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 android phonesSony EricssonPlayStation PhoneGoogle Android phonesmobile phonesiphone 4smartphonesxperia playSony Ericsson XPERIAApple

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide


Peris nibble


I prefer the Xperia play it's not figures it real life here

The One


The iPhone 4 by far. I mean think about it, the new Sony Playstation Phone is barely better than the iPhone 4, and the iPhone 4 came out a year ago. When the iPhone 5 is released then we will see. Yes it is the most recent iPhone, but it's a year old phone and Sony Playstation Phone can barely Pass it.



screw i phone there is nothing new in i phone no innovation, its as good as any other pone in market, but xperia is different it has got everything in it.
that is smart any entertainment piece both. on other side i phone just a so-n-so gadget go for xperia play.



I think both phones are quite cool. I like iPhone 4 because of its unique features and their neat design in iPhone 4 and I like Xperia Play features because of its dedicated slide joypad for gaming. To me, both phones are quite superb in their very own ways.



East or west xperia play is the best!iphone 4 is no match for it!



can u play the same games as the iphone? eg frut ninja?

Anti-Apple from Perth


The Xperia Play would eat the iPhone4 if they were left on the table together. Just a pity the Play camera is not as good as the Xperia Arc - otherwise it would be the best phone on the planet!



well, Android is java and its alot slower. even it have alot more stuff built in the machine but you can forget the all good games are on iOS and iOS are much faster then Java android that stucks and allways bugs and its very slow. well i prefer iOS(iPhone) and at this fall iOS come out so the iPhone is killing Android this fall.



xperia is the best although i phone got the advantage on the screen but its memory is built in you cant swap memory.but it doesn't have a dedicated gaming button well i don't want my fingers covering the screen of what im playing.and the battery life of the xperia play is outstanding.



the best apple iphone your the best

adam ladd


i am a htc man, but in my opinion, out of these two phones the iphone 4 is a better option than the experia play. what persuaded my vote was the fact that sony put a ps3 system in a phone, yes its good for children but for an adult that needs a smartphone for business you should get the iphone 4. :)

YallDumbIf U Dnt Piq Xperia





xperia has IRIS which I believe is siri backwards, trust me Xperia play is a far better phone and has everything you need for a business on the move.



They made it thicker/heavier to make it more comfortable as a gaming device. If it was razor thin, it would be veerry annoying after an hour of gaming or so. Not to mention it is a slider. I also think that a larger screen is more important for gaming on a smartphone than higher dpi on a smaller one. Not to mention that android has emulators that let you play gameboy, playstation one, nintendo 64, and other retro consoles on your phone. Seriously? they only gave ONE win for having gaming controls but 3 wins to the iphone for having a smaller screen with higher DPI?

Josh the Awesome Guy


iPhone 4 sucks compared to the awesomest phone on earth the Xperia PLAY!!!!!!! The only downside to this phone is the camera otherwise it would be the greatest phone everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt the Great


I have an iPhone 4 and when my upgrade comes I will most definatly be getting an Xperia play I always play classic Nintendo and playstation one games like crash bandicoot which automatically comes on the phone and yes I do own a ps3 which are amazing so don't let me down playstation

att man


the xperia play is far more better it has gaming controlos an your screen dont getas dirty as fast as an i phone
go xperia

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