Yes, both worlds but not 'the best of' May 31, 2011
Reviewer: A. Dent "Aragorn" (Minas Anor, GD) -
I am not going to spend a lot of time listing 'specs' because Amazon's page has them all, well organized and in detail. Instead, I will discuss our experience with the PLAY from a gamer's point of view because I can't see anyone but a gamer considering this.
The Xperia PLAY attempts to combine an advanced Android phone with a portable gaming platform resembling the PSP or rather the PSP Go hoping that the integrated whole will turn into something more than the sum of its parts but, in my view, what we get is a good, solid gadget that fails to come close to 'best in class' in either the smart phone or the portable gaming platform categories. There are many smart phones that outperform it (better, faster, dual-core CPUs) and outfeature (4G, HDMI, DLNA support) the Xperia PLAY and, while it superficially resembles the PSP Go, the PLAY only accepts games specifically converted to work with it, meaning that you'll have to buy them again and, at least at the time I am writing this review, it can't access Sony's PSN store. While you can play Android games, you will need to find 'PLAY optimized' titles if you are to take advantage of the PSP-like game pad.
Again, neither the phone component or the PSP-like transformation are bad, they are quite good and here is what I liked about them:
- Android 2.3. It's not the latest in Android but I was assured that upgrades are forthcoming.
- Decent battery life. Sure, you can't play or stay on the phone forever but unless all you do is play and stay on the phone all day one charge per day should be sufficient.
- Good 'game pad' integration. You go into 'game mode' the moment you pull out the pad.
- Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi available and working well. Also a microUSB port.
- Very nice stereo speakers. They work well with the games and, as a bonus, you get better than decent sound in 'speaker phone' mode.
- A couple of very nice preloaded apps: Kindle, Google Maps, YouTube, Skype Mobile,Twitter and Facebook integration.
- 8GB microSD card included but you can replace it with a larger one, of course.
- PSP Go like controls including some innovative implementation of the 2 analog joysticks as touch-pads.
- Lots of preloaded games (I will list them at the bottom of this review)
- Single-core CPU makes it a relatively slow performer as a smart phone.
- Lack of HDMI port and DLNA support makes it a poor multimedia gadget.
- The display is not that bright, probably to conserve battery life.
- The cameras are okay but barely so and the flash is not that bright.
- The touchpads meant to replace the analog joysticks are not always responsive.
- As a phone, it's a little on the bulky side.
- Not all Android games can be played in the game mode. It's confusing and it can be frustrating.
- Can't play PSP or PSOne games unless adapted, meaning that you need to buy them again.
I am going to give the PLAY 3 stars which means "it's Okay". It's an interesting concept and it works to some degree but someone who wants an Android phone and a serious portable gaming platform may be better off with an actual Android phone and a PSP or a PSP Go. I am giving it 3 stars and not 2 stars because my kid (the one who didn't have a PSP) decided that it was good enough for him and he's using it now. Thanks to the large number of preloaded games and to the availability of some PLAY-friendly Android games we didn't have to buy any old games again yet.
These are the game that came preloaded:
* Asphalt 6
* Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior
* Crash Bandicot
* Madden NFL 11
* Star Battalion
* Tetris (Android mode only)
* The Sims 3
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
The Best. June 15, 2011
Reviewer: Y. Martin
I have had my phone for a few days now and I love it. I can work and play on it and the battery holds up. It's not too bulky and the touchscreen is very responsive. This is my first smartphone and I don't know how I'v managed without one this long. Sony did a great job with this phone.
Excellent smartphone, excellent gaming device August 30, 2011
Reviewer: theshonen8899 (California, USA) -
I was stuck between choosing this or the Droid 3 and considering the Xperia Play was $0.01 and the Droid 3 was $150 at the time of my purchase, I definitely do not regret it; this phone is absolutely fantastic.
I initially thought the size and weight would be annoying considering other smartphones are thinner and lighter but I definitely appreciate the bulk. The phone is thick but curved perfectly to fit in your hand. This makes holding it feel remarkable compared to other cardboard-like smartphones. It's also more heavy than other smartphones, but not too heavy at all. It strikes a sweet spot for me where it's heavy enough to feel substantial and not cheap but light enough to not be a pain to hold for long hours.
I've heard complaints about the brightness of the screen so I was very worried about that before receiving the phone. I'm not sure if they've update the screen or something but this phone's screen is definitely not dim, it's actually quite bright. I've definitely seen brighter displays but this display is excellent and I've never felt the need to turn the brightness up higher.
