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.

- Chris Hall , Pocket-lint 

Reviews summary

7.5/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 27 reviews

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.

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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)


Specs summary

Screen
4"

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play's screen is 4 inches with 480 x 854 pixels resolution.

Processor
1GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8255 1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera useful for video chat and self portraits.
Storage
400 MB

Internal memory is 400 MB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1500mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1500 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 17.5 days standby time, 505 minutes (2G), 385 minutes (3G).


Prices (Where to Buy)


Online Buying Options




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Reviews summary

7.5/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 27 reviews

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.

Show more

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)

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Reviews (7.5/10 Avg. rating)


The best gaming phone available, but it has some shortfalls in other aspects of phone functionality

from Top Ten Reviews ( )

The Xperia Play breaks some new ground in the world of multimedia cell phones and certainly is a game changer for consumers who are particularly interested in gaming on their phones. It's cutting edge in most regards but makes a few performance compromises that – although they'll likely not be mu... More

The Xperia Play breaks some new ground in the world of multimedia cell phones and certainly is a game changer for consumers who are particularly interested in gaming on their phones. It's cutting edge in most regards but makes a few performance compromises that – although they'll likely not be much of an issue right now – could become problematic in a reasonably short time as faster processors and 4G networking become more prominent. Overall, the Play is the name of the game among game-oriented cell phones.

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7/10

Great gaming experience

from PhoneArena ( )

Gaming enthusiast will no doubt love the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G as it’s a suitable gaming device that intricately presents us with a fantastic gaming experience. Add the lovable elements of any Android smartphone, we essentially have something that’ll keep us preoccupied during... More

Gaming enthusiast will no doubt love the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G as it’s a suitable gaming device that intricately presents us with a fantastic gaming experience. Add the lovable elements of any Android smartphone, we essentially have something that’ll keep us preoccupied during some down time. However, the best thing going for the handset is the $49.99 on-contract price it’s flaunting, which packs a lot of value for the buck. Sure it’s classified as a mid-range device nowadays, but it’s able to work well while offering a satisfying gaming experience.

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8/10

Excellent display, game controls work great, a bit bulky

from Techsmart ( )

The SE Xperia Play is a really capable smartphone and delivers an improved mobile gaming experience thanks to its dedicated controls. According to SE its Xperia Play is a phone first and portable gaming device second, but you’ll still be able to replace your old smartphone as well as a PSP with j... More

The SE Xperia Play is a really capable smartphone and delivers an improved mobile gaming experience thanks to its dedicated controls. According to SE its Xperia Play is a phone first and portable gaming device second, but you’ll still be able to replace your old smartphone as well as a PSP with just one device. This privilege comes at a pricey R6000 though.

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A reasonably-sized smartphone with a great camera

from Digital Versus ( )

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is THE cameraphone to have right now. If you're looking for a reasonably-sized smartphone with a great camera, then this is the one for you. It's responsive and has a great interface, so it's just a shame that the exterior could do with a little extra attention.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is THE cameraphone to have right now. If you're looking for a reasonably-sized smartphone with a great camera, then this is the one for you. It's responsive and has a great interface, so it's just a shame that the exterior could do with a little extra attention.

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10/10

It's nothing more than a phone and a gamepad

from Android Central ( )

I've been gaming all my life on all types of hardware. And when rumors of a PlayStation phone started hitting the web, I got really excited over the possibilities. The concept wasn't new, though. Remember the Nokia N-Gage? That died pretty fast. But I thought if Sony PlayStation and Sony Ericsson... More

I've been gaming all my life on all types of hardware. And when rumors of a PlayStation phone started hitting the web, I got really excited over the possibilities. The concept wasn't new, though. Remember the Nokia N-Gage? That died pretty fast. But I thought if Sony PlayStation and Sony Ericsson worked together on this, it could become a solid portable gaming device. But that didn't happen. Instead we got a missed opportunity. Both companies failed to deliver on time.

There should be no reason why they released this phone with only one PlayStation branded game available. Crash Bandicoot is really fun and the guys at Naughty Dog are really talented, but it's not enough to sell units. Where is PlayStation Suite? Sony PlayStation promised that they bring PlayStation branded experiences to Android, but they missed it with their own device. Even after E3 2011 wrapped-up, we still don't know anything really about PlayStation Suite. Hopefully we'll hear more about it in the future, but for now, this phone is nothing more than a phone and a gamepad. I'm afraid that without compelling, original software, the Xperia Play is going to slowly disappear.

If gaming is your thing and you like having a gamepad on the go, then give it a shot. But honestly, most of these games can be played on other Android devices that are already far more superior. Until there is some more compelling games, you might want to pass and look at some other Android options.

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A good gaming device if you can overlook the hardware and basic performance issues

from Phone Scoop ( )

Bottom line? If you're a hardcore gamer, like the idea of the dedicated gaming controls, and are willing to forgive the Xperia Play's hardware missteps, then the Xperia Play is at least worth demoing at your local Verizon store. If you're only a casual gamer, though, there's nothing about the Xpe... More

Bottom line? If you're a hardcore gamer, like the idea of the dedicated gaming controls, and are willing to forgive the Xperia Play's hardware missteps, then the Xperia Play is at least worth demoing at your local Verizon store. If you're only a casual gamer, though, there's nothing about the Xperia Play that really makes it a worthwhile pick over a standard Android handset.

