We long for a rugged Xperia successor to the Xperia go/active

by XB on 24th January 2014

in Featured Content, Xperia active, Xperia go


Xperia goTwo Sony Xperia phones that we remain really fond of are the Xperia active and Xperia go. These were among Sony’s first water resistant smartphones, but unlike the recent Xperia Z series, these were rugged phones that were built to withstand the harshest of knocks.

As much as we love the water resistant Xperia Z series, these aren’t rugged handsets. They are not built for those who have an active lifestyle and want to take them running, cycling or surfing. This is why the Xperia active was called the ‘active’ it was designed for those on the move. Hence why Sony Ericsson’s partnership with Billabong at the time was so apt.

The Xperia active had a legendary build quality where it survived against a Stanley knife, hammer and even being run over by a Jeep. It also had no problems being used for ice fishing or surfing – it really was the Chuck Norris of smartphones. The Xperia go followed in its footsteps and survived its own set of torture tests.

The Xperia active (ST17) was the pioneer, launching in October 2011. The spec sheet wasn’t meant to be salivated over, offering a 3-inch (320 x 480) display, 1GHz single-core MSM8255 Qualcomm chipset, 5MP camera and 1200mAh battery. The Xperia go (ST27) went on sale the year after, in July 2012, with a 3.5-inch (320 x 480) display, 1GHz dual-core NovaThor U8500 chipset, 5MP camera and a 1305mAh battery.

However, despite the specifications, these handsets were designed to be rugged. They needed to be reasonably small and lightweight (both handsets weighed around 110g) and most importantly both had an IP67 certification. The Ingress Protection rating was the highest possible for dust.

We have not seen another IP6X certified Xperia handset since. We would really like to see Sony release another handset in this series, perhaps something with an IP68 certification and super rugged design. We know Sony could come up with something special, after all the Xperia active itself won two international design awards in 2012, from iF and red dot.

Some may argue that Sony’s Xperia Z series serve a similar purpose, but these are not as light or as small as the Xperia active and Xperia go and we just can’t see people subjecting the premium Xperia Z series to the same care-free abandon. Sony has concentrated on larger and more premium handsets recently, but we would still love to see a true successor to the amazing Xperia active/go to appear at some point.

Do we have any readers still using one of these handsets? Would you like to see a successor or do the Xperia Z series fill that void? Do you think there is still a market for these type of ‘active’ phones? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

  • Sami Mrabet

    It would be Nice yes… I owned both and loved the Active more then the Go… But this was Phones from the SE-Era. But yes one can only hope ! But not for another year or 2 ;) I preordered Z1 Compact lol

  • gsn

    Having owned a beautiful yellow Xperia Go then Xperia Z and now an Xperia Z black you are speaking from my heart. Why are we forced to make any sacrifice. I do care for my mobiles, but the Z1 gót socrates ón the metal edges mean I love the quality of the Z1 but I wish for the colour and ruggedness of the Go. Unfortunately Z1 compact lime doesn’t solve either issue.

  • gsn

    Having owned a beautiful yellow Xperia Go then Xperia Z and now an Xperia Z black you are speaking from my heart. Why are we forced to make any sacrifice. I do care for my mobiles, but the Z1 got scratches on the metal edges. I love the quality of the Z1 but I wish for the colour and ruggedness of the Go. Unfortunately Z1 compact lime doesn’t solve either issue.

  • Ronnie Eriksson

    I would love to get an Xperia GO “2” with some better specs (more RAM for sure). This is what I’m waiting for.

  • flo

    I have the xperia active an love it so much. I was always locking for a replacement but found nothing. (the go is not all that much of an upgrade in my opinion)

  • Joh Kevin Manabat

    Hey guys with the active, does it come with the shatterproof film or not? I mean, when I watched the video with this guys torturing the device, it almost had no scratch until it break. The shatterproof film that has been on most Xperia devices is very prone to scratches and licks the oil from your sweaty palms like hell, so I just thought if active had the film or not.

  • Mohammad Bader Qawasmeh

    hope to see new phone similar to these but with better spec for sure and good camera

  • justin

    I have a xperia go and I LOVE IT ! PLEASE make one with more performanceand tougher , maybe a GO 2 :)

  • Alex

    I don’t know about the Xperia active, but I know that the Xperia Go comes without any shaterproof sheet over the glass, and it is extremely scratch proof…

  • Battal Aljadei

    Xperia Live with walkman is worth attention more than “Rugged” xperia phone !