The main problem with the display isn't really the display itself, it's the auto-brightness. It works very well most of the time, dimming the display when the lights are off or turning it up outdoors. The main problem is when you're viewing it at a specific angle where your head is blocking the sensor of if you're under the shade outdoors. It can get frustrating and one can only wonder why Sony Ericsson didn't include an option to turn the sensor off. Hopefully they update the phone to add such an options but for now, it's a slightly annoying problem.
If you're looking at this phone then your main concern is definitely the gaming experience. Now if you're intentions are to buy this phone only for the pure Android gaming experience, I think you're out of luck. Playing Asphalt 6 with a real controller is a blast, but that's pretty much the only Android game that has gotten any real use out of the controller. Playing FPS games on a smartphone is only slightly less annoying than normal, and that's is because of the touch analog pads. These pads are not optical sensors like everyone thinks, they are just capacitive touch sensors just like the ones used on touch screens. The silver dots in the middle are just pieces of plastic that let you know where the center of the pads are.
This is problem because the touchpads are just as janky and worthless as touch screen controls. The only real advantage is that you can actually see what is going on on the screen. This is a shame to me because I really love the analog stick on the PSP Go, and I wouldn't have minded the extra bulk to have had two of them either.
Even more importantly, there are few games on Android worth playing to begin with. Sure there's Angry Birds, Plants vs Zombies, and Cut the Rope, but those games are good because they were designed for a touch screen, none of those utilize the added controller.
What makes this device really shine is the emulators. Given that you have purchased the games earlier, downloading the ROMs and playing them on the Xperia Play is absolutely excellent. What really shines is are obviously the Playstation games, and since Sony Ericsson doesn't seem to be in a rush to haul in Playstation Suite games, you'll have to resort to emulators like FPSE, PSX4Droid, and recently Yufan Lu's PS Suite emulator hack to get these games working. When you do get them working, they play remarkably similar to the Playstation games you know and love. Considering the fact that Playstation has an enormous list of gems like Final Fantasy, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Vagrant Story, Parasite Eve, Grandia, and so on, this phone can really blow any other smartphone's gaming library right out of the water. This isn't even including the games you can play on the SNES, NES, or Gameboy emulators.
Overall this phone is exactly what Sony Ericsson has been advertising it as: A smartphone with everything you need and the one thing you want. It's a great smartphone in it's own right, even if it doesn't have a dual core processor or 4G and with emulators, it's an absolutely phenomenal gaming experience. My hopes are high that Sony releases more official Playstation Suite games (which we should see after they release their PS Suite line of tablets), but as for now, nothing on the market can even compare to the Xperia Play's gaming experience.
A lot of skewed reviews, to be sure. September 5, 2011
Reviewer: M.D.C. "The Franchise" (San Diego, CA) -
Touted the "PlayStation Phone" by those that don't know any better, the Xperia Play is a Sony Ericsson phone that is loaded with Gingerbread (2.3) Android. It has the distinction of being the only current phone to be blessed by Sony to play certain PlayStation games. Of course, the media and consumers jumped on the assumption - flawed though it was - that this must be an evolution of a PSP. Trust me, it's far from that. In fact, I would liken it more to the N-Gage, but without cartridges, just so happens to be Sony rather than Nokia.
As a phone, the Xperia Play (XP) has its pluses and minuses. I was actually (unlike certain others) impressed with the general build quality. Apple has gotten people hating plastic, which is unfortunate, because plastic done right can actually result in a solid device (see any of the HTC phones). The build of the XP is a hybrid of plastic and metal, and it feels solid to the touch. The idea that the screen flexes when pressing it is quite ludicrous, and I would submit that the user ended up with a lemon, but I digress. The slider technology makes the phone quite a bit thicker than other candidates in the phone lineup at Verizon, and it is this which may be a turn-off to some shoppers. Anyone who has used a Sidekick will know what I'm talking about, because it's basically the same thickness. The XP is quite a bit smaller than other phones though, fits in the hand nicely, and has a nice grip. To its detriment, the power button is extremely recessed in the top and difficult to press one-handed. Not impossible, but it was annoying.
Much has been made of the single core-ness of the XP, and I will tell you this: The single core only matters when typing. That's it. Anything else and the phone is quite fast. It renders web pages and applications faster than even my HTC Thunderbolt which has a faster processor. Typing is where it all breaks down though - the keyboard cannot keep up with the fastest of touch typers. I'm not like the younguns of today in terms of texting or screen typing speed, but I can hold my own as I knock out a business email quickly on the Thunderbolt. Doing the same exercise on the XP was absolutely frustrating, as the accuracy went straight to hell under the same conditions, and in some cases, just didn't do anything at all as it struggled to catch up with my fingers. It's a bit ironic - the whole reason I'm even trying this device is because of the horrid nature of touch gaming, and yet, its touch typing is so bad. Regular touch navigation was fine, in fact it felt a bit better and more reliable than other touch screens that I've used, and I've used a lot. There are certain screens that just "Feel Right" and the XP's is one of them...just not for typing, unfortunately.
