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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: Camera

Toting a five-megapixel camera, the Xperia Play can produce beautiful images. Unfortunately, once again it suffers from inconsistent software muddying the offering.

Don't get us wrong, there are loads of options, including a host of white balance settings, scene modes, exposure control, colour effects and quality settings. Plus, on the hardware front, there's a decent flash.

What the Xperia Play lacks, oddly, is a zoom function, at least that we could find. We tried double tapping, pinching, scoured the menus, but nada. Also, there seems to be no way of picking out what you want to focus on beyond the auto, infinity and macro options. It's a real disappointment, because as you'll see, the camera itself is great.

Sony ericsson xperia play

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CLOSE UP: We got this sharp image using the macro mode. The colours are vivid and some of the detail on the central flower's petals is amazing

Sony ericsson xperia play

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CLOUDY DAY: Wider shots are a little more prone to fuzziness. The overcast sky is slightly overexposed here, too

Sony ericsson xperia play

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WIDE SHOT: The central area of grass here is quite pixellated at full size. Still, the colour rendition is good

Sony ericsson xperia play

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MOVEMENT: The Xperia Play handles moving subjects reasonably well. It's a shame we couldn't have focused more and zoomed in on the central subject, though

Sony ericsson xperia play

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CONTRAST: The Xperia Play has failed to capture all the detail in this dark bronze lion against a brighter sky, but it's done really well considering that we took this shot to tax it

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