|Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G is another smartphone that comes with a relatively cheap contract for a phone that provides 4G connectivity. To get 4G connectivity at $49.99 on a 2 year contract might not have been possible a while ago when 4G was considered a revolutionary technology and first hit the market. This phone may not be the top of its class as it once used to be but it’s definitely still worth a look to see how it fares.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G has kept the design that the other variants had which is fondly called the “human curvature” design by many. Made up of mainly glossy plastic, the phone doesn’t give you a plasticky feeling but rather gives you the feeling that it has been built to last. With a waistline of 0.63 inches, it’s not going to win any trophies as being the thinnest phone out there as it definitely is much thicker than the other phones in the same class like the AT&T Impluse 4G or the HTC Inspire 4G. The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G sports a 4 inch LCD display with a decent 480 x 854 resolution. So we move on to the section of the design all the gamers have been waiting to hear and that is the gaming pad that is modeled after the PlayStation controls. If you have played a PlayStation before or even if you haven’t, it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to get used to the layout. The directional pad and other controls are extremely responsive as you would want for a gaming phone, but sadly the controls might feel a little cramped for a gamer. On the front, right above the screen you will find the front facing camera for all your video calls. Meanwhile on the back sits the 5MP auto focus camera that’s supported by a LED flash. On the right side of the phone we find some PlayStation controls and the volume rocker button. Finally, underneath the plastic cover sits your 1500mAh battery as well the SIM card slot and the microSD card slot.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G is a gaming phone and it’s obviously going to need a processor that’s capable of running games smoothly. In line with that, the phone comes with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor for all of its processing needs as well as an Adreno 205 GPU to provide more processing power for graphics alone. Aided by a 512MB RAM means it runs fast enough to tackle all the possible needs that may arise from the use of this phone.
Sony Ericsson as we had mentioned previously in many of our reviews have a habit of sticking to their own UI instead of relying completely on Android like what we had with Verizon’s version of the phone. So with the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G we find Sony Ericsson’s UX Android interface. As always, the UI provided an interface that was pretty to the eye and suited the PlayStation tagline the phone comes with. Being a gaming phone, we obviously wanted to dig in that aspect in detail to see how it fared. After running ‘heavy’ games like Crash Bandicoot, Asphalt 6 and Madden NFL 2011 we can safely say this smartphone proves its worth as a gaming phone. Having the PlayStation certification onboard also means that it can be used to play exclusive games like those from the original PS1. The gaming pad gives a great gaming experience as it provides brilliant response to our touch which is what any gamer looks for from a phone of this nature. The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G comes with the music player that was found on other Xperia devices previously and that means we get the same straightforward and easy to use layout. With the 10 equalizer settings in the music player, we get brilliant tunes from the phones incredibly good stereo speakers.
As mentioned earlier, this phone has a 4 inch LCD display which is just nice for your gaming needs. It has a resolution of 480 x 854 thus allowing it to produce graphics that were pretty detailed. The Sony Ericsson’s Experia PLAY 4G also has some good viewing angles which means good news for a gaming phone. However, the screen hasn’t got the best performance in terms of brightness.
This phone comes with a 5MP auto focus camera with LED flash just like its other siblings. However, its performance doesn’t fare as well as the original model which is rather baffling. The photos taken with the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G were able to provide enough detail and had a muddy finish. Moving indoors, the pictures turned out mostly blurred. Just like the other versions of this phone we have seen previously, it still isn’t 720p video recording ready. So relying on the VGA resolution meant that the videos didn’t turn out nice as there was a severe loss in detail. However, there was some light at the end of the tunnel as the audio was clear plus recording was smooth too.
Questions are bound to be asked at this phone’s 4G capabilities as the speeds that we recorded looked more like 3G speeds rather than 4G speeds. However with that aside, web browsing experience on this phone was good and the phone is able to tackle complex pages easily. It supports Flash too. The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G is a global phone as it is on the GSM network. The usual connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and aGPS are all to be found on this phone.
In terms of call quality, there was some static noise to be heard although that did not pose too much of a problem as we could still hear our friend’s voice. Meanwhile, our friends had no problems whatsoever in hearing us as they say our voice could be heard loudly and they could clearly differentiate between voices. The speakerphone was also loud although at times it gave some squeaky sounds. With the 1500mAh battery, you can get through a whole day with average usage of texting, web browsing and making a few phone calls.
Pros and Cons
The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G is a cheap phone considering its 4G capabilities as well as gaming capabilities. The phone provides for a great gaming experience with its controls.
The camera on the Sony Ericsson PLAY 4G isn’t as good as the original version plus there still is no 720p video capture.
Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G has been well and truly built for gaming and game enthusiasts shouldn’t hesitate for one second on deciding to get this phone as they can get a great gaming phone for a very reasonable price.