Jan 03

Sony Xperia PLAY 4G Review


We got a chance to check out the Xperia PLAY 4G for the last few weeks and I’ve definitely got some opinions on the phone. Read further to find out what they are!


  • Design

When looking at the phone, it honestly looks like a business device. The chrome and shiny back really look sleek. The 4″ screen doesn’t look over-sized and it’s not a device you would be ashamed to pull out on the train or around others. You really can’t tell that this device is meant for gaming until you slide out the game pad.

  • Software Tweaks

Sony has skinned Android Gingerbread (Ice Cream Sandwich’s predecessor) and overall its pretty nice. It’s mostly visual tweaks like widgets and the way you get around the app-tray. None of these tweaks are groundbreaking but they add some extra pizzazz.

  • Games

This is what you’re waiting for no doubt. I really like the fact that there are games specifically designed for this device. They also have great titles. I’ve been playing Sims for the last week. The graphics for playing games like Asphalt 6 were great and the phone rarely stuttered in those high-speed moments. This phone really takes you away from the lower quality games and makes you want to spend money investing in decent games because you can play them better with a direction pad, touch pad and physical buttons.


  • Size

The look of the device is great, but it’s pretty heavy and the game pad really makes the device look thick. I totally understand that the space is needed for physical game buttons, but it really detracts from the beauty of the phone. If this phone could slim down, it would look a lot nicer.

  • Buttons

I’m really talking about the the Android buttons here. They are really thin and are situated in a sort of arc at the bottom of the phone which is kind of annoying. It’s really hard to hit any of them without looking since they are so close together and not linear. I also didn’t like the left and right bumper as well as the volume rocker all on the same side. It’s really cluttered on the right side and the left side is pretty much barren except for the micro USB slot and 3.5 mm jack. I really would have liked to see the bumpers a little smaller and perhaps doubling as the volume rocker when a game is not being played. Or maybe even one of them as a physical camera button when in camera mode. I definitely understand the need for the game buttons to only have in-game use, but they are just so big so you really can’t ignore them. so why not use them?

  • Touch Pad

The two touch pads are really neat, but I just can’t get used to them. The area is so small it’s difficult for me to really game effectively. However, it is more sensitive than the D-Pad I’ve found, but I’d rather have a more sensitive D – Pad in the end.


I love the concept. It’s a phone that plays games. Well. It has a directional pad built in along with the other bells and whistles that come with a normal game controller. But it’s also a phone. This is awesome, and if you like to play games on your mobile device you should really consider this phone. However, I found that the phone and game portions of the device didn’t mesh as well as they could. You really can’t use the directional pad or touch pad anywhere other than in a game. For the rest of the time, half of your phone is unusable which I think is a real shame. I think Sony Ericson should have ditched balance and went with one of the characteristics. A gaming device that makes calls or a calling device that plays games with an emphasis on one or the other, but this phone seems to be balanced exactly 50/50 which I think hurts it a bit. But what do I know – check it out for yourself!