Smartphones - not traditionally Atomic fare, but when you think Atomic you do tend think bleeding edge tech. And really, smartphones fit into this category. They're the i7 990x to our boring Dell office machines, in terms of handsets. It's even better when they play games, like the Xperia play
Sony Ericsson’s Playstation pho… I mean Xperia play attempts to bolt on a complete set of hardware gaming controls to your regular Android smartphone experience. We've received a phone to put through its paces, and will give you a first look at it here before we knuckle down in the coming weeks and see what the thing is all about.
The phone itself is quite bulky, but that’s to be expected given the controls. Under the hood we find a 1Ghz preocessor, Adreno 205 graphics chip and 512mb of RAM. It sports a 5.1 megapixel camera with an LED flash on a 4” screen at 480x854. Relatively standard android fare. The phone ships with the latest Gingerbread iteration of android and while Sony’s custom UI is stamped across it, it isn’t as deeply ingrained as it was on previous SE smartphones.
The device very much resembles a PSPgo and a similar spring-loaded slider mechanism reveals the phones raison d’etre; the D-pad, familiar playstation buttons, two analogue touchpads and shoulder buttons. The buttons feel solid and are quite responsive and springy. The device in our early testing felt more comfortable than we expected it to, but we feel that longer play sessions could prove somewhat uncomfortable.
Sony is promising availability of over 50 titles at launch but most of these are current android games that have been tweaked to become controller friendly. Preloaded on the phone are 4 of these tweaked games (Fifa10, Bruce Lee, The Sims, and Star Batallion) and one Psone game (Crash Bandicoot). The phone will live and die based on the upcoming Playstation Suite games and whether the updated android games are enough to convince people they need dedicated gaming controls remains to be seen. This we intend to investigate in the coming weeks.
Enjoy the gallery and stay tuned to the site for further analysis of this intriguing device.