The screen brightness is perfectly fine when in normal lighting conditions. Outside, forget it. It's not that it isn't bright enough, it's that it can't overpower the natural lighting of the outdoors like some other devices such as any of the Samsung AMOLED screens. The screen is also not polarized, and screen protectors for anti-glare may actually make the effect even worse. It's true the screen brightness and detail is less so than that of the HTC Thunderbolt or other devices, but again, in normal lighting or darker lighting this isn't that much of a big deal.
Audio quality was a mixed bag. When gaming, the audio is fine, but when trying to do what the thing was designed to do (be a phone), it falls short. The speaker is of average loudness, but on the other end the quality is terrible...as if you're speaking through a HAM radio or something. It wasn't nearly as clear as I expected it to be given what I know of Ericsson phones of years past, and mind you, I was standing in a dead-silent room for the test. I didn't get a chance to test wind noise, because I was so disappointed with its performance even disregarding wind or other interfering factors.
The phone's strongest attribute is simply its battery. Even on good brightness with wireless and GPS on, the phone managed to do 3-4 days on standby easily. With regular usage (which in my testing is gaming and email), it still managed to last 1-2 days without needing a charge. Compared to the Thunderbolt which required rooting and a custom ROM to last the duration of a day with GPS off and email only (GPS on results in a loss of 6 hours), I can only imagine that the theory about 4G burning through the battery even when not in active use must be true. Additionally I believe the XP has a larger battery to begin with, because it would take me adding the extended battery to the XP to get to the same or roughly the same thickness. Still, I was readily impressed by the battery performance of the XP. If it weren't for the touch typing issue, I would switch immediately, but I depend too much on email; so much so that this is an instant deal breaker.
I know people are wondering about the gaming. And I will tell you that gaming is the one area where I believe the Xperia Play has the most issues. It's not the device's fault though, rather the games themselves. You see, when you slide out the XP, it will open the game interface. There are a number of games already included with the device, some of which are of basic fun (Bruce Lee). The problem here is that most people will buy the XP thinking that these physical controls should automatically work with every Android game out there; they don't. In fact, in Verizon Wireless' V-CAST Apps, they have screened out Android apps that have been specifically configured for the XP. This list is tremendously lower than the full list on the Market. Others may or may not work depending on how the game was created. I'm an RPG gamer, not an FPS gamer, not a fighting gamer (anymore). TO me it seems a no-brainer to have an RPG on a device like this, so I fired a couple up.
Gailardia is basically a Dragon Quest/Warrior rip-off, down to the core. Maybe that's why I love it so much. It works perfectly with the XP.
Zenonia is basically a hybrid of Secret of Mana and Tales of Destiny. Not a bad game, not overly advanced, but it has charm to it and it's price is quite right (less than a buck for each episode). Doesn't work well with the XP's controls; there are times you will press a direction key and nothing will happen, or he'll be walking and then suddenly stop for no clear reason. Or certain buttons won't respond. You also can't navigate 100% of the menu using the physical buttons, forcing you to revert to touch.
Symphony of Eternity is the one with the most potential, think Final Fantasy 1 rip-off with superior graphics. Took a long time to get to control, but then I noticed that buttons only worked outside of battle. In battle I was forced to use the touch screen, defeating the purpose.
It is this inconsistency of support (let's call it gaming fragmentation) that really hurts the overall experience. I know that the game developer must write the game to map to the physical controls in order to make them work, and a lot of these games were in existence prior to the Xperia Play, but certainly there must be some sort of compatibility mode that is available to make it work better. The only other alternative is to download specially written APKs that allow you to play some of these games directly with the Xperia Play, or be charged again by Sony to play their versions which are already written for it.
It might seem like I'm down on the device, in truth I'm rather disappointed, but it's not the device's fault. Rather, I feel that something like this should have come out a lot earlier in the development cycle for Android, such that game developers would have felt inclined to write specifically for it, and then maybe it would have more appeal. I also feel that this is really what the PSP Go was meant to be from the start, but obviously that plan fell through. I don't know now what the future holds for the XP...my guess is that it will be relegated to the same fate eventually that the N-Gage ended up in. It's hard to recommend the XP over other devices even if you're a gamer because of the aforementioned fragmentation. It's not a bad device, it's just not a great one.
