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Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray review

Barry de la Rosa
19 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
295
inc VAT

A tiny handset with a powerful processor, good camera and excellent screen. Those with large thumbs might find typing difficult, though

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Specifications

Android 2.3, 3.3in 480x854 display

Sony Ericsson's new Xperia Ray bucks the trend of large-screened handsets with its 3.3in screen, and yet - amazingly - it crams in everything you'd expect from a high-end Android smartphone: a 480x854 resolution, 8-megapixel camera and a 1GHz Snapdragon chipset. Add to this plenty of storage space plus a 4GB microSDHC card and an LED flash, and you get a powerful smartphone with all the features you might need that's only 9mm thin and weighs just 100g.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

Where most touchscreen phones fit a 480x854 resolution into a 3.7in or 4in screen, the Ray crams it into only 3.3in of diagonal space, resulting in a pixel density of almost 300ppi, the density beyond which the human eye can't perceive individual pixels. It's not quite as dense as the iPhone 4's display, but it's not far off.

The Ray's Scorpion processor isn't a dual-core model, but feels incredibly quick. This is one of the few Android smartphones whose interface feels truly smooth and responsive. There's 1GB of internal memory, which leaves you with about 320MB of app storage space. This should be more than ample for most people's needs, plus there's a 4GB microSDHC card in the box.

The 8-megapixel camera is also impressive and, coupled with the LED flash, it can handle low-light conditions. Shots are clear and colourful, and there's much less noise in dark areas than we're used to seeing from a phone camera. Videos were also detailed but not as colourful as photos. Movement was jittery as there's no motion smoothing, but the high resolution still makes them better quality than your average Facebook video.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray back

Build quality is superb. The frame is aluminium and the plastic back cover has a rubberised coating to improve grip. The front is all-glass, but there's an inch above and below the screen plus a few millimetres on either side. We liked the large Home button, especially as it unlocks the screen so you don't have to reach to the top of the phone for the power button. There's a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microUSB port, plus a volume rocker on the right side, but no camera shutter button.

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