Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play is the PlayStation phone

Gets early hands on treatment

SONY ERICSSONS PLAYSTATION phone is hardly a secret or a surprise at this stage after multiple leaks over the past few months; however, it has now been put through its paces in an early preview of close to final sample. The handset is likely to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in the middle of next month and it’s likely to quickly become one of the most popular Android phones.

Engadget got their mitts on the Xperia Play as the PlayStation phone is said to be known as when it launches. Some of the details are still not verified, but the handset features a Qualcomm SoC and it’s likely to be the MSM8655 which is still a single core SoC with an Adreno 205 GPU. And there’s also 512MB of RAM. The fairly large 4-inch screen has a resolution of 854×480 pixels and it should be pretty good for games, although not as impressive as some of the latest screens from Apple and Motorola.

The Xperia Play is also said to have support for 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, an FM receiver and transmitter, a micro SD slot and a 5 Megapixel camera that is currently limited to shooting video at 800×480 pixels, although it’s possible the final version will offer 720p video recording. As with the Xperia arc, the Play supports Sony’s Bravia engine for video playback, although it’s not known if this will work in games as well or not. On the other hand, the Xperia Play will play back 720p H.264 video clips, although it’s limited to AVC profiles of 3.1 or lower and there’s no native support for various, shall we say legal grey-area file formats.

Sadly Engadget didn’t get a chance to actually play any of the games designed for the Xperia Play, so it’s hard to say how good it’ll be as a handheld gaming device. The two touch pads weren’t working either, so the few games they did play using various emulators relied on the D-pad instead – which coincidentally also works to navigate around Android with – which is really only half the experience. In terms of using the Xperia Play as a phone, it seems like Sony Ericsson has tied up things in Android quite a bit and made this a much more user friendly device with less customization compared to its previous Android handsets.

There are a lot of unknown factors still, as the sample Engadget got their hands on was far from the finished product. Despite this we expect the Xperia Play to be a hugely popular handset, especially for those that are looking for the ideal mix between phone and handheld gaming device. Hopefully we’ll get a better look at the MWC which starts on the 14th of February.S|A

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