Posts Tagged ‘Gingerbread’

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:
Additional Games:
“Get Games” recommendation screen

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

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson has recently started to hit the world markets. I am hoping to get a review unit soon, but in the mean time we can look at the specs.

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7 processor
  • 60fps playback
  • 5.1MP Camera with auto focus, flash, and image stabilization
  • 400MB internal memory
  • 8GB microSD included, expandable to 32GB
  • Networks: UMTS HSPA 800, 850, 1900, 2100; GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900; UMTS HSPA 900, 2100; GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900;
    CDMA2000, cdmaOne, EVDO
  • 4″, 16,777,216 colour TFT Capacitive multi-touch display, 480 x 854 pixels (FWVGA)
  • WiFi HotSpot capability
  • aGPS
  • Bluetooth
  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
  • DLNA Certified
  • Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM)
  • Dedicated gaming controls – including four-way directional keys, recognizable ABCD keys with PlayStation iconography, left/right shoulder keys and two analog touch inputs for joystick action

Other than the fact that this is the incarnation of the PlayStation we’ve been talking about, there are some interesting details in that list. One of them is the CDMA band. This phone is coming to Verizon, hence the CDMA capability. It also has GSM, making AT&T a hopeful possibility. It has the 16 million color display that Xperia X10 fans have been begging for, a current Android OS, ActiveSync, WiFi HotSpot, and DLNA certification. This phone is going to be good for work or play.

Sony Ericsson is swinging for the fences this year, with the Xperia Play being just one of several Android phones to be released in 2011. Sony created a special Android Channel to market its games, as some customers found out recently. This is similar to the way AT&T or other carriers took over the My Apps tab. A number of games are already available for the Xperia Play, and more are coming.

If I were eligible for a new phone this year, the Play would be among my first choices. I am leaning toward the Xperia Pro, but being a PlayStation fan I have been keeping my eye on this one too. The main thing that bothers me is the small camera. A lot of last year’s top phones were only capable of 5MP, while Sony Ericsson led the pack with 8.1MP. This seems like a step back, especially considering other Xperias will get the 8MP this year while the Play won’t. With all the models coming, you’ll need to focus on features you absolutely need. If a better camera is a must-have, the Play may not be right for you. There will be other choices soon, including the Xperia Pro.

This looks like a really great start to the PlayStation/Android pairing, those Super Bowl commercials notwithstanding. Let’s hope the device gets the respect that the Play’s predecessor never attained. I for one will be cheering it on.

Xperia X10 To Receive Gingerbread

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

In a gratifying reversal, Sony Ericsson formally announced the coming Gingerbread release for the Xperia X10. The news was posted in a message on the Product Launch Blog. So, why the change of heart?

First, according to the blog, they’ve “heard our requests.” They also made a lot of progress while developing for their newest Xperia phones, which enabled them to update the previously doomed X10. There are some limitations, though, and Sony Ericsson wants to be clear that the limitations are known in advance.

The X10 won’t include some of Sony’s better features like the smile detection on the camera. Instead the stock Gingerbread camera will be used. I particularly like that feature, but it is a small price to pay for getting the latest OS. Face recognition will also be lost due to the stock camera. Any DRM content will be overwritten in the upgrade, so you’ll likely have to deal with that when the time comes if you want to listen to your music. Other than that, the limitations as currently stated are pretty minor. There will be some downsizing of language support and the Backup and Restore app will go away.

The update is due by the end of Q2 or early Q3, but we’ll have to wait and see. It will be based on Gingerbread 2.3.3, and this will be the “final” upgrade. That works for me. I’m looking at another year before I can upgrade, so the Gingerbread bump will be quite useful. I’ve long since abandoned AT&T’s meager Donut offering, and am currently running Froyo on my phone. The differences are pretty spectacular. As might be expected, AT&T customers won’t be getting this update. You’ll have to take matters into your own hands if you are so inclined. In my experience it was worth it.

Gingerbread is nearly complete at XDA, but the camera isn’t quite ready. Froyo got a nice camera upgrade recently at XDA, if you want to check that out. All this was without the benefit of kernel access, so Sony Ericsson should be able to produce a nice package for us to enjoy.

I’m pretty stoked about this news. I’ll be watching for updates and pass them along.