Sony Ericsson has a knack for producing phones with impressive designs. The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is another one of their masterpieces as it is made for those looking for style oozing out from their phones. So it has got a great design, but does it have what it takes to be one of the front runners in the smartphone market?
Sony Ericsson never stops to make us happy with the initiative that they take to make their UI different and better from the rest. The Timescape UX running on the Android v2.3 Gingerbread is definitely a great step forward although we have already seen it in the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. It’s not HTC Sense material but it’s working its way there. The Facebook inside Xperia integration is also pretty cool as the phone reminds you that the friend who is calling you has his birthday today. You don’t have to go to your Facebook app to like songs or pictures instead you can do it right from your media player and galleries respectively. You are also constantly reminded by your Facebook notifications as they appear on you lock screen although those notifications are static and you to first unlock the phone. Looking further from the cool Facebook integration, the whole UI is actually a delight to your eyes and you do not realize the existence of Android up until you use some of the Google Services. For the virtual keyboard, well the smaller screen obviously means there are going to be some difficulties, but we managed to get our typing done well in the landscape mode so not much complains there.
The next big highlight of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is the 3.3 inch LCD screen which comes with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels which are whopping numbers for a small screen we would say. So do the math and you will find it to give 297ppi just slightly short of the 300ppi threshold. When it came to viewing angles, this phone trounces its counterpart the Sony Ericsson Xperia ard as it has a wider viewing angle. Adding to that, we are impressed with the brightness level under sunlight and the color production as well. It is safe to say it is up there with all the small LCD screens out there.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray comes with an 8MP Exmor R camera sensor which had performed well on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. However with this phone we get the newest version of the camera interface and we can now use the volume rocker to zoom in and out digitally. To take a picture, just tap on the screen and otherwise all the preset modes we had seen previously like Sports, Snow and Beach are there but macro mode is still missing. However don’t be disappointed at that because it actually switches to macro mode automatically. Looking at the quality of the pictures taken, we see some colors ended up washed out and the level of detail wasn’t extraordinary although it is an 8MP camera. When you move in indoors, pictures are a little noisy as most other cameras and the major downer will be the fact that you have to turn on that LED on the back manually. Moving on to video capture, we find that it records at HD 720p at a rate of 30 fps. The fuzzy colors we had seen on the photos reappear here. It also lacks detail just like the photos.
The internet browser is capable of handling Flash and thank to the CPU, it does it well too. The whole internet experience was a joy ride as the browser was sailing smooth the whole time and the high resolution on a smaller screen means you also don’t have to squint to read. This phone has 3G connectivity and the other usual connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and A-GPS.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray impresses with its performance too. The earpiece comes up with the goods as the person on the other end can be heard clearly with no distortions even at the highest volume level. Friends on the other end had a pleasant time too as the noise cancelling filters made sure they heard us loud and clear. This beast is powered by a 1500mAh battery which means you will get through a whole day without needing a recharge even with more than average use given that it is a slightly smaller phone.
Pros and Cons
With an 8MP camera on board, surely things could have been done a little better. The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray also weirdly has an LED which has to be turned on manually for capturing photos.