Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play Android phone
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play review: The smartphone has excellent controls and a smooth gaming experience, but the XPERIA Play will ultimately live or die by its exclusive games content
- Great gaming controls
- Excellent speakers
- Sony Ericsson UI overlay
- Unremarkable display
- Questionable build quality
- Limited internal memory
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play possesses excellent gaming controls and offers a relatively smooth user experience for both communications and gaming. However, it will ultimately live or die by its exclusive games content, and it has a few faults that prevent it from being a great device.
Dubbed the 'PlayStation phone' due to its dedicated gaming controls, Sony Ericsson's XPERIA Play Android phone is an attempt to combine a top-quality smartphone with a portable gaming device. Although it succeeds in many areas, the XPERIA Play isn't without its flaws, and will need a wealth of exclusive gaming content to justify its existence.
Read our Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play vs. Apple iPhone 4 Smartphone showdown and check out our guide to the best upcoming smartphones in 2011.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play: Design, controls and display
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play slides open to reveal dedicated gaming controls. It has two touch-sensitive 'joysticks', a D-pad and four of the PlayStation's famous control buttons (triangle, square, circle and X). The XPERIA Play also has two shoulder buttons (L and R), along with select and start keys in a bid to recreate the full PlayStation experience. The flat, touch-sensitive joysticks do take some time to adjust to, but the indented dot in the centre of each helps you align your thumbs correctly without needing to look at them. Both the D-pad and the PlayStation buttons offer plenty of tactility and click comfortingly when pressed.
The XPERIA Play's PlayStation–style controls makes this handset a chunky one — although it still fits into a pocket, you're left with a rather large bulge when doing so. (Is that an XPERIA Play in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?) [I can't believe you just wrote that — Ed.] We would have appreciated a slimmer design, but if there had to be a compromise struck between excellent gaming controls and the handset's dimensions then Sony Ericsson has made the right decision. The XPERIA Play also has an ergonomic, curved design that makes it comfortable to hold — it's a very similar feeling to holding a PSP Go.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play's build quality is hit and miss. We loved the feel of the smooth sliding mechanism, but the L and R buttons feel flimsy and can easily be accidentally pressed, the Android shortcut buttons on the front of the handset (back, home, menu and search) are thin and spongy, and the rear cover creaks and rattles. The glossy front and sides of the XPERIA Play also attract a wealth of fingerprints.
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 is a chunky device.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play's screen is largely unremarkable. It's a 4in LED-backlit LCD that has a respectable resolution of 480x854, but it lacks the vibrancy of competing displays like Apple's IPS "retina" screen on the iPhone 4, and Samsung's Super AMOLED displays seen on the Galaxy S Android phone. The XPERIA Play is very difficult to see in direct sunlight — a big oversight on a device that's been designed primarily for portable gaming — and lacks an automatic brightness setting.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play: Gaming
Games on the XPERIA Play are downloaded and accessed through the 'XPERIA Play' and the 'PlayStation Pocket' apps, both preloaded on the device. The XPERIA Play app features a library of standard Android games that are compatible with the XPERIA Play's controls, while the PlayStation Pocket provides exclusive PS One games. The XPERIA Play comes with one preloaded PS One game (Crash Bandicoot), and four regular Android games (Bruce Lee, FIFA 10, Star Battalion and Sims 3). At the time of review Crash Bandicoot was the one and only PS One game available, and the regular Android games aren't XPERIA Play exclusives, even though they work with the PlayStation controls.
Sliding open the XPERIA Play automatically launches the XPERIA Play app, displaying a list of the current games on the device, along with a list of games available to buy. Depending on the games developer, tapping a game available for purchase takes you either to the browser for a direct download option, or the Android Market. Although we would like to see a standardised format for game purchases, downloading games is a relatively hassle-free experience.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Huawei go big on AI, announce Mate 10 + Mate 10 Pro
- Huawei's flagship tech trickles down to mid-tier with new Nova 2i smartphone
- Sony Bring Xperia XZ1 to NZ
- Incipio Adds Pixel 2 Cases To Roster
- Survey: 20% of Aussie Apple users wouldn't switch to Android for a million dollars
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- iPhone 8
- Canon 6D MK II: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic’s EX600U UHD HDR TV + HTB688 soundbar:
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCRF Engineer - Melbourne Based, Start ASAPVIC
- FTAgile Business Analyst, CXOther
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTTransport Capacity Planner - Telecom domainVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst / DesignerNSW
- TPData AnalystVIC
- CCDesktop Support EngineerQLD
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSolutions Architect - Higher EducationOther
- FTSOA/OSB Integration ConsultantOther
- FTSenior Network ConsultantOther
- TP.Net Web DeveloperSA
- TPSenior Consultant - ServiceNowNSW
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- TPBI Project ManagerQLD
- FTSenior .Net Developer - Federal GovernmentOther
- FTService Desk Analyst/Telecommunications Service AnalystOther
- FTSenior Software Engineer | Data Feeds | AI & AutomationOther
- TPRelease CoordinatorNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect ? Network & InfrastructureNSW
- FTSQL DeveloperOther
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTConfiguration AnalystOther
- FTSystem EngineerOther
- TPSenior/Principal Business Analyst - TransformationQLD