- 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)
Reviews (7.5/10 Avg. rating)
The best gaming phone available, but it has some shortfalls in other aspects of phone functionality
Great gaming experience
Excellent display, game controls work great, a bit bulky
A reasonably-sized smartphone with a great camera
It's nothing more than a phone and a gamepad
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... Full review
A good gaming device if you can overlook the hardware and basic performance issues
The Xperia Play is truly in a league of its own
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 har... Full review
The Xperia Play doesn’t really stand out as a phone or a gaming system
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 yo... Full review
The Play successfully differentiates itself by being both an able smartphone and a consummate gaming machine
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... Full review
The first real attempt to bring advanced gaming to a mobile phone
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 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.Less
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