Sony Xperia Ion Review pt.2 – Camera [Photos & Video]

This is part 2 of the review of Sony Xperia Ion. Click here for part 1.

The Xperia Ion is the current flagship phone for Sony in Malaysia and they are touting it as the HD smartphone, with HD screen & HD video recording. It’s got a 12.1mpx sensor with auto focus, 16x digital zoom & LED flash. It’s advertised to be good at low light photography as well, with Exmor R for mobile camera sensor helps bring pictures to light.

The camera is accesible via the on screen button or the hardware button placed at the bottom right side of the phone. Users can launch the camera by pressing and holding the button even when the screen is locked. This is a great feature, allowing quick capture of moments that flashes in front of your eyes.. like lightning.. u know? But then we are just exaggerating. 🙂 The feature is very similar Windows Phone by the way.

Here are some sample photos taken using the Xperia Ion auto mode. Photos are unedited. Click to enlarge.


We feel that under bright daylight, the camera performs really well. Images are crisp and clear though they appear faded/desaturated. This can be fixed by boosting saturation using an editing tool. Do note that the images appear to be quite noisy when zoomed at 100%, something which we don’t want to see on photos taken in daylight.


Macro or close up shots are great. The Xperia Ion can capture objects and still able to focus within the rane of about 3cm. Images appear sharp and background are nicely blurred.


Low light photos turn out unexpectedly good. Noise level is bearable and images appear sharp, if you have stable hands.

Here’s a sample 1080p HD video we recorded.

Video recording works really well on the Xperia Ion though the audio seems to be on the soft side (as you may notice from the video). Also, the battery dies very quickly if we were to record lengthy videos. So remember to bring an external battery charger with you if you were to use this phone to film a concert or something.

Overall, the camera performed well, but lower than expectation. We hope Sony would really improve on the camera module as we can see a lot of room for improvement especially when it comes to saturation, audio and the focusing.