Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play Android phone
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play review: The smartphone has excellent controls and a smooth gaming experience, but the XPERIA Play will ultimately live or die by its exclusive games content
- Great gaming controls
- Excellent speakers
- Sony Ericsson UI overlay
- Unremarkable display
- Questionable build quality
- Limited internal memory
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play possesses excellent gaming controls and offers a relatively smooth user experience for both communications and gaming. However, it will ultimately live or die by its exclusive games content, and it has a few faults that prevent it from being a great device.
The gameplay experience obviously differs from title to title, but games we played on the XPERIA Play were smooth and fast. A small issue is the fact that PS One games are displayed in a 4:3 ratio, meaning they don't fill the XPERIA Play's widescreen display. You can zoom in, or stretch the game to fill the screen, but this results in a loss of image quality; we preferred to live with the black bars on either side of the screen.
If a phone call comes in while you are gaming, the game automatically pauses, and returns to a pause menu screen once the call is finished. The included stereo speakers on the XPERIA Play are excellent and easily among the best we've heard on a smartphone.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play's 1GHz processor with Adreno 205 GPU, along with 512MB of RAM seem somewhat low for a dedicated gaming phone given upcoming smartphones like the LG Optimus 2X and Samsung's Galaxy S II sport dual-core processors, but this didn't seem to affect performance. The XPERIA Play has a paltry 380MB of available internal memory, so most content will need to be stored on a microSD card — both the microSD card and the SIM card can be removed without taking out the battery.
Sony Ericsson has promised to have 50 games available when the XPERIA Play launches, including Tetris, Madden NFL 11, Need for Speed Shift, Assassins Creed, Uno, Real Football 2011, Nova 2 and Splinter Cell Conviction. However, the XPERIA Play will live and die by its gaming content, so it will need a wealth of exclusive PS One titles to prosper.
Games on the XPERIA Play are downloaded and accessed through the 'XPERIA Play' and the 'PlayStation Pocket' apps.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play: Software
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play runs the latest 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android platform. Gingerbread offers a revamped keyboard, better copy and paste, improved power management, and a slicker user interface as improvements over previous versions of Android.
The XPERIA Play also includes Sony Ericsson's Timescape application, which first appeared on the XPERIA X10 Android phone. Timescape groups social networking and phone communications into a single, graphically intense interface; each communication event on the phone forms a 3D box that you simply flick your finger up and down the "spine" to scroll through. Thankfully, Sony Ericsson has included Timescape as a regular app rather than integrate it into the XPERIA Play's UI. This makes it unlikely to suffer the same Android software update delays as the XPERIA X10 did, and easily removable should you not wish to use it.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play is slick and relatively fast to use, though it lacks the pure speed of the dual-core powered Motorola Atrix Android phone. We really like Sony Ericsson's minimalist UI overlay — though it doesn't offer the same deep customisation of HTC's Sense (seen on the Desire and Desire HD Android phones), it has five home screens for live widgets, handy folders that enhance shortcuts and a main menu that can quickly arrange apps in various orders, including most used. Disappointingly, the on-screen keyboard is small and cramped, and there was no default option to revert to the more spacious, standard Gingerbread keyboard; even if this is easily downloadable from the Android Market.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play has a rear 5-megapixel camera, but it can't record HD video. It comes equipped with a 1500mAh battery — for the average user, this means you should easily be able to get more than 24 hours of juice out of the XPERIA Play before it needs a recharge. Sony Ericsson promises five and a half hours of gaming battery life.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play will be released in Australia between May and June, and will be available though all carriers including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Pricing is yet to be announced.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- HTC is reportedly releasing a new U phone that makes better use of its bezels
- Apple wins China patent battle over iPhone 6 design
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- BlackBerry readies a more secure version of the Samsung Galaxy S7
- Android device updates: Nougat rollout begins for the Moto Z Play
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCCognos Report WriterQLD
- FTChief Architect - Principal ArchitectVIC
- FTSolutions Architect - Digital Technologies Financial ServicesQLD
- FTDevelopment Team LeadQLD
- CCOracle WebLogic AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst, Financial ServicesNSW
- CCSecurity Vetting OfficerACT
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorVIC
- FTField Services EngineerWA
- FTSales/Account Manager - Education SectorNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperVIC
- FTTechnical Writer - Reports EditorQLD
- FTSOE EngineerQLD
- FTApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Security AnalystACT
- CCAutomation TesterQLD
- FTDigital Support ConsultantSA
- FTCisco Network Engineer (FIFO)WA
- FTSAP Logistics ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior .Net Developer (Silverlight)VIC
- FTLooking for Information Security professional @ CanberraNSW
- CCBig Data Developer - Government - 12 Month Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTSolutions ArchitectSA