Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness is purely for show-offs looking to impress with a simple phone.


5.6
CNET Rating

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Design

The Xperia Pureness was a marvel to look at when we got our mitts on it. In standby mode, the 1.8-inch near opaque display resembles frosted glass. When activated, the screen instantly morphs into a translucent panel. It's not completely transparent, though, and has a slight tint to it. When you unlock the phone, the sides of the screen are illuminated by the LEDs below the panel, which forms a white rim around the display. At the same time, the keypad will light up sequentially from the top row to the bottom.

(Credit: CNET Asia)

Unfortunately, the excitement wore off after a few minutes. The Pureness feels like an average device, with a bendy plastic keypad that creaked and threatened to break when we applied a bit more pressure on it. The control strip cramps eight shortcuts including the four-way directional pad into an area about the size of our thumb. The white pixels on the monochrome display weren't completely opaque, making it hard to read.

(Credit: CNET Asia)

In a nutshell, using the phone was a challenge aside from making phone calls. We had to strain our eyes to see what's on the see-through screen, which lacked contrast even at maximum brightness. The flimsy buttons and cramped control panel made the experience worse.

Features

The Xperia Pureness is as basic as a phone can get. It runs on Sony Ericsson's Java platform with a repertoire of personal information management utilities including a calendar, address book, task list, notepad, timer, stopwatch calculator and a file manager. The phone supports smart dialling and a T9 predictive dictionary for texting. For the occasional entertainment needs, there's a music player, Pac-Man game and FM radio. The latter requires you to plug in the headset which doubles as a radio antenna. With a monochrome and tiny screen, it means you won't be using it for web browsing and video playback often even though both features are supported on the Pureness.

There's 148MB of phone memory and additional 1.8GB of storage space on a memory card, which is embedded inside the chassis. The latter cannot be removed and swapped out for a higher-capacity media. Connecting the Pureness to the computer via the bundled proprietary USB cable lets the PC access the internet using the phone's data connection. You can also synchronise content and data between the PC and the handset using the PC suite and media manager software.

What we like about the phone, sad to say, isn't the device, but the well-designed Bluetooth HBH-IS800 headset that comes with the phone. This is a thin cable with an ear bud attached at each end and the charging connector is hidden behind a cap on the right earpiece. A tiny button on an elongated capsule on the cable controls everything, from answering a call to powering off the headset. It takes about two hours to fully charge the battery after which it'll run for about three hours of music streaming via Bluetooth or four hours of talk time. On standby, it'll last approximately 11 days.

Performance

Without any advanced features and a colour screen, it's no surprise that an average user would be able to eke out a few days out of the Pureness. The battery is rated for up to 8.5 hours of talk time and 14.5 days on standby. Call quality was decent and we didn't encounter any issues during our review.

(Credit: CNET Asia)

(Credit: CNET Asia)

Conclusion

While we applaud Sony Ericsson for trying something innovative with a see-through display on the Xperia Pureness, it'd need a stronger contrast to make the screen legible. We'd find it hard to convince ourselves to part with the money for a few minutes of attention at a social gathering.

Via CNET Asia

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GregoryO posted a comment   
Australia

Like Charlie pointed out, I'm not sure how this even remotely related to the Xperia range (except by name, of course), though it is an interesting concept...

At the supposed asking price though ($899, according to CNet Australia at the time of writing), I can't see this handset doing too well (though in saying this, Nokia's "premium" 88xx series usually did quite well, despite being basic handsets for the time and costing up to $500 more than any other phone of the day!).

 

angelina posted a comment   

so want this phone!!! hope it comes out in AU asap! hottest **** i seen in a while.

 

Charlie posted a comment   

The Good:nothing so far

The Bad:screen looks very small.....how the hell can you call that and Xperia compared to the other phones in the Xperia range

they have gone a bit crazy with there labelling of sonyericson phones lately havent they




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User Reviews / Comments  Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness

  • GregoryO

    GregoryO

    "Like Charlie pointed out, I'm not sure how this even remotely related to the Xperia range (except by name, of course), though it is an interesting concept...

    At the supposed asking p..."

  • angelina

    angelina

    "so want this phone!!! hope it comes out in AU asap! hottest **** i seen in a while."

  • Charlie

    Charlie

    "they have gone a bit crazy with there labelling of sonyericson phones lately havent they"

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