After many months searching for the perfect Android Phone for me, I finally chose the much hyped, legendary in the making, the so-called “Playstation Phone”, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.
It took me from October 2011 until December to read up, research and study what phone would suit my lifestyle. Various forums (Android Forums, Pinoy Android, XDA Developer), tech review sites (Engadget, Technorati, Pocket-lint, GSM Arena, T3, Ubergizmo, etc.) and YouTube reviews showcase this phone as the ultimate Android device for mobile gaming.
Although most would be turned-off by it’s bulk and weight, the Xperia Play is so far the best multimedia Android gadget in it’s class currently in the market. But wait, the slide out physical controllers is found only in this phone, so it IS a class on it’s own.
The 2.3.4 official software update adds tons of new features to this awesome phone. When it was first released last May 2011, many scoffed at it, but as of November 2011 onwards, Sony Ericsson’s continued support and firmware updates changed this phone dramatically.
With the many updates and tweaks, it now records 720p video; you can install the Bravia Mobile Engine (to get the same display quality similar to Xperia Arc, almost no visible pixels!); you can deactivate auto-brightness ( turning on the SLCD screen backlight making the display 10% brighter, great outdoors visibility, while Samsung’s Amoled and iPhones struggle in direct sunlight); and the new XLoud option makes the speaker 5% louder, you can install Sony’s Walkman software to turn it into a true music phone (true stereo, two speakers, left and right).
If you know some Android modding and root this phone, you can install a custom kernel and some custom roms (operating system) the phone overclocks nicely from the stock 1.02 Ghz up to 1.8 Ghz! Being the first Playstation Certified phone, the Xperia Play is the only single-core phone with dual-channel custom programmed RAM coupled with it’s Scorpion CPU and Adreno GPU which is slightly tinkered by the Playstation engineers to guarantee a 60 frames per second output on all games.
The major selling point of this device is of course, retro gaming. It is a joy to run emulators so you can play NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, GBA and Playstation 1 games on it flawlessly.
Since hardcore gaming is huge a turn-off to some people because of how nerdy and geeky it is, I was a closet gamer for quite some time. But upon owning this phone, I come out announcing that yes, I am a gaming geek. I owned consoles from NES, SNES, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, PSP, and Wii. I lost sleep from staying in front of a modded, custom PC. I am a certified nerd, and proud of it.
And ever since I started modding and hacking the software of my consoles dating back from the first Xbox, my subsequent gadgets, PSP and Wii were all running custom modded software and hardware tweaked. And this Xperia Play would be no exception given how hacker friendly it is.
Nevermind the thickness and weight, the features are so well worth it, eating the iPhone 4 (although not the 4s) alive if properly setup.
For me, this is the best multimedia phone of 2011. And the gamepad? You would never imagine going back to on-screen touch controls again after using a physical pad on Android games.
With XDA Developers continuously releasing new tweaks and hacks; plus the ever growing Android Market full of fun apps and games, and of course the massive library of yesteryears’ games, waiting for Sarah to shop or killing time would now be filled with hardcore button-mashing. Game on!
Article also published at: http://www.gadgetreport.me/sony-ericsson-xperia-play-review/