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Ten... Androids to outshine the iPhone 4S

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

RH Numbers

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.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play gaming Android phone

Reg Rating 80%
Price £420
More Info Sony Ericsson

ZTE Skate

RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

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.

Orange Monte Carlo

Reg Rating 80%
Price £150 pre-paid
More Info Orange

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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