Going on 2 months now July 16, 2011
I picked up the phone when it first came out but wanted to see how it held up before writing a review.
Basically, this is the best gaming phone out right now. If you are a gamer, get it. If not, get something else.
Games that use the controls are a completely different experience from using the touch screen. You will never want to go back to using the screen as a controller once you've used a real controller. In any FPS that mixes Play users and Non-Play users, you can tell who is using the Play, they are the ones getting the most kills. It is sort of like when they mixed Computers and Consoles in that one FPS, they had to separate the servers because the people with the better controllers always won. So if you see me (or my kid using my phone) on your favorite phone FPS racking up the kills and making you cry, you'll know why.
Speaking of the controller, I have zero problem using the touch pads. You have to remember that you are not pushing a joystick around, you are putting your thumbs around the circle (more similar to on screen Android gaming than the 3DS/PSP joystick). The other buttons are just as the buttons should be. Nothing special or noticeably bad about them. I haven't talked to my son about the controllers, but he hasn't mentioned anything either way and he spends more time on handhelds/consoles than I do, so the gamepad can't be too bad compared to them. One semi-interesting note, I have tended to open the gamepad when texting just so I can get a better grip on my phone. It seems easier for me to have my thumbs more vertical when texting than horizontal.
Hardware wise it is an about average android phone with a game pad. What more do you need to know?
I haven't had a problem with not having a dual core CPU, you might, but I haven't seen any issues. Same with the GPU. In 6 months the latest won't be the latest anymore either. That is a hamster trail that I stepped off of quite a while ago. Now I use what works for the games I play *right now*.
Sure it isn't a 3DS, hardware wise or AAA game selection wise. You know what, I don't carry a handheld with me everywhere. It isn't a replacement for a handheld, it is replacement for my non-gaming phone. People really expect me to carry around an android phone and a 3DS? Get real.
Yes it is thicker than a phone without a dedicated game pad. You know what, IT HAS A GAMEPAD. It isn't crazy that having a game pad makes it thicker and heavier.
If you want to re-live any of your old console games via emulation, this is the phone to use. It is incredible to me that all those emulators run on a phone. The only slight hick-up is save states. Since I'm most often gaming on my phone between things rather than using dedicated time, I don't always have time to get to the latest checkpoint or finish my last virtual quarter. So hopefully some of the better emulators will get save states working (again).
My father (who we were recently visiting) is not a gamer and has an Atrix. It is a good phone with latest and greatest everything. Faster CPU, more memory, more ports, etc, don't know about battery life. None of which are visible when actually using the phone. My son loves my phone, hates my dads phone. My son is a gamer. So if you are an 'Angry Birds' only person, get an Atrix, if you plan to game and don't mind having your kid ask to use your phone all the time, get a Xperia Play.
All in all, it is not the best phone out there. It *IS* the best gaming phone. So it gets 5 stars for doing what it does better than anything else on the market today.
Did I mention that it has a gamepad? It seems like 1/2 the reviews I read tend to forget this. The gamepad *IS* the selling point (or not selling point if you don't game) of the entire phone. Chop off the gamepad and it isn't a Play anymore, it is a vanilla Android phone like all the rest.
DONOT BUY IT???!!!! July 19, 2012
Reviewer: Vasudevan Rajannan "No Geek" (Atlanta, GA USA) -
First, I am writing this review after 7 months of usage. I dont know what was the company thinking when designing this phone.
1) The phone is verrrrrryyyyy slow, in terms of typing, using facebook, twitter, email apps. I initially thought it was my phone, I complained and changed a new one, but it is still the same.
2) It only has 400MB of internal memory, and I have to live with this thing, 'Phone Storage Space is getting low'. You can work on the root access, install Apps2SD, Link2SD and do a lot of stuff to increase the internal memory, but why?! So dumb??!!!!
3) The features are not so great. Crappy keypad, camera not so great, the phone itself hangs every now and then which requires a off/on.
There are so many better options available in the market, and dont just go by the brand. I always thought Sony Ericsson makes cool phones, BUT THIS ONE IS NOT.
I am even thinking of breaking the contract to go for a new one.
The worst smartphone I have ever owned. March 22, 2012
Reviewer: M. Yoeun "soap" (Chicago, IL) -
I have had this phone for exactly 1 year and this is my review:
I bought into the hype that I could play awesome games on this touted "Playstation Phone". I regret upgrading for 2 years on this phone, now I have to endure another year of this slow and buggy piece of junk.
