CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

HolidayBuyer's Guide

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is the PlayStation phone, and it packs a PSP-style controller that slides out from under its 4-inch screen.

But putting a game pad and a powerful Android smart phone in one package does place this phone on the chunky side. In our hands-on preview, we judged the 119 by 62 by 16mm Xperia Play "quite bulky".

We thought its controls felt comfortable, however, which is important when you're wearing down your thumbs to nubs playing games. The D-pad, buttons and shoulder keys all felt springy and responsive. Also, the touch-sensitive trackpads are a low-profile alternative to joysticks that we found really useful.

We're willing to sacrifice some slimness for good controls and gaming goodness. But the chunkiness has to be within reason. 

With a prototype Xperia Play in our hot little hands, we've decided to pit the PlayStation phone against two of today's hottest mobiles to see how it stacks up, size-wise.

The 115 by 59 by 9mm iPhone 4 is the thinnest smart phone in shops right now, although thinner ones are on the way. The 123 by 68 by 12mm HTC Desire HD is a powerhouse with an enormous 4.3-inch screen, making it one of the biggest smart phones you can buy.

After seeing them together, the Xperia Play is definitely the plus-sized model. But, at 175g, it's not that heavy (compared to the iPhone's 137g and the HD's 164g), and it's still thin enough to fit comfortably in our pockets. We think if the Xperia Play is tickling your fancy, you need not fear its roundness. It's fully justified, considering the quality of its gaming controls.

Click the photo gallery above to see the Xperia Play go head to head with the iPhone 4 and Desire HD, and some other-sized objects.

Caption by
We think the Xperia Play's controls are just big enough to accommodate our fingers, so we can focus on the gaming.
Caption by
But the controls -- like the shoulder buttons, shown here -- do add extra girth to the phone.
Caption by
From the front, the Xperia Play doesn't look much bigger than the iPhone 4, despite having a larger 4-inch screen and four buttons.
Caption by
But from the side, the Xperia Play's larger 16mm size is clear, compared to the iPhone 4's 9mm.
Caption by
The massive HTC Desire HD screen is 0.3 inches larger than the Xperia Play's, and it shows in the phone's bigger size from the front.
Caption by
The Desire HD is 12mm at its thinnest, but its camera sticks out a few more millimetres. It's still thinner-looking in person than the Xperia Play.
Caption by
It's thicker than average, but the Xperia Play is still small enough to pop in your pocket with your keys.
Caption by
Seen from the right, top, bottom and left, you'd hardly know that the Xperia Play packs a full set of gaming controls.
Caption by
Up Next
Best iPhone X cases