REVIEW: Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray


Sony Ericsson has introduced to the local market its latest handsets that were released during the third quarter. This includes the first two smart phones that are capable of shooting 3D Panoramic Sweep images using a single lens only. These are the Xperia Ray and Xperia Active priced at P19k and P17K at the Cyberzone of SM City.

Here’s the summary of the specifications of Xperia Ray. For the full specs, click here: (images & specs courtesy of gsmarena.com.)

LED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 480 x 854 pixels, 3.3 inches (~297 ppi pixel density), Multi-touch input method, 8MP camera and a front camera

Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off, Touch sensitive controls, Scratch-resistant display, Timescape UI

Xperia Ray operates on 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and 3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100 - and on ST18i HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 - ST18a. It was announced in June 2011 and released in August. Xperia Ray just fit in your hands at 111 x 53 x 9.4mm and weighs only 100g.

As compared to iPhone 4s: the Xperia Ray is a little shorter (iPhone 4s= 115.2); 5.6mm less wide (iPhone 4s=58.6mm); but much lighter (iPhone 4s=140g). While iPhone has 16/32/64GB built-in storage, Xperia Ray has a 1GB internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD. Click here for Xperia Ray vs. iPhone 4s comparison.

Standby battery time is up to 430 h (2G) / Up to 440 h (3G) Talk time Up to 6 h 50 min (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G) Music play up to 36 h. However, if you keep on using the unit for games and online surfing you would end up charging it everyday.

Xperia Ray’s OS–Android v2.3 (Gingerbread) is planned to be upgraded to v4.o(Icecream sandwich). Its CPU is powered by 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset. Internal storage is 1GB and 512MB RAM with external microSD support up to 32GB.

Xperia Ray comes in four colors: black, gold, white and pink in solid aluminum casing. The test unit provided to me by SE is the gold color.

CAMERA

The Xperia Ray can take images in 4:3 aspect ratio @ 8MP resolution and in 16:9 ratio @ 6MP resolution. The volume rocker at the side can be used to zoom in/out the lens in taking still images but very erratic zooming movement if you use it in video recording.

This image is shot @ 6MP resolution with aspect ratio 16:9. Xperia Ray's Sweep Panorama can produce a much wider panoramic shot than this picture. This image has an original display of 3264 x 1836 pixels.

The Xperia Ray has Scene Recognition feature that automatically determines indoor or outdoor setting. This image is taken at the Lobby of SM City Cebu @ 6MP resolution in 16:9 aspect ratio. Original size: 3264 x 2448

This outdoor shot is taken using 8MP resolution in 4:3 aspect ratio. The screen resolution is emphasized by reducing the size of the picture.

Nothing could match the vibrant primary color RGB and i found it in my service award plaque. This one is also taken using 8MP setting in 4:3 aspect ratio.

The Xperia Ray’s HD camera is powered by the Exmor R image sensor technology typically found in Sony Alpha professional digital-SLR cameras, which gives a clearer picture even under low-lighting conditions. It has bigger aperture and is capable of recording 720p high-definition video.

I have a hard time taking panoramic shot feature of the Xperia Ray. I still have to try the 3D Panoramic Sweep, also. In the meantime, here are some of the shots by Xperia Ray that are worth our attention.

This shot is taken by the front VGA camera with outdoor light illumination. Aspect ratio is 4:3 in 640 x 480 pixels. Quarter VGA format is at 4:3 ratio in 320 x 240 pixels.

This indoor shot is illuminated by some compact flourescent lights (CFL) installed in low-ceiling bill payment center of VECO in SM City. The original image size is 3264 x 1836.

Using the volume control of Xperia Ray, i zoomed in to the hands of a VECO customer while queuing at the payment center. This is at 16:9 ratio 6MP HD image.

VIDEO RECORDING

Video recording for the Xperia Ray is excellent. You can choose some settings to suit the scene and subjects you are recording. It has Scene Recognition feature that helps the camera to determine common situations using pre-programmed scenes, like:

  • OFF – the camera automatically adjusts settings for a video.
  • PORTRAIT – optimized to give slightly softer skin tones.
  • LANDSCAPE – the camera focuses on distant objects and the focus mode is set to infinity.
  • NIGHT MODE – light sensitivity is increased for poorly lit environments.
  • BEACH and SNOW – use in bright environments to avoid underexposed videos.
  • SPORTS – for fast-moving objects.
  • PARTY – for indoor and poorly lit environments.
This 1-minute video clip was taken outdoor in HD (High Defintion) with 16:9 aspect ratio at 1280 x 720 pixels screen resolution. Image Stabilizer was on to maintain steady shots. Take note of the vivid color of the objects and the steady shots despite shooting it with my bare hands. BTW, the video clip is uploaded raw to YouTube.

This 30-second clip was taken in a low-light environment during a class slide show presentation and with out using the Photo Light (LED flash) of Xperia Ray. Take note of the audible sound picked up by the Xperia Ray’s microphone.

The screen display in recent Xperia handsets have vivid images. SE calls it “Reality Display” and is powered by their new Mobile BRAVIA Engine.

Xperia Ray's 3.3 inch-display has 16 million colors, multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, LED-backlit LCD with 480 x 854 pixels resolution and scratch- resistant.

ANDROID APPS

One of the Android apps that i have tried with the Xperia Ray is the vscreens app that let Ray projects images and videos to bigger screen like laptops and LCD screen. Read my post about vscreens app.

The other outstanding app is the Google Docs which gives you all the access of your documents on Google Docs online.

CONS

To close this review, Xperia Ray has some not-so-negatives:

  • The display screen at 3.3 inches is a little bit smaller for a smart phone though its design is sleek and looks decent;
  • To prove that the display screen is inadequate for a smart phone, typing in landscape mode is a little bit disappointing because of the small keys in the virtual QWERTY board;
  • Gaming apps are power hungry and will cause your battery to run out in a day;
  • The physical home button is somewhat hard to press;
  • It would have been better to shoot and click the camera had a physical shutter button is incorporated in the design. Tapping the display screen to execute the shots is distracting and may result in jerking of the camera; and
  • The panoramic shots are hard to execute.

Disclosure: Sony Ericsson provided the review unit of this post.

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9 thoughts on “REVIEW: Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

  1. Nice! haha. It is a nice gift for the girls! It’s even better when you install myfriend or something so it’s easy to track them down and know what they are doing. haha. just kidding. though sometimes jokes are half meant. haha

    Like

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