Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play vs Apple iPhone 4: Smartphone showdown

Which is the better phone – Sony Ericsson's XPERIA Play or Apple's iPhone 4?

Sony Ericsson's XPERIA Play Android phone has also been dubbed the 'PlayStation phone'

Sony Ericsson's XPERIA Play Android phone has also been dubbed the 'PlayStation phone'

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play vs. iPhone 4: Design and display

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play may be a smartphone, but its dedicated gaming controls mean that it is as much a gaming device as a communications tool. The presence of two touch-sensitive joysticks, a D-pad and four of the PlayStation's famous control buttons means the XPERIA Play slider is a much chunkier handset than the iPhone 4. At 16mm thick, the XPERIA Play may not be ideal for users who want a smartphone that is easy to pocket. The iPhone 4's stainless steel band (which also doubles as the phone's antenna) is certainly an intriguing design touch, and at just 9.3mm thick, it remains one of the best built smartphones on the market.

The XPERIA Play has a larger display than the iPhone 4 — 4in compared to 3.5in. However, the iPhone 4 still holds an advantage when it comes to its screen thanks to the use of IPS technology (the same used on the iPad. With a high 640x960 pixel resolution (compared to the XPERIA Play's 480x854 resolution), the iPhone 4's screen has been described as a "retina" display, due to the human eye being unable to distinguish individual pixels. By comparison, the XPERIA Play uses an LED-backlit LCD screen.

The presence of two touch-sensitive joysticks, a D-pad and four of the PlayStation's famous control buttons means the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play slider is a much chunkier handset than the iPhone 4.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play vs. iPhone 4: Software

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play Android phone runs the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android operating system. Improvements offered by the 2.3 version of Android include a revamped keyboard, better copy and paste, improved power management, and a slicker user interface.

PlayStation games on the XPERIA Play will be downloaded through the 'PlayStation Suite', an online store for Android phones. Sony hopes the XPERIA Play will be the first of many "PlayStation certified" Android phones to hit the market; Sony will test each device that applies to become PlayStation certified, to ensure the phone will offer an adequate gaming experience.

The iPhone 4 runs Apple's iOS4 operating system. It offers a familiar swipeable home screen enhanced by folders, and the consistent Apple UI look and feel extending across all of the standard applications. If you have never used an iPhone before, you can expect a device that is easy to pick up and use, a well-populated App Store, and excellent multimedia capabilities. The iPhone's iPod integration ensures it remains one of the best music smartphones on the market, while mobile Web browsing is fast and efficient.

Though the streamlined iPhone experience has won many fans, Apple's closed platform means the iPhone 4 doesn't offer the same flexibility as smartphones like the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play. The iPhone has an inferior notification system to Android phones, and it doesn't let you customise and display live widgets on your home screen. By the same token, the iPhone interface and overall user experience are far more polished than what is currently on offer from Android phones.

iPad 2

PlayStation games on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play will be downloaded through the 'PlayStation Suite', an online store for 'PlayStation certified' Android phones.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play vs. iPhone 4: Other features

Strangely, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play lacks HDMI connectivity, so it can't be connected directly to a television. Sony Ericsson has included DLNA technology for sharing multimedia content. The iPhone 4 can't boast either HDMI connectivity or DLNA but its camera is widely regarded as one of the best on a smartphone, surpassed only by the superb 12-megapixel Nokia N8.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play will be able to play a selection of original PlayStation (PSOne) games, which will be downloadable through the PlayStation game store. The XPERIA Play will launch with at least 50 games. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play will be powered by a 1GHz Scorpion processor, and has 512MB of RAM along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. It has just 380MB of internal memory, so all games will be stored on the microSD card.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play will be released in Australia between May and June, and will be available across all carriers including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

What do you think about the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play and the Apple iPhone 4? Tell us in the comments below!

