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 smartphonesApplemobile phonesSony Ericssoniphone 4Google Android phonesSony Ericsson XPERIAPlayStation Phoneandroid phonesxperia play

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide
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