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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review

The PlayStation Phone finally lands - but can it live up to the hype?

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review: Battery life

Sony Ericsson knows that along with gaming comes the concept of gaming marathons and the Xperia Play's 1,500mAh battery is stated to be good for around five-and-a-half hours of thumb-numbing action.

It should also manage nearly eight-and-a-half hours of call time on GSM/EDGE networks and around six-and-a-half on UMTS/HSPA. Meanwhile, stated standby times stretch to over 400 hours.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Out in the real world, you'll chop and change between calls, games and downtime, but we tried a few days of different intensities of use and found the battery life average for modern smartphones and totally adequate.

An intensive evening of play followed by a day of minor use left the phone gagging for juice at around 5pm. A less taxing span of taking a few calls and doing a bit of web surfing, plus about half an hour of gaming helped the phone last around two days before the little red warning triangle appeared to tell us the cells needed some time hooked up to the national grid.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Turning the screen's brightness down (you have to do this through the menu, since the widget is a simple on/off affair) helped eke out a few more minutes of life, but the screen's not bright enough to tolerate going too far below halfway, even indoors.

Consign yourself to plugging it in every evening, though, and you'll be fine.

Connectivity

Talking of plugging things in, when it comes to connectivity, there's a bevy of options. The regular smartphone options are all here – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/HSDPA, Bluetooth – and they're joined by DLNA, GPS and the option to use the phone as a portable hotspot.

Getting hooked up to our Wi-Fi network and connecting the phone via Bluetooth were both as simple as entering the requisite passwords. In this respect, the Xperia Play has been one of the easiest devices to get linked we've played with so far.

Establishing a link with GPS satellites proved simple, too

Sony ericsson xperia play

Physically, there's also a micro-USB port (and micro-USB to USB cable included in the box) for charging the phone and linking it up to your computer.

There's a full, and frankly overbearing, software suite you'll be asked to install when your computer detects the phone, which helps you manage the usual business of loading files onto the phone and syncing calendars contacts and the like.

We're quite taken with the included Media Server app, which enables you to stream content on your phone over the local network. Setting it up is simple, requiring just a few clicks and even streaming video was admirably nippy over our wireless network. It's a glittering gem that we could see proving genuinely handy to those with full-on gaming consoles at home.

Sony ericsson xperia play

The only downside is that it highlights the phone's inability to stream content from other DLNA devices with the packaged media apps.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.36 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXPERIA
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5.1 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time8.41 Hour
Product ModelPlay
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)175 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE, REACH
Maximum Video Resolution800 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height119 mm
Width62 mm
Depth16 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time425 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA Play Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXPERIA
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberXPERIAPLAYBLK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Need a super efficient, full-featured smartphone with Facebook inside Xperia? And what if it also had real game controls? You got it. The Xperia™ PLAY. A PlayStation certified Android smartphone that lets you immerse yourself in the games you want.

The latest Google apps on your Android mobile

Never get lost again. Explore cities and sights with 3D maps. Use Google Voice Search to call, text and more. With your Xperia PLAY Android mobile, there's no need to type. Just speak. Want more? Get the apps you need from Android Market.

"So, is this the PlayStation phone?"

Once a fantasy. Now a reality. The first PlayStation Certified Android smartphone gives you incredible graphics, great sound and real game controller. This phone is not actually named "the PlayStation™ phone" though - we call it Xperia PLAY.

Limited Warranty2 Year