Sony Xperia P mid-range Android
Smart enough for the money?
Review Little brother to the Xperia S, the Xperia P is the second Sony
Ericsson handset to arrive in the UK. The company's flagship S model prompted a slightly lukewarm response when launched but the Xperia S sets its sights lower as a mid-range handset on a par with the Samsung Galaxy S Advance and HTC One V.
Middleweight fighter: Sony's Xperia P
Structurally, the Xperia P follows the pattern set by the larger S. The body is made from a lump of aluminium and all the controls and ports – including a micro HDMI socket, the speaker and a physical camera button – are featured along its sides. I prefer my charging socket to be at the bottom rather than sticking out of the upper left-hand side but at least the 3.5mm audio jack is at the top.
The battery is fixed in place and the Sim card slot looks and works much like the iPhone 4’s and similarly only takes micro Sim cards. At 120g it’s reasonably light but the slab sides do exaggerate its 10.5mm girth.
Entertaining prospect: HDMI on-board
In a slight change from the Xperia S the P’s three Android virtual buttons are ranged along, rather than above, a clear plastic strip that divides the upper and lower parts of the handset. It’s a novel and not unattractive design concept but it has two small problems with its execution.
Firstly, the plastic cover of the lower section is rather too easily removed. Secondly, the small LEDs that illuminate the icons printed on the perspex are too puny. The latter doesn’t impede usability but if you are designing for visual appeal, go the whole nine yards.
Style and practicality?
The 4in LCD screen has a resolution of 540 x 960 which results in a dots-per-inch figure of 275dpi. That’s an improvement over the 233dpi of the Samsung Galaxy Advance and makes the Xperia’s screen sharper though being LCD rather than AMOLED it doesn’t perform as well in sunlight.
Next page: Store points
Burnt by PLAY
Sorry Sony, I'm a long time fanboi but my 'xperience' with the PLAY has put my off ever buying another Xperia. Poor build quality (the volume button fell off in my pocket); unacceptably small internal memory (I think the 'Low on Space' icon is burned in to my screen); the Xperia PC Suite is useless (connecting the phone wirelessly is next to impossible, using Media Go to transfer music for some reason takes hours when performing the same transfer with the phone connected as storage only takes minutes; the software interferes with my Bluetooth mouse - even when the phone isn't connected, to name a few of the problems); and the final straw is the about turn on ICS. I can't believe I can't upgrade the OS on a phone that only came out towards the end of last year.
Style over substance.
Re: 85%? Bit generous a bit methinks!
You've fallen into the fandroid trap thinking each version of android is a new OS. It's not. Anyway, iOS only had it's 4th major upgrade last year. Keep up!
The Play hardware is perfectly capable of running ICS, I'm running AOKP 4.0.4 right now with no problems. It's not capable of running Sony's broken ICS build however. It really is a Sony programming cockup, not the hardware.
The gaming issues are even more annoying. ICS itself broke a lot of high profile games from Gameloft and EA mainly. Gamelofts bug has been traced and eventually games will be updated for ICS.
The joypad problems would also have been fixed, by game authors if Sony couldn't manage something. Most games I own actually work. Except there's no product to fix them for now. Sony killed ICS on Play and with it any need to support ICS on Play. They killed the Play itself.