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The Xperia Play is truly in a league of its own

from BGR ( )

I like the overall concept of the Xperia PLAY — one of the only companies in the world that could pull off a pure gaming handset is Sony Ericsson — and this is a valiant first effort in the space. But in the end, the Xperia PLAY is a little chunky and it feels like it needed a little... More

I like the overall concept of the Xperia PLAY — one of the only companies in the world that could pull off a pure gaming handset is Sony Ericsson — and this is a valiant first effort in the space. But in the end, the Xperia PLAY is a little chunky and it feels like it needed a little more time in the oven. If Sony Ericsson decides to introduce a follow up handset, I have no doubt it will be a formidable mobile gaming smartphone that few if any devices could rival. The current iteration is more a concept than a full-fledged gaming device and platform, though if you’re a hardcore gamer, you probably won’t be disappointed with the Xperia PLAY. For general consumers, I’d probably recommend waiting for the follow-up version, however.

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The Xperia Play doesn’t really stand out as a phone or a gaming system

from SlashGear ( )

So the bottom line, is it worth it? For the price $200 with a two year agreement on Verizon, non-stop mobile gaming could be yours. The only problem is, the Xperia play doesn’t really stand out as a phone or a gaming system. There are plenty of great Android phones out there to choose from,... More

So the bottom line, is it worth it? For the price $200 with a two year agreement on Verizon, non-stop mobile gaming could be yours. The only problem is, the Xperia play doesn’t really stand out as a phone or a gaming system. There are plenty of great Android phones out there to choose from, and the advantage of this phone lies mostly in the gaming controls. But unless you have the hands of a tween, the controls and phone itself are too small to lend to a great mobile gaming experience. If you’re serious enough about mobile gaming to consider buying this phone, you should save your money and either spring for a Nintendo 3DS or the upcoming Sony NGP.
As for my own personal opinion, I think this phone is like a great firework: the fun fades a little too quickly. It’s really neat to show off the game pad and let people play around with it, but it feels more gimmicky than an actual mobile gaming experience. I would use it more as a phone than anything else and that being the case, I’d rather have a regular phone without the extra bulk. I also think the Android OS could use some work, especially aesthetically. I use Windows Mobile 7 on a daily basis, and it feels a whole lot more polished. Of course I hate the fact that I barely have any apps to download, and the browsing experience is limited, but my phone is mostly used as… a phone. So it’s not a huge deal.

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The Play successfully differentiates itself by being both an able smartphone and a consummate gaming machine

from Mobile Syrup ( )

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play exists on its own, and as a companion to the flagship Xperia arc. They are very different phones, aimed at completely separate demographics, but ultimately both deliver similarly satisfying Android experiences. Whereas the arc comes off at times as just another Andro... More

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play exists on its own, and as a companion to the flagship Xperia arc. They are very different phones, aimed at completely separate demographics, but ultimately both deliver similarly satisfying Android experiences. Whereas the arc comes off at times as just another Android device, the Play successfully differentiates itself by being both an able smartphone and a consummate gaming machine.
While a year from now it may not be able to stack up with the current crop of dual-core processors, its lineage as the first Playstation-Certified Android device has garnered it some warm acclaim. And until its inevitable successor, the Play is by far the best way to experience Android gaming. While it appears that certain features, such as the camera, were overlooked, the sliding mechanism, the hardware controls, and the entire product, reinforces that fact that Sony, with a little help, is once again creating fantastic, focused hardware.

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7/10

The first real attempt to bring advanced gaming to a mobile phone

from Digital Versus ( )

Sony knows what's it doing when it comes to video games, so it's no surprise that Sony Ericsson has produced the first real attempt to bring advanced gaming to a mobile phone. It would have been great if the result wasn't a mix between a smartphone and a handheld console that didn't quite manage... More

Sony knows what's it doing when it comes to video games, so it's no surprise that Sony Ericsson has produced the first real attempt to bring advanced gaming to a mobile phone. It would have been great if the result wasn't a mix between a smartphone and a handheld console that didn't quite manage to be either. It's still a very attractive option for anybody who wants more than a mobile in a single device.

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8/10

Good idea. But to many issues

( )
I've had the play since the release date and to be honest I think it was a bad decision. Sure it has sweet games and can play my N64 game from when I was a kid. But I no longer play any games after the first month. I do like the message indicator on the power button, it allows me see if I received a... More

I've had the play since the release date and to be honest I think it was a bad decision. Sure it has sweet games and can play my N64 game from when I was a kid. But I no longer play any games after the first month. I do like the message indicator on the power button, it allows me see if I received a message or incoming call without looking at the screen. Some issues I have with the phone: Its not made of gorilla glass! I had an iPhone 3G for 3 years and it was the only thing I ever put in my front left pocket. I employed the same procedure with the Xperia play yet it has tones of micro scratches and make discolored lines on the screen because of them. It locks up constantly. No matter the application, It can be messaging, music, web browsing, Facebook, placing/receiving calls Even though I set it to never vibrate, it still always does. Even when I'm typing something. Feels very strange to vibrate as I type and the sound is irritating Brightness; Don’t even bother trying to use this phone when the sun is out. When outside you can not see the screen unless you shade it under something no matter the brightness setting. Signal; Apparently its a known issue a Sony tech tells me. There will be times when I get no signal for a day span no matter where I am in the city, no 3G no wifi nodda. Not to mention anyone that I talk to tells me I sound like I’m in a tin can, and that’s only if the call doesn’t drop Lastly I cannot connect it to the Sony sync to update. No matter the computer I use it on as I have tried to load an update on 3 PCs and a Mac In the end I believe I made a hastily decision on purchasing this phone, and now I’m stuck with it until I can upgrade in 30 months...... Hope my personal review will help any potential Xperia play buyers make and educated decision before purchasing this device.

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5/10

This phone is great.

( )
I will tell you why is great , first it is made by Sony and is a Psp go.

I will tell you why is great , first it is made by Sony and is a Psp go.

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10/10