Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
If you want to play games on your phone, you want an Xperia Play, a hybrid phone and gaming machine from a company that knows a thing or two about mobile gaming and how to get the most out of an inherently compromised form-factor with the minimum of end-user frustration.
The underpinnings may not be anything out of the ordinary. A 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with 512MB of Ram is only par for the course in this company, as is the 4in, 480 x 854 LCD panel. And it really should have an HDMI port. But slide the top and bottom apart and - ta-da! - proper gaming controllers so you can play without your fingers obstructing the view.
Slide the two halves back together again and you have a perfectly usable if rather thick - 16mm, since you ask - phone with all the usual Sony Ericsson refinements. Thankfully, SE has resisted the temptation to emblazon the outside of the device with juvenile gaming iconography but has gone to the effort is installing a truly excellent little speaker.
Reg Rating 80%
More Info Sony Ericsson
Try to earn a crust by scribbling for Reg Hardware and you soon learn to appreciate a bargain, and that is exactly what the Skate represents. In its pre-paid form, it’s better known in the UK as the Orange Monte Carlo, a phone that will set you back a measly £150 plus the obligatory £10 of airtime.
Of course, it can’t hold a candle to the other Androids here in terms of overall performance, but anything with a 4.3in, 480 x 800 screen for this sort of money has to be worth a look. Yes, the innards are a bit gutless - you end up with a Jaguar XJ body but a Hyundai Accent engine. But gaming and video playback aside you don’t actually miss much.
The handset is slim, light and very well made while the speed of the user interface gives little away to phones costing three times as much. Battery life isn’t bad either. For working on Google Docs, social networking, e-mailing, using as a (free) satnav or for a host of other less demanding jobs the Skate will do just fine thank you very much.
Reg Rating 80%
Price £150 pre-paid
More Info Orange
Ten... Androids to outshine the iPhone 4S
"we need a word for the people who hate all things Apple"
Sane, rational, commonsensical, realist, pragmatist, intelligent... there are many more I reckon.
Let the downvotes commence...
"To be honest, I find the whole charade rather entertaining and have taken to sauntering over to the Trafford Centre come launch day, grabbing a cup of coffee and a sticky bun, pulling up a chair and making fun of the twerps lined up outside the Apple Store opposite."
Queuing is a bit sad but going out of your way to watch people queuing - that's a whole new level.
You can't actually see the Apple store from a coffee shop in the Trafford Center (the gf works there so I'm more familiar with that temple to consumerism than I really want to be) so I think that's a statement for effect rather than a literal truth.
Every time there is an Apple launch you will see local hacks or news crews taking pics etc and I guess the Reg's man goes along for the same reason.
It's still a fair comment though, I walked past that same store on the day of the iPad2 launch and the saw the queue and my only thought was "cretins". I mean seriously what kind of grown man stands in line to buy a gadget?
I stood in line at an HMV to buy the Joshua Tree LP many moons ago but I was only 14 at the time!
Interesting article - not sure they are all iPhone 4S beaters per se, but there are some very decent phones there. Moved away from 3 years of iPhone (3g and 3gs) use 3-4 months ago to android and the Galaxy S2, and couldn't be happier.
I moved after some spectacular fails on the part of Apple service (I got robbed on the iStore and they utterly failed to do anything about it - refused to reverse the transactions, refused to even say whether or not they'd help the police in a trivial prosecution, and avoided answering any question, instead using boilerplate text designed to get me to go away).
My first iPhone (3g) had suffered a hardware failure after 15 months forcing me into another iPhone (3gs) contract (particularly if I wanted to retrieve my contact data and not pay another £120 unwanted airtime), and when the glass screen of the new one cracked the apple shop wanted to replace it for a 'very generous' refurbished phone price of £249. The internet provided me with the solution to that for £13 and about 20 minutes of my time with a hair dryer.
I loved the iPhone and iOS a lot and recognised that (from the 3g onwards) it was a real game changer. My early adopter friends with android were singing it's praises and so I periodically got to play with their phones. In my own opinion the UI overtook iOS about 18 months ago, and when my contract expired I moved over to android.
It took me a weekend to de-iTunes my computer (re-encoding my music to normal formats - not entirely necessary - but cathartic), a couple of abortive efforts to buy a 32gb class 10 microsd card from eBay for small money proved annoying, but easily resolved by moving to class 4 (there's only music on there so it was irrelevant). After that it was plain sailing - I bought the Galaxy S2 outright, sold off the old 3gs, moved to giffgaff, and will have repaid the TCO difference within 10 months - so I'm no longer trapped to a contract after a phone has run out of warranty, and if giffgaff ever give me trouble I'll immediately move, at a loss of, at most, a tenner. It also has a 3 year accident and spills warranty purchased for £49 via Amazon - considerably cheaper, longer lasting and wider ranging than Apple's warranty offering. If you have the initial cost of the phone available it's something of a no-brainer to stay out of a contract.
Android isn't entirely perfect - the native music player's shoddy and pod-casting is handled poorly generally, but the market place solved those pretty cheaply. I've had no problems with the market place and, since android outsells iOS 3-1 (approx) at the moment, there are more than enough apps (usually free) to keep me happy, and I suspect that won't change. I also invested another tenner in a couple of spare (Samsung branded) batteries and a wall charger for them, meaning my phone never needs to be tethered to the wall for any length of time. I'd love the android phone community to place a sufficient capacitor in their next generation of phones to make the batteries hot-swappable.
I can't speak for the other phones but have to say the Samsung Galaxy S2 is far and away (for it's time) the best phone I've ever owned (including my old beloved SE T28). After a few months it's never felt flimsy (a complaint I often see bandied about it) and always felt light with plenty of screen space for not much bulk.
I also can't believe that Apple seems to be getting away with claiming it's twice as fast for internet because they finally support hsdpa. That's some brass neck.
Cheers for reading this far - I hope that was an honest depiction of how a former fanboi found happiness elsewhere... I still have lots of friends who rave about their iPhones and more power to them, but I reckon I've found the greener grass.
Boxster Syndrome? Oh bless.
You really think that spending an extra hundred quid on a phone is in any way comparable to spending an extra forty or fifty grand on a car? Really?
Apple products are quite often lovely, but to imagine that buying them marks you out as a big shot is hilarious. It's the technodweeb equivalent of bragging about how much you paid for your Adidas sneakers.