This phone is unbearably slow in just about everything it does due to the low RAM and single core CPU. I don't really have that many applications on it and it chugs just when I unlock the phone from a cold reboot. I would have to say that 7 out of 10 times that I try to access any app on the phone, it crashes and brings me to a force close screen. Synching gmail takes about 5 minutes and at times I only have 2-3 emails that are new. Sending out text messages have a send delay of about 1 minute and I live with 5 bar reception at my house. Every time I talk to my wife she says she can barely hear me and I am practically eating the phone. My last negative thing to say about it is that Verizon doesn't care about this phones audience. The other Xperia Play owners on other networks have been enjoying Android 2.3.4 for awhile now with more system stability. The phone is forever stuck in version 2.3.2. This meaning apps will constantly crash your phone the more android is updated and applications are updated to support ICS.
The only positive things I can say is that it plays games and it plays them well. The games look great on this phone and the physical buttons are the hotpoint of the device. The battery life isn't too bad either, I usually get through an entire day and by nighttime its at 50%.
All in all as a phone it fails miserably, as a gaming device it is decent. You will get a pretty good gaming experience from it, but at a cost. Be prepared to wait for anything you do on this device. It gets very old to see applications constantly crashing and long sync times. I can't believe SE released this garbage under the Xperia line. In theory I could root this, but it's still upsetting that I don't get a good experience from a vanilla release.
EASY AND FUN July 17, 2011
I would give this phone 5 stars if it was 4g. I got this for my tween daughter and she loves it. It is very easy to use and set up perfectly. It has a front facing camera and can video call with the tango app. All the good stuff is pre loaded. Plenty of memory and the battery life is great. The sliding game pad is perfect and the graphics are incredible. The speakers are very loud and clear for music and games. It has the latest android gingerbread system so the web browsing, you tube and music is loaded fast and plays smoothly. This phone is like a laptop and psp all in one. Best thing is its ease of use. Great big screen with great color and crisp. The texting is easy because the virtual keyboard is very big and the letters are spaced so ya dont screw up like on most virtual keyboards. The speech to text is perfect...deciphers everything ya say. Ive had a droid incredible and droid x and this phone puts both to shame. If you want a smart phone thats very easy to use then this is it. Highly recommended.
Great Phone and Gaming Device all in one June 21, 2011
Reviewer: H. Kuo
I must say I am in love with this phone. Finally a phone that is really good with games, I am really sick and tired of virtual keypads and finally SE released this phone which to me is the best of both worlds. First off, the camera takes great pictures! Second, it's got a great battery life, third the controller is wonderful for playing many games like that ones that's included. The only con I can think of is the L and R button on the side can be a little small for people who has longer fingers. But hey unless you want a phone that's as big as the Playstation's controller this is the best by far!
Very Good Gaming Device! Phone? Not so much! July 17, 2011
Reviewer: P. Perry (Lutz, Florida) -
Let me start by saying that I have used the Droid Incredible, the Nexus S 4G, The Galaxy S 4G, the Thunderbolt and the Original Droid as well as this phone so this will you an idea about the phones to which I am comparing it to.
The Xperia PLAY is not your average Android phone and it isn't an attempt at being such. Like most phones it does not have an HDMI port or NFC support so it is right inline with 99% of the other products on the market. It does have a standard feature set plus some of its own unique offerings. Will it play movies? Yep! Will it play games? Yep, some better than others! Will it play music? Sure will and can even do so while playing Games! Does it offer support for Social Networking? Yes but it will not sync contacts with Facebook (this is a result of Gingerbread dropping support for that feature).
The Phone itself is a very responsive device and I have no complaints about the speed or any excessive buggy apps found in other Android Handsets, the Android System just works and never breaks on this phone. The phone features pretty much a generic Android Implementation with Gingerbread 2.3.2 so it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Touchwiz, Sense and Motoblur might have but, once you try a generic Android device you develop an appreciation for it's simplicity and excellent battery life!
Now, anyone who knows about this phone knows the best feature on the phone is the integrated PSP Controller and I'm going to tell you it works well! I have always hated gaming on a touch screen phone because it was very awkward putting the controller and buttons on screen with the game... this was compounded by the fact that finding the buttons at times made the game unenjoyable and awkward! Well, this controller is a godsend and I really could not ask for a better setup as I found every aspect of the controller works very well!
Some might complain that this phone only supports 3G and it arrived at such a time when 4G is starting to take off so why didn't Sony support it? Ideally, we all know this is about money and that's the bottom line as the controller already added an expense that other phones do not have. Let me say, this is both good and bad... Yes you miss the 4G speeds but, 4G is spotty and the constant hunt for LTE service kills the battery quickly! Another issue is the LTE 3G Compatible mode isn't using the same 3G as the older setup and the 3G coverage on an LTE phone is slightly degraded compared to that of the straight 3G phones. I don't know about you but I use Verizon for the Network and I don't want it degraded at all so I am okay with 3G only right now.
