Sony Fanatic

Review: Xperia Play

AuthorKai

Posted6th June 2011

Comments2

When the “PlayStation Phone” was rumoured everyone presumed, no, expected it to be a with PSP with phone functionality, allowing users to play their favourite PSP compatible titles as well as being able to text and call out from the device. However, when the Xperia Play was finally announced, we found out it was a Phone with gaming functionality. And again later, it was finally announced that the Xperia Play would only support PS1 games that were specially re-brought and specially created Android games.

Now we have the 3rd chance of getting to grips with the worlds first PlayStation Certified mobile.

Specifications

Box Contents

Size: 119 x 62 x 16mm
  • Xperia Play Handset & 1500 Ma Battery,
  • Screen Protector,
  • User Guides,
  • Stereo Portable Handsfree,
  • Micro USB cable,
  • Mains to USB adapter,
  • 8GB MicroSD card. *1
  • AN401 Car Charger & Cable
Weight: 175g
Screen: Colours: 16.8 Million
Resolution: 854 x 480 (16:9)
Size: 4.0″
Camera: Still: 5.1 MP
Video: 720p
Storage: External: microSDâ„¢ upto 32GB
Internal: 400MB
Connectivity: Bluetooth
USB
Wi-Fi (n)
Battery: Talk 7h 25m*2
Standby 17d 5h*2

Design

The Xperia Play has a rounded finish to the back and edges, which helps it feel that bit more comfortable sitting in your hand and that can make all the difference with it being a fairly big size.

The screen features a 12 key on-screen keypad as well as a qwerty keyboard when in landscape orientation, both of these are simple to use and not too hard to pick up if you’re new to touch-screen phones or just don’t like to use them very often. If you have the dictionary turned on, then above the keyboard will appear various words based on the letters you’re typing, which half of the time doesn’t really help but sometimes it does save a little bit of time.

Dedicated gaming controls on the slide-out section of the panel makes it easier for you to play the games you want as if you were playing a real PlayStation, that said though the controls are a bit too close together (it could be worse) add that with the depth of the Play which isn’t much when it’s open and the handling it like a controller isn’t very comfortable and can become quite difficult, it may help if you have smaller hands.

Hardware

Battery

The battery life of the Xperia Play is perfectly fine, the specification shows that on standby quite a long time, I don’t think however that anyone would leave it on standby for that long without the phone performing some sort of actions. The talk time is also a fair amount, almost double that of my current phone (the Xperia x10 Mini Pro which is a mere up to 4 hours). Even when playing games on the Play the battery doesn’t seem to be drained any quicker which I expected it to, I thought I was going to have to keep charging it through-out the day if I was playing the likes of Star Battalion.

Camera

The Xperia Play has 2 cameras, one of which is in the normal place on the back (5.1MP) and the other is a front-facing camera (VGA) on the front of the phone which is video-call ready. The normal camera on the back of the phone is perfect for taking photos or recording videos in a flash, they may not be the highest quality in the world at only 5.1MP which by today’s standards is around about average. However, that said it doesn’t let the quality of the images/video down in-fact it is quite impressive, especially the video. Even the front-facing camera isn’t as bad as it sounds being only a VGA camera, this can also record video.

You also have the option of Geo-Tagging your photos with the information of where it has been taken.

The one problem with the camera is that there is no button on the side of the phone, you have to use a button (as it were) on the screen of the phone which makes life a little difficult at first when taking a picture.

Software

Android

All of the latest Xperia handsets come with Google’s Android installed, which means you’re in no way limited to the software that comes pre-loaded on your phone. After a quick visit to the Android marketplace you’ll easily be able to make your phone yours, by suiting your needs, and best of all, most of what you’ll need will be available for free. The Xperia Play is powered by Andoid Gingerbread which is the fastest Android platform to date.

Xperia Play

The Xperia Play software package allows you to view and launch the Play compatible games you have installed on your phone, as well as showing you all of the available games in another tab of the application.  Sliding open the phone while it’s on stand by will automatically open the Xperia Play application allowing you to start gaming that bit quicker.

PlayStation Pocket

PlayStation Pocket provides quick access to the PlayStation 1 games installed on your phone, and displays them within the application that you can choose a theme for much like the PSP themes. You can also have this as a widget on the home screen, for even quicker access to your games.

Timescape

As with the rest of the Xperia Family, the Arc features the trademark Timescape software, which will allow you to keep track of all the things that go on with your digital life, from SMS messages to facebook and twitter streams.

Conclusion

All in all, the features that the Xperia Play boasts do make it a really really good gadget. It works perfectly as a phone, but with the extra functionality of gaming and with the gaming controls it just seems a bit over the top really. I wouldn’t go out and buy it myself, but if someone gave me one then I would probably be happy in the fact that I do have one.

As I said, it is a really good gadget, it does everything it’s supposed to do really well; from making phone calls, to browsing the internet, to playing a HD game with motion controls it is a very good all rounder and it will be very hard to beat.

Media

Sample Photo’s

Sample Video*3

*1 – Varies with network carrier.
*2 – Figure is based on network type and usage.
*3 – Captured at 720p.

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nemesisND1derboy on 07th Jun 2011 at 03:11
I like the idea of the Xperia Play, but as a phone it's too expensive for me, especially on prepay and not bill.
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Jas-n on 07th Jun 2011 at 03:23
Yeah, if you're on Pre-pay, forget about it. Also you would have thought there'd be some remote play functionality similar to the Aino.

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