  • Nikola Maruni?

    Xperia E1 maybe?!

  • John Latimer

    Owned both active very tough go not bad. Either of these phones would have been a dream cyclist phone specs mostly perfect gps plus ant+ for accessories but as sony often does not follow through no map option cycle mount and pathetic marketing. If they do make one no doubt won’t sell well as sony don’t have a clue how to market A go2

  • Dave

    I have an Xperia Active and it’s a brilliant phone. I cycle every day and this phone picks up my ANT+ sensors and has a built in baro sensor so it accurately logs altitude. I have a Z1 and ZUltra now but nether of these are rugged enough. I’d love a 4.3″ Active.

  • Mac

    Acro S in black, close enough?

  • Mac

    I just have 2 lift up the Acro S in here. I believe it is pretty durable and in black it’s rugged. Aight it’s just IP55/57 but still.

  • Martin Ambre

    even i agree Acro S is one of the best configured package
    i use it still

    only issue is software of Sony is never updated for such fones

    Z series are only about config. nothing else, just like a cookie break into pieces

  • viny

    my GF phone is Xperia GO, it was really good phone, I couldn’t count how many times she drop it. btw Im using xperia z I love xperia phones.

  • King

    I got a skin condition (eczema) whch often made my skin shed itself. This cause lots of dust and bring harm to electronic so xperia go is a good option when buying a phone. I can even clean my phone from the dust with water.QED, like the phone

  • Chi-Yung Chan

    yea but more ram please just 1gb

  • P9

    because most people don’t count it in xperia, but sony does. they call it in system SEMC xperia live.
    own this too.

  • Fanboy

    What about Xperia play we need the xperia play 2

  • Sales

    My guess is that the active didn’t sell that well. Thus there’s no plans for a Successor. I mean common. How many of us went for the active rather than the more powerful and elegant flagship model?.

  • Prasanth Namboothiri

    this was ma first Xperia smartphone and I really love this :-)

  • Castor

    that looks like a sad smartphone

  • Castor

    if psp vita didn’t do well, we can’t expect it to become popular

  • jr

    here is my wishlist ips lcd, a 300+ ppi, same screen size, 1500 to 2,000 mah, s4 pro 1 gb ram, atleast 5 or better 8 mp. Less than 375 usd. Feature hardware and software for active lifestyle. Im pretty sure there are many interest buyer to buy like this.

  • Kaloyskie

    I consider my acro s a rugged phone. I have dropped it lots of time now, sat in its screen for an hr or so couple of times now. And still no fault found except for the scratches on the casing. Highest drop was chest high so 5 ft or so for few times. I did not bother to change the casing as sony service center said it is not included on my premium warranty with them. It is considered as cosmetic part and cost around $60(converted).

  • Arvin Pacheco

    Hoping to see New XPERIA GO “2” This Year too!!! :)) GREATER SPECS AND FEATURES. I mean I want Xperia do BETTER undefeatable handsets like Xperia Z1 to xperia Go and active

  • Moesappel

    Hi xperiablog, my dad is still using this one:

  • jake

    You left off acro s….. which is quite rough resistant also .

  • JEp

    What about Xperia pro 2?

  • johnylim

    Not good as Walkman phone. handsfree still not in-ear, no dedicated audio chip. Not as good as W800 on its time.

    Sorry, for me these phone just good looking, but nothing special for carrying Walkman name.

  • P9

    It’s got walkman bottom & stereo speaker which lack in any xperia that time. Anyway, love it.

  • P9

    4.3 inches

  • Mac

    I did change the housing myself on my Acro S using parts from EBay, Aight the waterproofing is probably not there anymore but at least my camera work again after changing the glass lens which had a dent on it.
    I payed like $25 and got myself a custom black and white acro s.

  • saif

    stamina mode in 85% battery.. cool

  • Moesappel

    Why not? It’s saving battery.

  • saif

    no offense . It’s nice feature. people usually use it at low battery

  • Henrik Dahlstrøm

    Yes, I am looking for such a phone for my sons 9th birthday… It would be a hit among kids!