Battery Life is exceptional on this phone, Generic Android and optimization by Sony easily get you through a full day with games, internet, videos, texting, phone calls and the whole 9 yards! If you game heavily for several hours straight it is likely not to last all that long but if you are a heavy user of all the features the phone has to offer and not just the gaming you will be very happy with the Battery Life.
The downside to this phone is that the PS Connect is missing from the American Phone so we don't have access to as many PS One games and not every game supports the Experia Controller so you have to read the details of the game carefully... on top of this, you could have previously bought a game (like Home run Battle) and have the app listed in the Xperia Play app for purchase but quickly realize your version (being mostly identical) will not use the Xperia Play controllers so you have to buy the game again to get that feature support! I have several apps like this and Honestly, that has been the biggest disappointment with the phone.
* Gingerbread, pretty much stock right from Google!
* PSP Gamepad including L&R Buttons as well as dual Analog Sticks!
* Great with Emulators including N64!
* Best Ambient Light Sensor I have yet seen in a phone with smooth transitions!
* Great Battery Life, Lasts all day and then some as long as live wall paper isn't used!
* SD Card Support and Most Apps appear to install directly to the card!
* Single core is fast enough at 1 GHz that nothing slows it down!
* Overall Great Multi-Function Phone!
* Long gaming sessions can lead to Cramping Hands!
* Screen has no fingerprint protection causing nasty buildup!
* Almost No Support for PS One Games outside Europe!
* Games often exceed 500 Megs so a bigger SD Card is required!
* Often have to purchase game a second time for Xperia Play Support!
* Most Experia Play Games are not in the Android Market and have to be purchased from Verizon!
I enjoy this phone more than just about any phone I have owned with the Incredible (Amoled) being pretty much even in some areas. I honestly feel that the common features are mostly better than the Thunderbolt, OG Droid and Galaxy phones I have owned (the screens on the Galaxy Phones are better) and this might be the best overall phone I have owned I spite of the slightly older feature set!
* Asphalt 6 Adrenaline (considered the best racing game on Android)
* Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior (Decent Fighter but Not the Best)
* Crash Bandicot (Classic PS One platformer running in an Emulator)
* Madden NFL 11 (Best implementation on a mobile device better than iPhone version)
* Star Battalion (Really dated Shooter, reminds me of Cybermorph)
* Tetris (What more is there to say?)
* The Sims 3 (The PC Classic that you either love or hate)
*** After Using The Phone For a Few Weeks I Changed the rating to 1 Star due to the fact that connectivity is consistently above -90db and is almost never below that number (this isn't good)... I believe Sony did this on purpose to sell the Car Antennas and I'm not happy about it.
On top of this, Amazon Wireless had better phones on special when I bought this and now I have to pay almost 2x the sale price for those phones (You would think they would give a new customer a break but I guess this is the last purchase I make from them).
good phone May 30, 2012
This phone is pretty good. I like the playstation gaming pad and the nice size screen. This is my first smart phone and I am happy with my choice. There are only a few things that I don't like about it. First of all, the messaging force closes ALOT. Secondly sometimes it can be a little sluggish so I have to reboot my phone. My biggest complaint is the fact that it comes with so much pre-installed games and apps which you cant uninstall unless you root your phone, which makes me nervous because you may not be covered under the warranty if you do. Plus it could mess up your phone completely. Smart phones are just too dang expensive to risk it in my opinion. I don't want most of the games it comes with and even some apps. I just don't understand why I am not fully in control of my phone if I'm the one paying for it. Its bs.
I would not trust it in an emergency April 24, 2012
Reviewer: John Jahn
Just as M. Yoeun from Chicago stated, this phone locks up and need to force close apps about 60% of the time. Very slow using wi-fi or 3G. Keypad drops out after 2 digits press when trying to retrieve my emails. Takes forever to get it ready for texts or even phone calls. If I had the need to call 911, god help me I just might not make it.
When she works, it works well. camera is good as well as the playstation gaming.
All around good. But not the best. March 2, 2012
Reviewer: Tim Meyer (Gladstone, OR United States) -
So I have had this phone for a bit now.
As an android phone it out performs My old LG Optimus, and my friend's Samsung Transform, but not my other friend's Galaxy Nexus. The biggest problem I have is that when texting, there is occasional "freeze up" or keyboard problems. but web surfing, most apps, and phone calls seem to go off without a hitch. never had any problems streaming video, music etc.
