In an era when specifications rule the roost in the Smartphone market, it’s refreshing to see the ways in which different companies attempt to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Samsung, for example, have recently debuted the ultra-cheap Galaxy Pocket: a stripped down, entry-level Smartphone with a price tag more reminiscent of a feature phone. And now Sony has entered the fray with two new Smartphones, the Xperia Acro S and the Xperia Go, which are marketed on one quality – their incredible toughness. The Acro S (pictured above) has some fairly impressive specifications, when stacked up against its foes in the Smartphone market. Though it couldn’t hope to rival top-end Smartphones like the S3, it still boasts a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 12 Megapixel camera, 16GB of onboard storage (with a card slot that can add up to another 32GB in a pinch), and a number of fringe features like image/video stabilization, smile detection, and active noise cancellation for smoother conversations. But while you’d need a case or cover to protect a different Smartphone of correspondingly powerful specifications, the Acro S has an almost preternatural fortitude. With a 4.3 inch screen made of scratch-resistant, shatterproof glass, and a casing designed to be water and dirt repelling, Sony claims that the Acro S can survive being submerged in water for up to thirty minutes without suffering any ill effects – making it the perfect Smartphone to enjoy on the beach, in the bath, or even scuba-diving! (Imagine the quality of pictures you could take underwater with this bad boy!) The Xperia Go (above), meanwhile, is even tougher. While its specifications are considerably more modest (with half the onboard available storage, a 1 GHz dual-core processor, a mere 5 Megapixel camera and more stripped down, utilitarian fringe features, in addition to a smaller screen and lower pixel density), Sony place its toughness at a staggering IP67 certification. Compare this to the hardy Xperia Acro S, which has a mere IP55, and you’ll come to the (correct) conclusion that the Xperia Go is virtually the toughest mobile on the market today - discounting all the low-end, feature phone bricks out there, of course. Given Sony’s recent bad luck with legal battles, weak sales, and money trouble, it’s nice to see them getting back on their feet in a way as unique and interesting as this. They’re carving out a new niche in the market: one defined not by the power of the phone’s software, or by an ultra-impressive range of specifications, but by the raw, bloody-minded strength of its hardware! We here at Mobile Madhouse can respect the dogged determination of the Sony giant – don’t be surprised if, a few months down the line, we debut a range of Xperia Go and Xperia Acro S peripherals!