The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray was originally released here in the Philippines late last year, but despite being a Gingerbread device that it can’t get head to head with the latest Android handsets today – it still stands out on its category. Yes, Android Jelly Bean is just around the corner but hey, believe it or not — 2012 is still the year of the Gingerbread! And I wouldn’t be surprised if our favorite gadget stores are still selling a gamut of smartphones running Android Gingerbread ’till the rest of the year.
One Gingerbread phone that made to CTB’s review queue is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray. Not exactly an antique in Sony’s Xperia lineup today, but for those who are considering the Xperia Ray on their buying list — be it just for first time Android experience or sort of an upgrade or switch to Sony Xperia brand – I guess this phone is a good candidate. Or is it?
Well, I requested my blogger-friend Bjorn Bernales to review this unit and see for myself as well how the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray fair with the existing Android Gingerbread army. Just a caution though — Bjorn isn’t a very technical person but that’s how exactly I want it to be. That is, reviewing the unit in a less-technical way. Interesting enough, I’d suggest you read on for his review after the break.
There are many things to describe about the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray such as its sleek and slim design and classy looks. At first glance, the frontage is designed with dark screen, but when you hit that power button — the brilliance really takes its turn as the dominant attribute.
Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread)
1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU
3.3-inch (480 x 854) pixels (297ppi) capacitive display, with Mobile BRAVIA Engine
4GB internal storage, microSD up to 32GB
1GB ROM, 512MB RAM
8MP AF camera with LED Flash, 720p HD video recording
3G (HSDPA, 7.2Mbps; HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA and Wi-Fi Hotspot
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, EDR
3.5mm audio jack
1500mAh Li-Ion battery
111 x 53 x 9.4 mm
There are many things to talk about the Xperia Ray, but I’ll only run down those that really matters for me personally. Just by looking such smartphone, you can really say that this is not just an ordinary phone. At first glance, you can sense and view it as classy and chic. It is dark elegant aside from it being dark brilliant. I hope I have made sense in describing it, but yeah, these are the simple yet honest things I can say about Xperia Ray.
Display and camera
Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray uses TFT technology for its display. Conspicuously, it is a dark flat-panel LCD screen. It is so dark that you have to push the main button at the very bottom of the frontage to check if is turned on or not.
It is a touch screen phone, a feature in mobile phones today that obviously not new anymore. What I like about this phone is that such touch screen feature makes you capable of taking camera shots by just pressing the screen anywhere when it is on a camera mode. Literally no camera icon on the screen, just tap anywhere to take a picture.
On the contrary, the downside of that feature in camera mode is when you unintentionally touch the screen and that it takes shots which are not as good as you expect it. Touching the screen anywhere accidentally and not deliberately before you focus on the object gives you unfavorable result. But the downside is offset by its 8.1 megapixel autofocus camera with zoom and photo light. This allows you take high quality pictures in low light conditions.
And as far as the phone’s camera is concerned, there’s a feature that lets you see the gallery of taken shots without having to go through many buttons. This is integrated at the right side of the screen on camera mode. On the left side of it, you can browse through different camera settings from turning on and off the photo light, to other functionalities that are really nice and useful.
The phone has brilliance of 16 million colours and display resolution of 854 x 450 pixels. The Mobile BRAVIA Engine makes it possible for this phone to be a medium of great viewing quality. As I said earlier, it is like watching on a mini-TV when you got to stream online videos in YouTube or even when playing videos through other apps this phone can have.
As of the sound quality, that depends if you are wearing a headset or not. Playing files with headset though produces nicer audio quality. The built-in speaker is fair enough, but in some cases it’s not really the best.
Size and weight
Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is an Android Gingerbread phone, a core feature that I really like on this phone. The Gingerbread OS may not be as advanced as the Ice Cream Sandwich or the latest Android flavor Jelly Bean, but it does help get my things done while on mobile.
I love being always connected to the internet be it to read news, check emails, social networking, and etc., and Android Gingerbread offers seamless experience to do such things on the Xperia Ray.
When I’ve been using this phone for over 3 weeks now, I don’t really recall not having it on charging mode within the day of use. The battery is rated to offer 6-7 hours of continuous use, and my experience just proved it. Or around 5 hours with video and audio playback, yet it’s fairly good though considering the brilliant display is intensive in battery usage.
I exactly didn’t expect much more from the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray. For a Gingerbread device, it certainly got a decent hardware specs except for the lackluster internal storage out of the box. Wireless connectivity over Wi-Fi is great and the support for HSDPA and HSUPA network extend the internet experience on the go. The downsides I mentioned may have put a dent to being a nice Android phone; however, the quality of its display provides a good viewing pleasure, something that really impresses me.
Editor’s Note: Bjorn Bernales is a blogger of Bjorn Cebuano ) and online entrepreneur. He co-founded TekWorx Mobile and Web Services and you can follow him on Twitter via @bjorns24.