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Sony Yuga prototype gets manhandled in Russia, full specs revealed and (almost) set in stone

The Sony Yuga rumor mill has been churning for a while, but once we heard Mobile-Review got a hold of a prototype of the “beast” it was obvious we were going to find out everything there was to know about the device very soon.
December 18, 2012
Sony Yuga

The Sony Yuga rumor mill has been churning for a while, but once we heard the Russian website Mobile-Review got a hold of a prototype of the “beast” it was obvious sooner or later we were going to find out everything there was to know about the upcoming device.

As it happens, everything went down sooner rather than later, so here we already are taking a look at a very extensive and thorough preview of the Yuga.

Mind you, the phone manhandled by Martin Elm is said to have been in the possession of the guys at Mobile-Review for more than a month, so we have to underline we’re dealing with an early pre-production unit here and a final model might look very different from this.

Sony Yuga specs

Sony Yuga-2

I’m sure you’re all interested in the “goods” before hearing the hands-on impressions, so here are the cold facts and numbers about Yuga’s spec sheet:

  • 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution display with 440 ppi pixel density
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of on-board storage
  • MicroSDXC support for extending the memory with an additional 128 GB
  • 4G LTE
  • 12 MP camera with LED Flash, HDR video recording capabilities, Photo Burst and Superior Auto
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • MicroUSB and microHDMI ports

Hands-on impressions

I’m sure some of you are disappointed by at least a couple of those specs, which just seem run of the mill (for 2013), but before giving up on the Yuga altogether let’s hear some of those hands-on impressions.

Sony Yuga-4

Keep in mind that we’re not very fluent in Russian, so we’ve used Google Translate to decipher the following, which means everything might not be completely in place:

  • The design is simple, but it sets the Yuga apart from other Sony devices with very sharp corners, clean lines, a slim profile and an almost complete absence of “conspicuous elements”
  • The materials used are expensive and make the phone seem luxuriously priced, while build quality is “perfect”
  • The 1080p display is mostly amazing, with perfect color reproduction in apps that use Sony Bravia Engine. However, viewing angles are far from perfect and reflections are a common problem.
  • Based on an array of benchmark results, the Yuga prototype is awfully snappy. The over 20,000 points scored in AnTuTu and the 2,000 Geekbench score are particularly impressive, especially thinking that the unit tested was an unfinished one.
  • The CPU/GPU combo and the demanding display very quickly drain the battery.
  • Overheating is by far the biggest problem of the Yuga, making the camera unusable at times. The overall performance is also affected by heating.
  • The camera, while rocking an inferior sensor to the Xperia T, produces much sharper images with very rich colors.
  • The interface is heavily customized and tweaked, but the device is a “pleasure to use”. Also, while the tested unit came with Android 4.1, the Yuga is expected to ship with 4.2.
Sony Yuga-5

What we don’t know

With at least a couple of months to go until the Yuga’s official launch, the number of questions and uncertainties has certainly dropped, but not to zero. Oddly, while the featuring of an LCD panel seemed like a certainly yesterday, it hasn’t been “confirmed” in the preview, so there’s still an (outside) chance Sony will be using an OLED screen for this.

The price is another major question mark, not to mention Yuga’s placement in Sony’s grand scheme of things. Will this be the “international” version of the Odin? And if so, how will the two differ?

As far as specs go, we still don’t know the battery’s capacity, whether it’ll be a removable unit or not, the front-facing cam’s pixel count and the on-board OS. A major reason of concern is the overheating issue, which we really hope Sony will fix by the time of the release.

So, what do you guys think about the Yuga now that it’s no longer a mystery? Is it everything you expected it to be? More? Less?