Sony Ericsson Xperia ray preview: First look
Big is in with Android phones but the Xperia ray is eager to prove that petite smartphones have a charm of their own. All the horsepower of the Arc in a body that's a centimeter shorter both ways - think a premium saloon turned into a roadster. The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray has plenty to offer, not the least of which is an 8MP camera with HD video recording and a Bravia Mobile engine powered screen with eye-popping pixel density.
The combo Sony Ericsson have put together includes a 1GHz single core processor, 8MP camera with 720p video and screen expertise borrowed from Sony's TV department. It's the same concoction behind the Arc, the Neo, and the new Mini - now the Xperia ray.
On the face of it, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray looks like a widescreen version of the Mini, but whereas the Mini is rather chubby at 16mm, the Xperia ray clocks in at 9.4mm (despite the bigger, 1500mAh battery). The camera is an 8MP unit to keep in line with the current crop of high-end droids.
The 3.3" screen of FWVGA resolution has nearly 300ppi pixel density (the Retina display has 326ppi) and we appreciate the mobile incarnation of Bravia.
Here's what the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray has to offer to those who have been on a lookout for a compact smartphone with high-end specs.
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray at a glance:
- General: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 900/2100 MHz, 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 5.76Mbps HSUPA
- Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
- Dimensions: 111 x 53 x 9.4 mm, 100 g
- Display: 3.3" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen, 854 x 480 pixels, Sony Mobile Bravia engine, multi-touch input, scratch-resistant surface
- CPU: Qualcomm MSM8255 1 GHz Snapdragon platform
- OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
- Memory: 300MB user available storage, 512MB RAM, microSD card slot, 4GB card included in the retail box
- Camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, face detection and geo-tagging; 720p video recording at 30fps with continuous autofocus
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack
- Misc: Sony Ericsson Timescape UI, built-in accelerometer, proximity and ambient light sensors, digital compass, video-call camera
Having already seen the technology inside the Xperia ray in other Sony Ericsson handsets, we know what to expect: smooth Android handling with Sony Ericsson's unique take on the user interface, great 8MP stills and 720p video along with audiophile-grade sonic experience.
It's the design and build of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray that is the big unknown in this preview. Usually phones are thin and big (e.g. Xperia arc), or small but chubby (Xperia mini). The ray goes all in with a modern twist on a timeless classic look. It's a tough act to pull off, considering touchscreen bars don't allow much creativity. But when it works, the result is usually one excellent device.
The bar is set at 10mm and the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is getting ready to limbo right under that on the next page - let's cheer it on and see if it will do the 360-degree spin for us.
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