  • xperiaDROID

    What about the Xperia Neo, Neo V and Neo L? I know it’s not rugged but it’s still a nice phone, my uncle is still using the Neo V. After Sony bought Sony Ericsson, Sony released a sequel to the Neo series – Neo L. But Sony dropped the support for the Neo L, it’s stucked on Android 4.0 ICS.

  • Kaloyskie

    I have changed the screen of my acro s due to dead pixel. And cuz of the warranty they did not xharge anything. And the waterproof feature was not compromised. I did not bothet changing the casing because I am planning to buy a new one this year. I think it’s time for my acro s to rest

  • theskig

    I use it for my work sim card! With many emulators on it! Golden Axe rulez!

  • FreddyNogo

    XPERIA V!!!! Plastic cover falls off, but survived lots!!!

  • FreddyNogo

    EEEhhh, lol?

  • :D
  • aks316

    oh hell yeah.. it will be my 2nd phone for sure.. i need to upgrade my 2nd phone n i need something rugged..

  • Mint

    I don’t think you know how stamina mode works.

  • Zornitta

    I´m afraid to buy a Z1 and go for cycling…
    Would be nice to have 8 or 13MP camera with timeshift and slow motion in a rugged case.
    With good battery and ant+, no need for a GoPro or Garmin.

  • roeshak

    Well despite the number of knocks my Z has endured, and even on some very hard surfaces like concrete, it’s aged pretty well indeed. No other phone I’ve owned has aged so well. I’d say it is a pretty rugged contender.

  • lanz

    i have an xperia active but after 6 months of using it the screen of my phone don’t respond i bring it in sony store in the philiippines to fix it , but they let me down… but still i love sony

  • Brad Williams

    My Stamina Mode is on all the time too. It still helps.

  • Lukas

    Nah I long for the promised update Sony

  • johnylim

    XPERIA Play has Stereo speaker too, louder and better than Live Walkman.

  • jumbo3220
  • owl

    I’ve had an Active and is now using a black Go, and I certainly agree! The Z series phone are too pristine than rugged…

  • oecher

    I have the xperia go and I love it! Sony should definitely create a successor.

  • Moe

    My xperia S has survived for almost 2 years..not a single crack on the glass but it did break every cover I bought, dropped in water and still working..gotta love Sony’s build quality

  • sushil

    I still use Xperia Go and i can say it made to resist any condition nly spec is low

  • Mac

    I see, well I had 2 open up my acro s and make the camera work again. But I’m gonna buy the Z1 Compact hopefully next week as I am waiting for the white one 2 be released anyway.

  • Conrad Inkson

    I dream of a new Xperia Go/Active every weekend. With a spec bump, hardware camera button, salt water rating and flight quality altimeter/barometer, thermometer and compass. I can see it on my wrist while i skydive and snorkel with the new Sony Action Camera.

    Oh a man can dream!
    I

  • Bob

    I have been using Xperia GO for about 9 months now. It replaced my Motorola DEFY, which did not survive an unplanned swim in the sea, whilst on safety boat duty for a sailboat race. And this despite the same waterproof certification as the GO. The weak point was the rubber joint around the USB/charger port, which had become a bit slack after 2 years use. I would like to see something more secure for the connectors in any future IP68 device.

  • ad d

    Hi, I still use Xperia Go and i can say it’s even today not bad. Only phone app works very slowly. It is unfortunate that the Sony don’t want to release any update for it :-(

  • Ivan Prskalo

    Funny thing, I have owned xperia z 8 months, until recently I have sold it, and guess what, I have bought xperia go, the yellow one! (off course, I also have bought myself LG G2 for my daily driver but GO will serve purpose as my sports and activities phone/tracker…)

  • paddlegirl

    I still use my xperia active… and don’t know what I’m going to do when it finally dies. I do extreme sports and it has never let me down. I don’t need any other gadgets with me. PLEASE sony bring us another star!

  • thewalker01

    yeah ,what about this phone ,this phone is actually gergeous ever i’ve on mobile phone ,forgot about PSVITA ,i’ve too….but for mobility and social life daily ,this phone is obviously perfect !

