The Good Slide-out gaming controls are well built and comfortable; feels fast; decent build quality.
The Bad Games offering is weak; confusing software; classic PlayStation titles are expensive; rather dim display.
The Bottom Line The Xperia Play is part console and part smart phone. Its hardware is impressive, but its confusing and inconsistent software makes gaming a joyless experience. That leaves it a porky Android phone, with little to offer over its slimmer, lighter rivals.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play aims to combine the power of an Android smart phone with the gaming prowess of Sony's PSP line of handheld consoles. With a slide-out game pad, 5.1-megapixel camera, 4-inch touchscreen and Android 2.3 Gingerbread running the show, the Play is a kingly device on paper.
But, in practice, it's a jack of all trades, and master of none. It's not as slick as rival smart phones, nor as engaging and usable as a portable console. Hampered by confusing software, it's hard to recommend the Play over its more competent rivals.
The Play will be available on a contract from about £30 per month when it hits shop shelves in April. It's also available SIM-free now for between £375 and £500.
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