Sony Ericsson previewed its latest smartphones and revealed the Xperia Play will be available on all networks and will get a midnight launch in Carphone Warehouse on 31 March.
The first PlayStation-certified smartphone will be available exclusively at Carphone Warehouse for the first three weeks of April.
It will be available for all Irish networks – eMobile, Meteor, O2, 3 and Vodafone. There is currently no word on pricing yet.
I managed to try out the device for myself and it looks promising. The display is quite bright, with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Sony Ericsson’s own technology combining to make a pretty sleek interface.
Using the slide-out controller itself feels quite comfortable, too. The layout of the buttons is pretty similar to a DualShock controller, with its shoulder buttons, analogue touchpads D-pad and the four standard PlayStation buttons – circle, X, square and triangle.
According to a Sony Ericsson representative, the controller can also be used to navigate the menu system of the phone, though it hadn’t been implemented in the device yet.
Thanks to the controller, you don’t have to cover up the screen with your fingers while playing. I tried out a flying game and a driving game on the device. They both looked great, thanks to the 1GHz Snapdragon processor combined with an Adreno graphics processor. And, for the brief time I played them, the games controlled well, too.
My first impression of the Xperia Play was positive. The technology seems impressive and, if it develops a strong games lineup, it could be a must-have device. That said, I’d certainly have to spend a lot longer with the smartphone before I’d give my final verdict.
The Xperia Play wasn’t the only device previewed at the event. The Xperia Arc was shown, too, a follow up to the Xperia X10.
Running on Gingerbread, the device is 8.7mm at its thinnest part and has an extra wide 4.2-inch screen.
The Reality Display with the Mobile BRAVIA Engine offers an ultra-bright display and its 8-megapixel camera can capture HD videos, too. The phone can be connected to a TV through a HDMI cable.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc will be available next month.
Xperia Neo and Xperia Pro
Sony Ericsson also unveiled two other Android smartphones at the event.
Both the Neo and the Pro offer a 3.7-inch screen with Reality Display and the Mobile BRAVIA Engine for brightness.
They both have built-in HDMI ports for connecting to TVs and run on Gingerbread.
The difference between the two phones is that the Pro has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard with smart texting functions for fast messaging.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo will be out next month and the Xperia Pro will be out at the end of the second quarter of 2011.