The Xperia Ray is not your conventional Android phone. Neither does it have a gigantic screen nor a hefty dual-core processor. Instead, it boasts of stylish looks and size zero proportions that will probably market it as a ‘woman’s phone’. But the Ray isn’t just for fashionistas. It’s got great hardware and a streamlined Android experience too.
For starters, its 9.4mm thickness means you can store it in your back pocket with minimal discomfort. Just make sure to remove it from the pocket before you sit down as its plastic body, though good looking and well crafted, doesn’t feel reassuring. The phone is available in four colours — black, white, pink and gold — for the back plate and bezel. The fascia features two touch-sensitive buttons for Return and Options, and there’s a solitary physical button for the Home key. An aesthetic semicircular LED ring around the home button flashes in different colours, depending on the type of new notification.
Loaded with eye-candy
Press the power button on the top to watch Android v2.3 come to life. Sony Ericsson has generously coated the user interface with effects comprising fade ins/outs and colour gradients, which add to the experience. Sony’s proprietary Mobile Bravia Engine also does wonders to photos and videos by increasing contrast and sharpness and reducing noise reduction.
In terms of goodies, although the Ray has a relatively tiny 3.3-inch screen, it sports the same 480x854-pixel resolution in phones with larger screens. This makes the display incredibly sharp and vivid for reading text or viewing photos and videos. This Xperia also features a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM. In terms of hardware, it’s in the same league as behemoths like the iPhone 4 or Samsung Galaxy S. But what differentiates it is its whopping 8-megapixel camera that can also record video at 720p. Connectivity features are wholesome too.
You have 3G with HSDPA, GPS, DLNA (for streaming multimedia from a PC) and the usual assortment of sensors including a digital compass. In spite of its small size, usability is hardly affected. You can comfortably type text using the onscreen keyboard in portrait mode. The 1GHz processor is fast; even Flash websites load quickly.
Great battery life
Battery life, at about 1.5 to two days under regular usage, is impressive too. That’s because the Ray has a 1,500mAh battery also used in more powerful cell phones.
Finally, the Ray doesn’t fail to impress in the multimedia department. Photos are sharp and detailed even in low light, and additional features like Smile Shot and Sweep Panorama taken from Sony’s Cybershot range of cameras make shooting a pleasure. Videos, too, are smooth and relatively noise-free.