Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Xperia Play 4G Available at AT&T

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G

The Xperia Play 4G is officially available at AT&T. Previously only available on Verizon, the Play 4G comes with some new features, both in the phone and in the box. Here are the specs:

  • Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 4″ (FWVGA 480×854) 16 million color touch screen
  • 1GHz CPU and Adreno 205 graphics processor (GPU)
  • PlayStation Controller pad
  • 1GB internal memory, expandable to 32GB with microSD card
  • 8GB microSD card included
  • 5MP rear camera with LED Flash
  • Font-facing VGA camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 A2DP
  • 3G – UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900/2100 MHz)
  • 4G – HSPA+
  • GSM/GPRS/Edge – 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Both Verizon and AT&T offer the phone for $49, with 2 year contract. Verizon recently lowered its price to compete with AT&T. AT&T throws in a couple extras, too. It is the only 4G version available, and includes the Sony Ericsson Multimedia Dock (DK300) and music cable (MC100) in the box. The media dock converts the phone into a smart alarm clock, and the music cable can connect to external speakers.

Included Games
Verizon AT&T
  • Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior
  • The Sims 3
  • Star Battalion
  • Asphalt 6: Adrenaline
  • Madden NFL 11
  • Crash Bandicoot

  • Dungeon Defenders Second Wave
  • Tower Bloxx My City
  • The Sims 3
  • Star Batatalion
  • Asphalt 6: Adrenaline
  • Madden NFL 11
  • Crash Bandicoot
Additional Games:
VCAST Apps
Additional Games:
“Get Games” recommendation screen
www.sonyericsson.com/games

Both Verizon and AT&T have app stores in addition to the Android Market, so finding games shouldn’t be a problem on either carrier. I played a couple games on the Xperia Play at E3, and found some of the controls a little awkward, with a combination of on-screen and physical button controls being used together. I’m sure it would just take some time to get used to. Subsequent playing on the phone felt a little more natural, with the controls where one might expect them. I recently played Crash Bandicoot to contrast against the Sony Tablet S version, and found that I progressed further in the game on the tablet. The game played well on both the Play and Tablet S though. I am looking forward to seeing more games in the next few months.

With a recent upgrade adding 720p video recording capabilities, my biggest concern with the Play is the 5MP camera. With other Xperia phones sporting 8.1MP, it seems the camera was overlooked. Given that this is a gaming phone, it is understandable, but I consider Sony’s camera capabilities to be one of the distinguishing factors, and it didn’t differentiate this time.

All in all, you get quite a bit out of this phone. The bonuses in the box make the $49 price tag really attractive. If you have been waiting for the GSM version of the Xperia Play, go ahead and pick it up. It is a pretty solid phone, and will keep getting better as new games are released.

Learn more at AT&T Wireless.

AT&T logo

Fun with AT&T Tech Support

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Somehow I managed to pocket-dial an order for the AT&T Navigator app for my Xperia. I became aware of this through two text messages sent to me from AT&T. I called in last night to cancel it during the free trial phase. I took the opportunity to mention how useless it was for AT&T to put a paid app on the phone when Google offers a superior product for free right alongside it. She seemed to agree.

While I was on the phone it I figured I would ask about the Eclair upgrade, fully expecting another “stay tuned for news” line that I’ve been getting through Facebook and Twitter. To my surprise she said, “Let me look that up for you.” After a brief moment on hold, she came back with “The X10 is already out, so if you are eligible for an upgrade you can get it. Would you like me to look up your eligibility?” I explained that I currently own the phone and was looking for the Android OS upgrade, not a phone upgrade. She sounded mildly embarrassed and took another shot. Back on hold I went. She came back and apologized, as there was no information available.

While I was at it I went ahead and asked about Froyo for the HTC Aria. She looked that up, and found the update from September, but no news on Froyo. I made a comment on how it would be nice for AT&T to join the modern era and she laughed. It was nice to get someone who realizes how backward AT&T is. Throughout the conversation she took all the comments on AT&T’s backwater ways in stride, and kept in good humor for the duration of the call. This stood out to me because of all the lousy customer service they’ve offered me over the last several years.

So, the bottom line is, we very well may not see Eclair for another year through AT&T. The status quo is a long delay for anything, including getting Android at all, so most of AT&T’s customers have learned not to hold their breath for any good news. In the mean time, calls like last night’s serve to ease the pain a bit. Friendly customer service reps make a huge difference, and AT&T finally found a good person to fill the need.

AT&T logo

Google, Verizon, and Net Neutrality

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Google and Verizon announced a Proposal for Open Internet today, and it has a lot of people worried. There have been a lot of rumors about the joint effort, rumors which Verizon and Google have been quick to reject. Today’s announcement seems to reinforce many of the rumors.

On the surface the proposal looks innocent enough, with several references about the need to increase the FCC’s authority. What is bugging most of the detractors is the exclusion of wireless web from the proposed changes. It would seem the two firms have something in mind regarding future use of mobile technology. This understandably has people asking questions.

We have much to gain from a truly open Internet. Corporations have much to gain by restricting it. While there is certainly a place for capitalism on the web, it is not okay to do it at the expense of the public. One is reminded of Tom Petty’s “Last DJ”, which says something about the brass seeing how much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free. This looks like a prophetic warning, though originally intended to describe the demise of radio.

Of note among the detractors is the FCC itself. While it seems to be a benefactor in this proposal, the FCC is apparently reading between the lines too. While I think the FCC already has too much power in many respects, it might be good for the FCC to maintain it’s control over this area. This is a touchy subject, to be sure.

The tone of most of the blogs I’ve read regarding today’s proposal are similar to my own thoughts, or at least my first impressions. Let’s hope that Google remembers it’s motto here. I doubt Verizon’s good faith more than Google’s, but it doesn’t look good for Google here. Time will tell.