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Tags android phonesSony EricssonPlayStation PhoneGoogle Android phonesmobile phonesiphone 4smartphonesxperia playSony Ericsson XPERIAApple

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide




xperia play is way better than the iphone



Ummm, there are a lot of factors that were ignored in this article.



Mr. Experia
There is nothing mentioned above, where it's visual that the Experia wins.
Android sucks big time on Games, although they try to make you think it's a gaming Device. Gingerbread comes no where near of iOS, so the mockup isn't really correct at the first point where it begins.
400 Mb of Storage is really laughable, and don't start over the sluggish SD-Card standard. The only thing u can use SD for is for photographs. Also the real low-res display on the SONY is no comparison to the Retina Display. Also in the mockup, they've should point out that HDMI, USB, and SD is optional through converter cable and Camera kit. Just jailbreak it. So you could SSH it and change the product code to iPad 2.
Also this chart should mention, that flash is available through the SkyFire app(No Jailbreak required) through the AppStore.
So both the editor of this article and Mr. Xperia should look up the facts.

king b


Me. Experia, you say android sucks at games i dont think you quite understand this phone is a plystation phone name in conjunction with the best gaming company in the world are you crazy.

Also what they failed to mention in this article is that the Xperia Play has a bravia screen which is used in their Sony Tvs if this article was actually accurate there would be no comparison between the iphone 4 and the xperia play.

Flash avaliable through skyfire lol, as an application it does not support the proper official use which android has.

The iphone 4 is the 6th most popular phone in the UK whose in the top? 1 blackberry the rest are ANDROID i rest my case



the Graphics processor in xperia play (Adreno205) are more powerful than the one in iPhone4.
Tegra2 is the chipset surpassing A205 in performance. samsungs 540-GPU is about equal in graphics performance as A205, perhaps a nudge faster. A little faster in some games, but A205 is better for a few. But iPhone 4 has 535-GPU wich is slower.

As a gaming device the Xperia play has the edge, because the hardware is superior here for that purpose. But it's still a bit of taking a chance when buying a X-play because we don't know what the future hides for it.

On contrary the iPhone has already a lot of quality games on offer in appstore and proven success. Android market have got many strong games now, but still have quite a bit of catching up to do to reach appstore.
When the playstation-store launches for certified Android-phones things might change as the comprehensive catalouge from playstation has many many great games.
But still it isn't launched so we still don't know. Until then the edge still is with iPhone4 on this one.

But Androids future looks bright and very interesting because of the massive support from 3rd parties and Sonys playstation store around the corner. And on top of that when more playstation-certified phones reach the market the demand will increase. Android grows like a mad virus, and could propably be the biggest smartphone OS before this year is over.



I hate when sites like this compare an unreleased device and a device that has been on the market for 9 months. It's not really a fair comparison, especially in the mobile space where tech is moving so rapidly right now. I'm not saying this just because I'm an iPhone user. It goes both ways. I wouldn't think it would be fair to compare the iPhone 5 when it's released to a Droid X for example.



I dont have any iphones nor do I have the xperia play. However Im seriously contemplating buying the xperia play for one big reason. Im a gamer. This phone is the only phone that has dedicated gaming controls. The phone may be bulkier but its processor is faster and more powerful than the iphone. I am also a programmer and if a machine be it a PC, Games Console, PDA, or Smart Phone has a faster processor then it will execute the lines of code quicker meaning it has greater potential. However until it arrives in the shops we have no idea if its a piece of over hyped junk, or the next big thing.

Ross Catanzariti



Hi Shane,

Appreciate your feedback. This is merely just a specifications comparison, and then just a summary of what we can expect from the XPERIA Play; basically as much as we know without having seen the device yet.

I think It is a fair comparison, because the XPERIA Play will be competing with the iPhone 4 (and eventually 5) as soon as it is released.



IPS is a type of LCD. They are both LED backlit. I'm assuming the Xperia Play uses Sony's Super LCD (which is IPS) but it could just be a cheaper TN panel (I hope not).

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