• Keep it simple

    Beyond that, the phone is not too dissimilar to a Nexus S and is ready and able to be customised with plenty of free, or low-cost, alternative messaging apps, keyboards and browsers.

    You get a streamlined version of Sony Ericsson’s Timescape app, plus new widgets to offer quick access to the media player and gallery. The media player retains the infinity icon that lets you search for content from the currently playing artist, and a range of graphics equaliser options.

    Unlike the Xperia arc with its disappointing internal speaker, the PLAY has two very loud and punchy internal stereo speakers. It’s the final icing on the cake to offering top-quality gaming potential.

    Sony Ericssson has done a great job with the hardware, but the success of this phone is at the mercy of the developer community. The upside is that modifying existing games to work shouldn’t be too hard, but it will need to be done well or else the PLAY won’t have the success it deserves.

    Verdict

    A PlayStation phone seems like a logical step for a phone maker that used brands like Walkman and Cyber-shot to great effect, but this isn’t the next Sony PSP. That’s coming from Sony as a separate project. The Xperia PLAY is an Android phone with a PlayStation gamepad. For playing games, it can’t be beaten. Besides playing games on a high-res screen at 60 frames per second, there’s also a great Android smartphone behind it, running the latest OS. The challenge is going to be a steady stream of compatible games, but this phone gives Sony Ericsson the best possible chance of success.

    Ratings (out of 5)

    [wpgalleryimage title=”Editors-Choice-4Star” float=right]Performance: 5
    Features: 4
    Usability: 4
    OVERALL: 4

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