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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review

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

Our Verdict

An interesting take on the PlayStation phone concept that still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of gameplay and hardware design.

Product features

  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5.1 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 8.41 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 800 x 480

View full specification

For

  • Pleasant feel to button presses
  • Attractive chassis
  • Strong speakers
  • Decent music player

Against

  • Overpriced
  • Poor game selection
  • Laggy browser
  • Hard to get comfortable grip
  • Weighty

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review: Apps

Rather than come with the slew of apps that most modern smartphones pack in, the Xperia Play has just a few apps beyond the realms of what we've already covered elsewhere.

There's Timescape's own dedicated UI, presenting a stream of social media updates and even your text messages on a scrollable stack of cards this time. Tap one to bring the message up in full, and then again to visit either a full SMS conversation view or the profile page of your chosen subject.

Sony ericsson xperia play

A dedicated Facebook app is also on board, which is functional if not particularly flashy.

The calculator ties in with the overall translucent buttons of blue-black background theme, and there's an option to switch the basic functions for an advanced panel. This is fine for one-off sums, but doing your maths homework on it would be a chore.

Sony ericsson xperia play

There's also an app for the PlayNow media store, where you can purchase new music for your phone, although this is notably more expensive than iTunes or Amazon's MP3 service.

Of more use is the TrackID app, which is a Shazam-alike that worked really well in our trials. We especially like the options to search for it on YouTube and recommend the tune to your friends.

Speaking of searching, there's a Voice Search option, but this was far less accomplished at figuring out our mumblings.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Sony Ericsson's sync app is here too, for keeping your devices up to date.

The Calendar app should help you stay current too, but making a new appointment is tucked behind two layers of menus form the default screen, which is worth being aware of.

Finally, there is an OfficeSuite icon if you must pretend you're ever going to work on the Xperia Play, but you'll have to fork out $9.99 for the pro version of the software.

More software is, of course, available from the ever-growing Android Market, which has thousands of apps to download.

Sony ericsson xperia play

For getting around, the quadrumvirate of Google Maps, Navigation, Places and Latitude is here. They act much as they do on other Android smartphones, although the Play's accelerometer is put to use for a behind-the-shoulder view in Maps.

The GPS sensor was fast and accurate at pinpointing our location, while asking for directions was quickly and efficiently handled, too.

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
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Divert, Call Forwarding, Call Log, Call Waiting, Conference Call, Fixed Dialing
Height119 mm
Width62 mm
Depth16 mm
Radio TunerNo
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