $299.99, www.sonymobile.com/us
The Good: A throw-me-around-and-get-me-dirty smartphone that will not only survive your adventure in the woods, but also help you plan a hot date before ever leaving the trail.
The Bad: Generally speaking, smartphones suck at battery life. And the Advance is no different for a long day outdoors.
The Ugly: When your party trick of dropping it in the toilet gets kinda old.
After removing your brand new, expensive smartphone from its packaging, how often have you had the urge to throw it in a mud puddle? What, you don’t get that urge? Well, here at Trek Tech, we get strange ideas when putting our gear to the test. So it’s a good thing we’re testing the tough-as-nails Sony Xperia Advance. The Advance is an Android smartphone that is asking to accidentally slip from your hands while you text over the pot of soup you’re making for dinner.
It has a deceivingly suave exterior but is actually quite rugged—both dust and water resistant. Additionally, it has a 3.5-inch scratch-resistant glass touchscreen that reacts quite well when navigating Google Maps as mud drips down the front. On the narrow .39-inch body, debris and liquid won’t seep in as long as you’re sure to cork the ports with the attached plugs. The outside body has a rough finish to the touch that won’t slip out of your pocket or hand as easily as your friend’s fragile iPhone (which probably already has a shattered screen).
The Xperia runs on Google Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system or the new Jelly Bean operating system. This phone comes with all the necessary Android apps, and is pre-loaded with applications that help outdoor adventurers find their way to new trails. My favorite tech feature of all is the 5-megapixel camera with HD quality video recording. While the 5mp camera isn’t exactly cutting-edge, it’s pretty handy when you consider that it’s tough as nails. Not only did the camera snap some fun action photos while my friends and I were running trails, it also recorded a beautiful HD-quality video of the Potomac River Great Falls, which flow between Virginia and Maryland. There’s also a panorama photo-sliding option to capture scenic views you don’t want to forget.
If you’re like me and looking for a rugged, sleek and powerful smartphone that can stand up to your sweaty, active lifestyle, then I think you’ll enjoy the Sony Xperia Advance. If you don’t like it, then don’t throw it in the toilet, because chances are that it will keep working down the tube. Seriously, though, what outdoorsy techy person wouldn’t want a phone that could survive everything in this Sony Xperia Advance promo video?