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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

With Google's might behind the Xperia Play's OS, it's surprising that we've found the web browsing as mediocre as we have.

On our test unit we had the option of connecting via Wi-Fi or 3G/HSDPA. Getting our Wi-Fi set up was simple, and handled neatly by the Xperia Play's set-up wizard. All we had to do was enter our password and we were away.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: browsing

So far, so good, but once connected we found the stock browser hardly blistering in pace. Sites are accessed quickly enough, but scrolling around the full BBC homepage proved prone to stuttering. The pinch-to-zoom functionality was decidedly jerky too.

In a similar vein, text reflowing is merely okay, requiring a double tap to make the device get the job done once you've zoomed in.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: text reflow

Using the little plus and minus zoom keys on the screen worked far better for reading a news site in both regular a mobile formats, reflowing text as we zoomed. But these can be annoying too, and we had an issue where one key disappeared behind website content.

That said, Flash support has been promising, with our few test sites loading quickly and playing well.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: flash

The bookmarks system is praiseworthy as well, offering a little icon by your entered URL to log your favourite sites. Enter the pane accessed by the menu key and the top-left square of the screen is dedicated to a creating a bookmark of the current site, while all the other entries show the sites in your collection in handy thumbnails. You can opt for a list instead if you prefer.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: bookmarking

Similar lists exist for your most viewed pages, which is a handy secondary jumping-on point, and recent history.

It's by no means awful, but the jerky nature of what we experienced is a far cry from browsing on the iPhone 4 or other Android phones such as the LG Optimus 2X. It's disappointing and really impacted how we felt about the browsing experience.

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