Sony Xperia Play Review – Verizon Wireless

  • Verizon and Sony Ericsson recently released the Xperia Play Playstation phone.   Playstation gaming and the android mobile operating system.  Win win situation right?  Let’s take a look.


    The Xperia Play might not be the most powerful phone on the market today. This phone does not have a dual core processor.  However, the 1GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon II processor and 512MB of ram has plenty of power for your mobile gaming experience.  Featuring a slide out gamepad, the Xperia Play brings back a little gaming nostalgia’d.  In addition to the the D-pad, L and R buttons, and familiar playstation buttons, the Xperia Play features analog “sticks” in the center of the gamepad.  These take some getting used to.  Most often I preferred using the D-pad.  The Xperia Play comes with a preinstalled 8GB sd card.  If you will be downloading and installing a lot of games, I suggest upgrading to a larger sd card.  The device supports up to 32GB.

    The Xperia Play has a 4″, 480 x 854 pixel resolution display.  This device suffers from severe brightness issues.  Brightness levels need to be be turned on to max for viewing.  Outdoor viewing in direct sunlight is virtually not possible.  The display is beautiful, especially while gaming, it’s just if you want to bring the device outside, you are out of luck.

    Battery life on the Xperia Play was very good.  With full day gaming, I was able to get anywhere from 7 to 13 hours battery life.  While that may seem like a large window, when not gaming, I was able get days of battery life.


    The Xperia Play comes with, from what I can tell, pure stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread.  I find this a refreshing change from Motorola’s Blur, HTC’s Sense, Samsung’s TouchWiz, etc.  I am a plain, average Joe guy.  I like to keep things stock; therefore, I really enjoyed stock Gingerbread.

    What’s great about the phone is you can use the gamepad to navigate through the android menus.  This is very helpful keeping the screen clean. :)


    I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the camera.   For a 5mp and non-HD camera, footage on the Xperia Play turned out very well.


    I absolutely loved the gameplay on the Xperia play.  With the addition of the Xperia’s gamepad, the gameplay was very enjoyable.  It brought back memories of playing on the gameboy.  There is something to be said about using hard buttons over touch screen.  Games played very well on the Xperia Play, without any frame rate issues.  Below is a recording I made of the Spiderman game.  This was my favorite game.  I beat it 3 times during my 2 week review period of the Xperia Play.  The Xperia Play comes with a Xperia Play app/store to purchase and install games from.  The only downfall to gameplay on the Xperia Play is the lack of games.  The currently selection of available games is minimal.  I hope Sony adds more Xperia Play compatible games soon.


    I thoroughly enjoyed using the Xperia Play.   If you are gamer, you will love this phone.   I’m telling you, there is something to using a 4-way direction pad and hardware buttons.  I am having trouble going back to touch screen now.  For most people, the screen brightness issue is a hard issue to ignore.  Considering I don’t go outside much, I can personally let that slide.  The really only other issue for this device is the small game library.


    – Epic fun gameplay.
    – Slide out gamepad.
    – Stock Gingerbread.


    – Low screen brightness.
    – Small game library.

    MY GRADE: 8/10

    Thank you Verizon for allowing me to review this phone.


    July 5th, 2011 | Joe Steiger | 3 Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Steiger

The owner and chief editor of Ubuntu user, android fanatic, tech enthusiast, Baltimore Ravens fan,...

  • Beastly Gamer

    im getting this phone on monday. i was wounderin how the gameplay of battlefeild and minecraft were….
    but thx!

  • I know Minecraft wasn’t available back when I reviewed the Xperia Play. It probably hasn’t been made to use the Xperia Play’s control pad. I never played Battlefield either. I don’t remember that being available either.

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