- Excellent call quality
- Neat, compact design
- Great quality stills photos
- Short battery life
- HD video recording is disappointing
- Small screen hampers the web browser
Review Price free/subscription
Manufacturer: Sony Ericsson
Design and screen
The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is the company's latest mid-range Android Smartphone, but it boasts some impressive specs including an 8.1 megapixel camera that allows you to shoot videos in high definition. It's also smaller than many of its rivals, so is it worth splashing your hard earned cash on?
The handset is available in four colours: Gold, Black, Pink and White. We had the gold version in for review and while it definitely looked quite bling, it managed to not overstep the mark too much. The gold colour is used on the battery cover as well as the two vertical edges , while the rest of the phone is finished in glossy black. The handset is quite narrow by smartphone standards, measuring just 53mm wide. As a result it feels very much like a traditional candybar handset when you hold it in your hand, which is a positive in our book.
Naturally, the phone is driven primarily by its touchscreen, but there are a few physical controls dotted around the edge including the power button at the top, which also double up as a lock switch. On the right hand side you'll find a volume rocker switch, while the front houses the home button as well as touch buttons for the back and menu controls. Sadly there's no dedicated camera button, which is a bit of a shame. On the plus side, though, there is a standard headphone jack at the top, while charging and syncing are via a normal micro USB port.
The narrower form factor does help the phone look and feel quite small and slim, but it's a bit of a problem when it comes to the screen. The ray has a 3.3inch capacitive display, but while its resolution of 854x480 pixels ensures text and graphics do look very sharp and crisp, on a display this 'small', its narrowness makes using the web browser feel quite awkward, and in portrait mode columns of text look just a little bit too thin. The onscreen keyboard is also very cramped in portrait mode - so cramped in fact, that by default Sony Ericsson has set it to a numerical-style keypad. You can easily change this in the Settings page, but the full portrait Qwerty keyboard is tricky to type on due to the limited space available.
The ray runs on a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor and has 512MB of RAM. Speed certainly isn’t an issue as it zips through most tasks with ease. There's 1GB of storage built-in, although only around 300MB of this is free for you to use, as the rest is taken up by the pre-installed apps and other gubbins. However, Sony Ericsson does include a 4GB microSD memory card as part of the pack, which provides enough room for storing music and video files.
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