As a gaming system it out performs most last gen handhelds (PSP, PSP Go, Nintendo DS/DSI, etc) but not the 3ds or Vita. It's biggest downfall is that sony has not yet delivered on it's promise of Playstation Suite. We were promised access to many more games (Notably PS1 fave "Wild Arms"), but Sony hasn't delivered yet. Once this happens (cross fingers) this should be a reasonable gaming device, instead of just a EMU device. (NESDroid and GENDroid run well and play is fun.)
This phone has a lot of potential, but I feel like sony is going to miss the boat on it. Having to wait so long for suite, there will likely be a new, better gamer phone shortly after this becomes viable.
PSP Phone...kinda November 10, 2011
Reviewer: Isaiah Jackson
This phone for it to be a single core processor its not to shabby. The best thing about this device is the slide out controller and twits PSP form factor. Its come preloaded with a couple great games like asphalt 6 which has to be the best released racing game for Android thus far and a few others including the Sims. It also comes with Crash Bandicoop which wasNT to bad but I would have preferred something like final fantasy. Sony hasn't been to big about releasing games optimized for this devices YET but I hooey they will soon. The screen is nice and gorgeous although it dont coup very bright still gets the job done. THE TWO THINGS I HATE ABOUT this Device. 1 its internal memory is puny compared to other phones with 1GHz processors (450 MB) thats a total punch in the nuts if you ask me. 2. Sony has lied about giving us more P1\PSP optimized games. This was this phones huge selling factor now I'm just waiting to upgrade.Great phone nonetheless
I look forward to my commute now September 10, 2011
Reviewer: David R. Heffelfinger (Fairfax, VA) -
Amazon had a deal going for this phone for 1 cent with 2 year contract. I had been holding off for a 4G phone since I didn't really like the current Verizon lineup. I was already a Verizon customer and had an original Motorola Droid 1 that was starting to show it's age (it was sluggish, and the power button was unresponsive).
When I saw that Amazon had this phone for free (well, 1 cent), I decided to take the plunge and get it, trading superior gaming experience for the 4G capability I wanted. I am not disappointed. The games available for this phone are good, console quality games, not like the usual simple smart phone games. I have 1 hour bus/train commute each way and playing games on this phone makes time fly. I used to dread my commute, now that I am having so much fun with this phone I get kind of bummed in the morning when my commute is over and I actually have to go to work.
Awful GPS, poor build quality, very good at games. August 30, 2011
Reviewer: Frank W. Rice (Lafayette, NJ USA) -
I really truly wanted to like this device. Bought it solely for the emulation and for excellent games on the go, as well as it to be a adequate GPS, and provide clear phone calls. In one of these areas it succeeded. The other was a mixed bag, and the last was a total failure.
Before this phone I've had the following Android phones: Droid 1, Droid X, and HTC Thunderbolt. I was not concerned about the phones speed or anything like that, and thought it would surely be fine. Speed and quickness of the phone this seemed to be the case. Not noticeably slower in most tasks then either the Thunderbolt or the X so full marks there (it is purely stock Android UI though so this is seemingly expected). However, the update system it uses as well as how often it checks for an update and notifies you each time is a tad irksome.
Build quality wise, phone feels cheap. It feels much more plasticy then I expected after using the phone in the store. It gives quite a bit when you're tapping input on the touch screen, likely due to the slider. Given time I'm sure I would've gotten used to this however. Other then that, the battery compartment really didn't want to open and I expect this will break quite readily over time especially if you're the type to swap batteries in and out (and considering this is a gaming phone this seems a likely oft done operation). The screen itself isn't as vibrant or colorful as I expected and in all honesty the Droid 1 looked on par with it. That's not to say that part of it was inexcusable, but I did expect to be a bit more wowed by the display on a phone that's primary purpose is going to be constantly being looked at.
Phone features are fine. Phone makes calls well, calls are understandable and at a good audio rate. Phone did well in low signal areas, and in low reception areas. Battery life too was fine. It did come with some battery eating bloatware but then what Verizon phone doesn't?
