REVIEW: Sony Ericssons XPeria Play, The Gaming Phone

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First Thoughts

I have heard a lot about this thing. Heard a lot, no real positive buzz but nothing really negative either. I have yet to have any other Sony Ericsson android devices, so this was a first for me from them. The fact that this is on the Verizon network kind of boosts my want for it, they tend to have good coverage.

The Looks

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I saw the screen, the bulk and a few others things on this device and wasn't impressed. I think what really brings it together is the slide out gameboard, not a keyboard but a gameboard. It is a game controller, literally, not one faked to look like a controller but a real controller. It slides right out where you expect the keyboard to be. It looks impressive in its brushed silver. The buttons are of course laid out as if this were a playstation device.

The Hardware/Screen

You get a Single core, Scorpion ARMv7 that is a 1ghz processor, so pretty standard for the times. There is 512 of MB RAM and 512 MB of ROM. So it carries quite a punch, definitely enough to run some of the games from the sony playstation as well as many of the games gameloft is putting out. There is a Adreno GPU graphics processor in the device and of course this helps with the playing of games.

A 4 inch screen with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. The screen is nice and crisp. One of the problems I have with it is the auto brightness no matter what, from what I can tell there isn't a way to turn this feature off, the screen can be turned up and down but the auto brightness still stays on.

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The Battery

A 1500 mAh battery that is rated to have 8.41 hours of talk time and 425 hours of standby, so far I have noticed that it lasts a long while, I used it quite often and got more than 8 hours, not much more than 8, but it was still more than 8 and that is impressive for a phone that is single core with so much going on. I am impressed with the battery amongst other features.

The Operating System/Software

There is no skin on this device. Well not after the upgrades anyway. It used to have a crazy skin, I am not sure if it wasn't liked or if it got bad reviews, maybe it made it slower? Not sure, but they made it stock now that it is at 2.3.2. The gingerbread runs nicely on this device, as it does on most. I am a big fan of stock android, this one is no different, it seems to be built slightly differently, or compiled rather, but it is still quite nice.

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The Keyboard

There is no physical, like I mentioned before it has a game controller where the keyboard is. You can of course install any of the keyboards in the android market since nothing is coming with anything new. Of course swype is nice, but sometimes you like to try new things and with this device, you can.

The Browsing, Camera and Video

The browser is as you would expect on gingerbread. It is fast and nice, the Verizon connection aides in the speed. The camera is a 5 megapixel on the rear, on the front it is likely VGA. Both work well. The front allows for easy video calling. The rear gives you the ability to record HD video. I like how most phones do that these days, it makes video and picture capture nice on the go.

The Call/Data Quality

Verizon in my area is always nice and I never had a problem with this or any device, the data is fast even though it is not 4G.

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Summary

Pros:

  • The screen is a good size
  • Front Camera is nice for video calling
  • Internet Speeds Are Good
  • Gaming controller is kind of cool

Cons:

  • The gaming controller can be awkward when you think a keyboard should be there
  • My review unit came with a 2gig card and wouldn't let me put many games on it

Conclusions & Final Thoughts

As much as I like this one, I think unless you are very interested in gaming, this one is a pass. It does not do much different and is only single core. There are many other phones on Verizon's network that are equal and awesome and do a bit more at times. I like it for many reasons, but they are really the same reasons I like other devices.

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I have had many different phones over the years and rooted them all. I write mainly write reviews about phones for the site but at times I also write about apps. I became interested in Android after the Droid 1 came out but have since used the G1, Evo 4g, and Nexus S as my own. I was one of the lucky few who bought a touchpad as well, it is now running android.

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