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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: Contacts and calling

Contacts are accessed through the icon found by default in the dock and the menu. You can also access the phone dialler, call log and favourites from the menu at the bottom.

Importing our contacts to the phone proved as simple as providing our Google log-in details, and there's a wizard in place to help you get contacts onto the phone in various other ways too.

Sony ericsson xperia play

With your contacts loaded up, you'll see them presented in a fairly standard alphabetical list, which you can filter in a couple of ways, but not reorder.

The presentation of contacts is stylish, if a touch counter-intuitive where it matters. Primarily, it's the main info page for each contact we find awkwardly inconsistent. To send a message, you tap the messaging icon, while making a call means tapping a phone number from the list of possible numbers below.

We'd prefer either clear messaging and call icons in a prominent position, or a menu asking what you'd like to do when you press a number. Ideally, both.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Also, you can't set a number as the primary one, so you'll have to enter a custom field to make differentiating between, say, two mobile numbers easier. When you have a friend with a personal phone and a work one, that's unnecessarily tricky to work out.

Still, the rest of the page is good, and more handy pages are added as information becomes available, showing, say, Facebook statuses or your message history in conversation bubbles, which we liked.

Adding contacts is simple to do from the main list too, with a dedicated button in the top-right of the screen.

Finally, joining duplicate contacts into a single entry is as simple as pressing and holding on one entry and then choosing the appropriate menu option.

We're pleased to say the Xperia Play is very competent in-call too. The dialler is simplistic, with no support for smart dialling, but the big screen does make it easy to key in what you want.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Once we'd established a line, the connection quality was good, and didn't drop at all during our calls. We'd say the volume could stand to go a little higher for those calls when you're fighting inner-city traffic noise, but it's not a big deal.

One thing that's worth noting is that letting the handset speaker drift up and slightly away from your ear during calls will result in dramatically diminishing volume. It's more sensitive than a number of handsets we've used, and a little frustrating.

Speakerphone calls were fine on our end, but the person on the other side of the line did detect a little echo.

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