REVIEW: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

This one looks sturdy and bulky but its size brings some inherent benefits with it like easy composition of text in both portrait and landscape modes. I’ve been using Sony Ericsson Xperia Play for a couple of days now after finishing off a review on Xperia Ray a week ago.

The Xperia Play is thicker at 16mm way above the Xperia Ray’s 9.4mm thick. It’s bigger than iPhone 4s with its 119 x 62 built. This is due to the PlayStation gaming control that requires more space. It weighs more in your pocket at 175g (Xperia Ray- 100g, iPhone 4s – 140g).

The Xperia Play has 4″ TFT capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors, 480 x 854 pixels (WVGA) screen resolution. Texting is easier in Xperia Play than in Xperia Ray because of bigger virtual QWERTY keys and keypad. The touchscreen is very responsive.

Slide the body and the Xperia Play reveals its dedicated gaming keys which resemble to that of a regular Sony PlayStation. This makes Xperia Play the world’s first PlayStation-certified Android phone.

Unlike other smart phones, the microSD card and SIM card slots of Xperia Play are located outside the battery compartment making it easy to insert both cards. Surprisingly, the internal storage of Xperia Play is only 400MB unlike Ray’s 1GB. Though, it is expandable up to 32GB. RAM is 512MB.

The standard battery pack BST-41 can run up to 8hrs 25mins talk time while on GSM/GPRS and 2hrs lower when it is on UMTS. Standby time: 425hrs (GSM/GPRS); 413hrs (UMTS). Game play time: 5 hrs 35mins. MP3 playback is up to 30hrs 35mins.


The Xperia Play OS is Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread/planned upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich) coupled with the 1GHz Snapdragon single-core processor from Qualcomm that can decode high-definition video at 720p resolution.

HSDPA modem speed is not mentioned in Sony Ericsson’s site and in some reviews but one review cited 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 5.76Mpbs HSUPA. Wi-Fi connection, on the other hand, is fair and Xperia Play can be transformed into a hotspot for other Wi-Fi devices to connect to the internet using the HSDPA/HSUPA modem.


The decent 5MP rear camera shoots up to 2592х1944 pixels images with auto-focus lens and LED flash. However, Xperia Play doesn’t have the XMOR R image sensor technology resulting in darker background at poor-lit surrounding. Got some pictures here under various ambient conditions:




What i like in the camera features of Xperia Play is the shutter button at the lower right corner of the screen which is not present in Xperia Ray(shutter switch is by a tap of the screen which is distracting to your viewing angle.)

Video recording is up to 720p but it has no image stabilizer to minimize jerking of your captured video while doing walking or running shot. I would still prefer Xperia Ray for its best camera features. I’ve this raw video taken early morning while documenting a dilapidated road in our barangay.


Though, music and video gaming are some of the entertainment features of Xperia Play but it has no FM radio tuner. You have just to enjoy yourself with the MP3 and MP4 players for music playback. It has speaker phones for our listening convenience.


Xperia Play is capable of WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, Adobe Flash Lite, and a Voice Search–just say it and you’ll find the search list of what you’re looking for. Full web browsing experience is good in landscape mode while a list of previously related visited URL will show when writing at the browser bar for us to choose from and speed up our browsing. Document viewing for PDF files via Adobe Reader and Google Doc is seamless.


Playing the Xperia Play brings the real Sony PlayStation experience. The dedicated gaming buttons work like that of a regular PS console.

Honestly, playing the Xperia Play is not easy for me. It’s not that this first PlayStation-certified mobile phone is at par below the regular gaming console but it’s simply because i am not used to play video games. Period. 🙂

But the way i see the gaming experiences of my kids who played the Xperia Play with its downloaded games, i can say offhand that this phone is awesome. Out-of-the-box, the Xperia Play is preloaded with some games like Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior.


  • No image stabilizer
  • No XMOR R image sensor
  • No radio tuner

I’ll be updating this post as soon as something new in my Xperia Play experience comes in. In the meantime, here’s a complete official specs and features of Xperia Play which can be found here or have a peep on this video review from TechTV101.

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


3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

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