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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: Messaging

Messaging on the Xperia Play follows the basic-but-competent motif. Fire up the app and you'll see a list of your current messages, plus drafts and a big ol' New Message button at the top of the screen.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Tapping any message summons the conversation view, which is presented in translucent speech bubbles on a blue-black background. Each message is timestamped to make trawling back through a conversation easier.

You can also compose a message from this view by pressing the white 'Write Message' bubble at the bottom, and add photos or video to your texts by clicking the icon that appears to its right in portrait view. Handily, there are options to record new media specifically for sending here, too.

Sony ericsson xperia play

The keyboard isn't the stock Android one, but it's pretty similar with a lot of keys crammed at the bottom of the screen in portrait view – we're not really sure why we needed a Menu key when there's this little real estate.

Flip the phone over and you'll be treated to a much more spacious version of the same, which is far more comfortable on the long, thin screen.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Typing is pretty standard, but you can only change the autocorrect options for the current word you're typing, so you can find hilarious 'correction-ese' slips in. At least you can press and hold words to select them when this happens and fix them.

Building up your catalogue of lingo is simple, too. You add words to the user dictionary by clicking on them to override a correction once, after which they're saved to use again.

Email is similar, with a list view of your inbox, and it makes use of the same keyboard when writing a message, but with a few extra fields and an attachments button.

Flip the phone into landscape view, though, and clicking on any message in your inbox presents it in a little frame on the right-hand of the screen, which makes skimming through your emails pleasingly simple.

Sony ericsson xperia play

The goodness of the app makes it a real shame the Xperia Play didn't deem it necessary to inform us of when new mail had arrived, which seems like a pretty big oversight. There's no widget for the Email app either, so there's really no way of knowing what's landed in your inbox unless you go and check.

The now-familiar Gmail app is on-board too, and does a far better job of keeping you updated via the notifications bar.

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