How is the gaming? Pretty damn good. The control pad is a little small and the trigger buttons are a little too small and thus difficult to push, but overall this worked quite well. Using some XDA Developers sorcery got my legally copied (yes I own the games) Lunar 1 and 2 onto the device and had some fun playing them on the go. It worked and looked great and I don't have any problems to report overall with the gaming experience...However, very annoyingly This phone has very little built in memory. Inexcusably little memory. I installed Plants Vs Zombies and Peggle from the Amazon App store and the phone was full. I never knew Android had a low memory status bar icon but thanks to the Xperia Play I do now! While these apps can be moved to the SD card and I did manage to fit my modest, 50 or so various apps onto the device the onboard device memory still was 3/4 full. That's simply inexcusable for a gaming phone. It should have MORE space on it then it's competition. That combined with the 8gb MicroSD Sony sends along with the phone makes me scratch my head with what Sony really expected us to use the device for. Gamers that need a lot of space on their phones? Of course they could never see that coming in development. This was making me antsy and once I discovered the next problem with the phone I simply couldn't see myself keeping it as good and fun as it was using the phone for it's gaming functionality.
GPS is where the phone really made it's harshest negative impression. GPS is awful. This isn't too much of a surprise, as many Android phones struggle with GPS reception. My Thunderbolt wasn't a great performer in this arena either often taking up to 5 minutes to get a lock. The Xperia Play though...30 minutes and finally a lock. This is after resetting and re-downloading A-GPS data with GPS Status and also letting it get closer by pinging off WIFI. Still with a pretty much totally clear view of the sky it was very slow to lock taking near a half hour. In contrast my Xoom sitting right next to the Play got a lock in less then ten seconds, and the deactivated Thunderbolt had a lock in a minute. This persisted for a few days and never cleared up. With a cell phone which you expect to be spur of the moment GPS, that's just inexcusable and made me bring the phone back for a different device all by itself. When I brought the phone back to Verizon to do a swap. We did test another Play...same GPS problem so I assume it's endemic to the device. This was the final straw with me and this device, and sadly makes it unsuitable to my uses.
In the end I returned this phone. It's just not equivalent to even a Droid X 1 for example, and that's a shame. If you're looking for a phone to purely use for gaming, will never touch the GPS, just want to make basic phone calls, and will install next to no actual Android apps...You'll love this phone. Otherwise, and likely for most prospective buyers, way too many problems with it. If Sony releases a Xperia Play 2 with a better feature set I'll be interested, but the Xperia Play 1 does not deserve your cash.
Finally a Playstation Phone August 16, 2011
Reviewer: Anthony M. Collazo
I have been playing video games since I could hold a regular NES controller in my hands. When smart phone's first came out there was no way I was going to purchase one when my psp could do everything they could, and had quality games for it. Finally I have the best of both worlds despite what another review on amazon states. The phone works great it is loud and clear. The phone doesn't come with a really great line up of games unless your a sims fan, but it comes with perfect controls to fit all the wonderful apps. Through the android market you can find a emulator for the playstation 1, GBA, SNES, N64, ATARAI, NES, GBC, and many more. Despite the playstaion network not being on this phone through the emulators it is really easy to play all your favorite games that you already own through the emulators. I have nothing negative to say about this phone. Its not the most advanced smartphone available, but its hands down the best gaming phone available. If only the playstation Vita would double as a phone. AS ALWAYS DO NOT DOWNLOAD A ROM FOR A GAME YOU DO NOT ALREADY OWN THAT IS PIRATING.
Well, it's a phone October 20, 2011
I walked into a Verizon store a couple of weeks ago, looking for a replacement phone for my Droid X, which was acting up. I told the guy I like using my phone for Pandora, web browsing, and pretty much everything a phone shouldn't be used for. I first walked over to the Windows Phone, which I was planning on buying. I am a big gamer on XBOX Live, so I wanted that capability. He then told me that I wouldn't be able to use Pandora, and he showed me this phone. I do have to say, the big selling point for me was the gaming pad. Yes, it's very cool, I'll admit. However, there are a few big problems. 1. It makes the phone VERY bulky. It weighs a ton. Whenever I don't have to have it in my pocket, I don't. It's just too heavy. 2. It slides real easy. When I have it in my pocket and I walk any distance that's farther than my kitchen, it slides a little in my pocket, just enough to turn the phone on. When you slide the game pad open, it automatically takes you to the game screen, with all the available games. At that point, all you need is a little touch for the phone to open a game. I can't tell you how many times it has killed my battery because it opened Crash Bandicoot. 3. The games. The game pad is awesome, and it makes playing games a lot more fun, but there isn't a lot of GOOD games that support the game pad. Most of them are just touch screen games.
Overall, it isn't a bad phone. Just, not one that I would recommend to...anybody.
-Easy to use
-Slide out game pad
-Short battery life
-Touch Screen Keyboard is too small.
-Not many games for the game pad
-REALLY long load times for 3G
-I only get 2-3 bars when friends have more
-Complicated to put music on it
-Speaker on the back sucks
-No sleep mode
-You WILL regret buying it