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First Look: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G

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First Look: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G

2:13 /

Faster '4G' speeds and budget price make the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G a steal for gamers, despite some inherent flaws.

If you thought that the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY looked cool on Verizon's Network, you're really gonna love it on AT&T. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for cnet.com and here is your first look. Now design wise, this is essentially the same Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone that we've seen on Verizon. It's got the same 4-inch touch screen and FWVGA resolution. Plus, all the slide-out game controls and shoulder buttons that make this a unique phone just for gamers but there are a few differences for AT&T. First, it's a 4G phone. Specifically, it runs on AT&T's HSPA+ Network which means that it will load websites and download games faster than it would on AT&T's regular 3G network. Second, it's priced at only $49.99 with the new two-year contract and that's pretty incredible considering that the phone started at about $200 for Verizon. Enough about that. Do you want to hear about the gameplay? The good news is that it's just as immersive at it was once you get going with the buttons and on the analog controls. Plus, there are some crowd pleasing games pre-installed like Madden NFL 2011 and Crash Bandicoot. Now, for the bad news, the Xperia PLAY is PlayStation certified but it's not part of the PlayStation Network. So, you have to buy your games separately even if you already own then for the console. Now, the deals sweetened a little bit because there are seven games pre-installed. Also, the analog controls in particular weren't as responsive as we thought that they should be and certainly not as responsive as a joystick. But, the phone itself is also pretty bulky and pretty heavy and there's no HDMI port or DLNA support. So, you can forget about easily playing content on your TV. Also, there's a 5-megapixel camera that only took so-so photos and the call quality in San Francisco could use a little bit of work. Still, mobile gamers who want more control than the touch screen controls on a typical smartphone are really gonna appreciate the 1-2 combo of a smartphone and a dedicated mobile gaming device. Plus, did I mention it's only $50? So, that's a look at this phone. I'm Jessica Dolcourt. This has been the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY. Check out the full review on cnet.com.

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