The music player on the Xperia ray is the same app you get in the Arc and the Neo. The interface is laid out in four tabs for the available sorting options: all artists, all tracks, playlists and albums.
If you hit the menu key you’ll get a search shortcut, as well as send and delete options.
The Now Playing screen offers nothing but the standard music controls, shortcuts to the library and the Infinite key. The latter lets you quickly look up a song on YouTube or browse for the lyrics.
The music fans will appreciate the equalizer: it’s a rich selection of presets.
The only available visualization is the album art.
The Xperia ray has an FM radio, you just need to connect the headset to serve as the radio antenna.
The user interface of the browser is simple, with almost no visible chrome by default. Once the page loads, all you see is the URL bar and the bookmark button at the top of the screen. Once you zoom in and pan around though even that disappears (scroll to the top or press menu to bring it back).
That way you have the entire 3.3” screen to fill with actual content, but the relatively small space still doesn’t fit all that much. The ray’s browser supports three ways to zoom: double tap, dedicated virtual controls and the multitouch pinch-zooming. There's text reflow, which reformats text so that it best fits on the screen.
The minimalist UI is quite powerful – hit the menu key and six keys pop up. You can open a new tab, switch tabs, refresh the page, go forward, and open bookmarks. The last button reveals even more options (text copying, find on page, etc.).
One of the important new features in the web browser is the full Flash support. YouTube videos didn’t play quite smoothly (even 360p) but we expect this to be sorted out in the retail-ready software. After all, there’s a Snapdragon under the hood. Flash games however played trouble free.
Our time with the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray was short but it was a neat ride.
First off, the hardware. There isn’t really anything to complain about. Yes, the screen is small but if you want a bigger one, you should check out the Neo or the Arc instead. Fine handsets both of them, but lacking that sharp sporty feel.
Size aside, the screen is among the better LCD units we've seen. The sleek user interface and some of that Bravia magic really help sell it.
On the software side of things, the ray is up to standard. Flash videos are something the Sony Ericsson team needs to have a look at, even though Flash overall worked fine (games too).
While the Neo and the Arc do well in their roles, there is a shortage of premium compacts in Android, which even other manufacturers fail to address. And no, the Xperia mini doesn’t fit that bill.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray does. It’s small, as in a sexy little sports car, rather than small to keep the costs down. The Xperia ray is hot and it knows it. That puts a lot of pressure on it to do well in the upcoming review. But as far as we’re concerned, the Xperia ray is off to a roaring start.