- Chris Hall , Pocket-lint
As a smartphone the Xperia Play is reasonable enough and the gaming controls are great, however, the lack of really exciting games at launch is a little disappointing.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY puts a gaming twist on the standard smartphone model. The phone features a full PSP-like gamepad that slides out from underneath the phone's 4 inch, LED backlit 480 x 854 TFT LCD screen that features capacitive multi-touch capabilities. The phone also includes built-in stereo speakers that put out impressive volume and sound quality despite their small size.
Powering the Xperia PLAY is a 1 GHz Scorpion processor paired with 512 MB of RAM. The phone has only 400 MB of internal flash storage which can be expanded via the external microSD memory card slot. The phone includes a free 8 GB memory card.
While marketed as a hybrid gaming device, the Xperia PLAY isn't lacking in many of the core features you would expect to find on a smartphone, including GPS navigation, integrated Bluetooth capabilities, and WiFi b/g/n connectivity. Due to its design, the phone is a bit bulkier and heavier than the average smartphone, weighing in around 175 grams; however, it is by no means unwieldy.
The Xperia PLAY's rear-facing 5 megapixel camera features autofocus technology coupled with a bright LED flash for crisp and detailed pictures even in low-light settings. Unlike most other smartphones, it does not record in full 720P HD, as the phone's video capture resolution maxes out at 800 x 480; however, an update is rumored to be in the works to remedy this. An 0.3 MP front-facing camera allows for video phone calls to be made with other compatible devices.
All in all, the Xperia PLAY successfully bridges the gap between portable gaming devices and smartphones. A full range of titles specifically designed for the phone are available for purchase, and deals with multiple content partners ensure that new material will be released for the phone and its future successors.
Need to know: Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY
1. Unique hybrid smartphone-gaming design, featuring a slide-out game pad, is appealing to gadget geeks and gamers alike, and a wide variety of games are available for the phone. (The Good)
2. Slightly less responsive screen with lower color contrast than the Super AMOLED screens on some of the competition. While it is an improvement over the PSP's screen, it could have been far better. (The Bad)
3. While the hardware is capable of 720p video capture, the software does not support it at this time. (The Bad)
4. A measly 400 MB of internal memory, making it fully dependent on external memory cards. (The Bad)