  • Tom

    I’m still using the xperia active. Would love to see a successor with max 4″, ant+, pressure and temperature sensor and good battery. High end processor isn’t needed to save costs and make it affordable.

  • P9

    oh I just kno it..

  • Binggoy

    I’m still using xperia GO.. and was looking through the net for the next similar thing from Sony..
    please Sony ..

  • maarten

    Still using the Active here! Survived various drownings, drops from heights, even a ride of 10km on the roof of my car! When it dies, I’ll replace it! Hopefully with it’s successor…

  • Louie

    Yes i still own my xperia go and i love how its rugged and can withstand my clumsiness! Beautiful phone too! :) i’m planning to get a z1 compact but like this article says, i cant imagine putting it through reckless abandon like i would with my xperia go! I do hope sony releases another midrange waterproof phone thats as rugged as the Go! :)

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  • Vinayak Mehra

    IMO neo v was one of the most good looking phone that didn’t get as much attention as compare to arc or ray but neo l was not much of a good sequel

  • Divya Bharathi

    Very interesting thing I just come across at MyDeals247.com – I could choose any number of items (from the list) at very heavy discount rates (up to 75% off online) – more we buy more discount – I never seen this before.

  • Jason Yahya

    I’ve been always a SE walkman user since the old days and now I often use my w880 without any issues along with xperia z.
    Walkman used to be that fast rugged phone with a very good camera, good speakers and an awesome design with a compact size. The perfect pocket phone.

  • Skaistis

    Still no alternatives to Xperia Active :(

  • xeno

    I’m still on xperia Active yet. Bought it in 2011 and still working. only issue I have to suffer with is the 512mb ram, which is far to less nowadays.
    today, nobody focuses on small devices. they prefer phablets, or smart watches. so I do not see any successor to come.
    therefore I bought a second xperia active a few months ago. just for the case, the current one breaks for any reason.

    but: the xperia is not my only mobile, got one from my company too: z1 compact.

  • Bob

    My Xperia Active is the best gadget ever!! Waterproof cycle computer with ANT+ connects to my Garmin Heart Rate Monitor and Cadence Sensor (clips into spare phone case back cable- tied to my stem), works as a satnav in car, have a spare battery used on a plug in charger to swap every 4-5 days. What is the replacement? I want the next version!

  • naif from kuwait

    I am tryin to find a newly boxed 2012 xperia active. And willing to sell my samsung note 2! I am a swimmer and experia active is perfect for textin after a long swim without worryin about wettin the phone! Or usin its timer if it has durin practice tying it to the jumpin block w its perfect rubber band which could also be used a braclet accessory which is a very smart touch coz in these days cellphones are becoming an extra limb a part of us! Luv it! Wish for a newer smaller version !

  • kate

    I’m still using the xperia active – the only problem with it is that the inner battery cover plastic camera cover seems to get damaged by sweat. The camer still takes clear photos if I remove the inner cover, butthen it’s not waterproof. The inner cover was replaced once on warrantee, but is well past that now.
    I know someone who’s got a spare xperia active for when his current one dies, as he loves it so much – trouble is, it’s showing no signs of dying, which is probabaly why Sony went away from such rugged phones – they weren’t getting replaced!

  • Kitesurfer

    Oh yes. I’m on my second Xperia
    Active. The first one did 1000km with me kite surfing in ocean(!) –
    amazing phone – as it was one of the first designs it was
    accidentally(!)made to last – now we have design obsolescence build
    in:-( The phone is truly indestructible, the only issue is lack of RAM
    -I have to admit it’s the user issue of needing more and more apps ;-) I
    love the size of the screen, double cover, leash(how good is that!?)
    what a marble design, well done sony engineers few years back, I’m sorry to see you making large, thin & boring bars now…

  • arosnes

    YES! STILL USING THIS PHONE
    I just converted my bike for electric assist winter commute to work. I have been using my wifes old iphone 4s for some months, but quickly ditched it for the xperia active since iphones do not want to run in the cold.

  • ubu

    totally agree.. I’d like an Xperia active 2 with the same form factor. 3″ is perfect

  • R?dolfs Bangerskis

    Absolutely YES!. I need new one in the sries or il simply get another brand new Go.

  • R?dolfs Bangerskis

    looks like Cat black edition :D

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