Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Xperia Arc: We go hands on

By Amanda McGahan,

After years of speculation, the Playstation phone is coming. Latest Gadgets got the chance to see the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY in action. If you are looking for gaming on the go, this is fun and simple to use. Competing with smartphones and portable gaming machines could be a challenge, how does the Xperia Play compare to its rivals?

Xperia Play Hands On

Designed with a powerful engine to deliver clear gaming graphics, it provides entertaining gaming for that boring train journey. Powered by Android 2.3, the latest platform, the Xperia PLAY has access to the Android Market for all the apps you want. As a phone, it has 5 homes screen which you can scroll through and customise along 480×854 resolution on a 4” screen. For quick access to a specific app, you can pinch the screen and all the widgets on each home screen combine on to a single screen and you select the app you want. But you want to know how it plays right?

At launch Xperia PLAY will come preloaded with seven games including Asphalt, a racing game. There will be fighting games and every genre available so there is something for everyone. Further games will be available, including Need for Speed and FIFA 10, for download at launch with more in the works with a price between £3 and £5. Gameplay is simple to pick up as it plays just like a PSP down to the L1 and R1 trigger keys and analogue sticks. It comes with an 8GB memory card but if you want to store a choice of games you may want to consider buying a 32GB memory card to go with it as 8GB just will not cut it. 5 hours of constant gaming time is very good and better than the iPhone. Available from end of March/April and pricing to be announced.

For media lovers, the Sony Ericsson arc is up your street. It is built to showcase video on a large 4.2” screen. The only word I can use to describe this is stunning. Powered by the Mobile Bravia engine I was blown away when watching a video clip on the 854×480 display. Sony’s Exmor R mobile sensor allows you to take bright pictures and HD videos in low light. Then you can share it with your TV in HD using DLNA or the HDMI connector included in the box. Using the same user interface as Xperia Play, you use the phone in very much the same way. Overall, the Arc is one attractive and very thin phone. The only gripes I have are the size of the storage, 8GB and lack of front-facing camera. However, memory can be increased and apart from video-calling what do you really need a front-facing camera for? Available at the end of March.