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back to article Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray Android smartphone

Smartphones seem to be getting bigger and bigger, but among the recent models from Sony Ericsson is the Xperia Ray, a slim and stylish Android 2.3 device with a sharp 3.3in widescreen. It also sports a well-featured 8Mp camera with 720p HD video recording and a host of other handy functions at a mid-range price. Sony Ericsson …

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Good Move

Avoiding rounded corners. Good move that.

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Size isn't a problem...

The slim dimensions of the phone are one of the reasons I went for it, I don't want a huge slab of gadgetry in my pocket.

You also didn't mention the headphones, which are a very nice pair, far superior to any I've seen bundled with phones. Maybe you didn't get the offer?

The standard keyboard isn't great, but, took 5 minutes to install Swype, so not a problem at all.

The only really irritating thing about the phone is that all the software that SE have dumped on there is installed in the system area, making it impossible to uninstall without rooting the phone... which you can't do with sim locked phones! This means you're stuck with useless trial versions of software you don't want or need.

If anyone can tell me how to root it, that would be most welcome! And no, the instructions on the SE site don't work.

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More from last year?

Small screens, single core processors - when will Sony get with the times?

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Well, they have a big screen, big powered phone. It's called the Arc S and it recently picked up a 90% score on here.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, Android 2.3.4 is optimised for single-core cpus, so having a dual-core makes little sense - in most cases it'll have little benefit on performance and it definitely kicks battery life down a notch or two.

So, given Sony have met this year's apparent "needs" with the Arc, maybe the Ray isn't aimed at people for whom bigger is always better - perhaps it's for people who don't want to fill their pockets with gigantic slabs of glass?

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Yawn

Didn't you post that same text on the Arc S review?

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Huh?

I still have yet to be convinced a dual-core processor in a phone is actually useful. My Desire HD @ 1.2GHz cuts through every task like butter.

Also, small screens? This model is deliberately designed that way. Are you being obtuse? Because the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S has a 4.2" screen and was reviewed right here on El Reg, to huge acclaim, despite a single core 1.4GHz CPU.

Why? Because the specs aren't as important as sheer usability and feel.

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Small screen? If you want a big screen, buy an Arc S, simple... it's called having a choice, something some manufacturers will never give you.

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A fan?

Awesome

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Lovely phone, but....

I got one for a friend of mine, she was forever moaning about the size of text and as a new smart phone user I didn't want to complicate her life with all the 3rd party apps.

Not great if you are over 35 and have ropey sight.

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Sir, you have a woman's hands

and so do I. Which is why the little screen isn't a problem. I like having a phone small enough that I often don't even notice it's in my pocket. Some of my bigger-pawed friends have found it a bit fiddly to use. But that's OK, it's not their phone.

As for video playback, if you have a DLNA-compliant device plugged in to your TV, simply select "Play on Device" on the phone and the video appears. No messy wires needed. I always thought that having a whole port just for HDMI was somewhat overkill on a phone.

The biggest draw though is the fact that this handset is half the price of the Arc S. Combine that with a sim card from giffgaff and I've just more-than-halved my phone running costs for the next 18 months. Also screw you Vodafone with your stupid price hikes.

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Anonymous Coward

@ tmTM

enough with the single-core CPU blather. Android 2.3 isn't optimized to support dual-core chippery so squeezing some fire-breathing 1.2GHz twin-core monster into a phone like the Ray or Arc/Arc S would be a COMPLETE F***ING WASTE OF TIME.

And the battery life would suffer.

Twit.

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Software updates

Very true, but a software update to enable this will breath new life into a current dual-core phone - extending it's useful life to well beyond the point the user is offered an upgrade.

With this single core, thats it. Not to mention it's priced at the same level as faster handsets.

and if your going to get all shirty with someone, don't hide behind 'AC' :-p

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high price for marginal improvement

My Xperia Play has the same core hardware and so far I've only seen it struggle with excessively Flash heavy web pages. Spending more cash on a better CPU and draining the battery faster really isn't worth it just to speed up Adobes piss poor software. Software that might (ho ho) get faster with a free software upgrade ;)

I've even lowered my Play's min clock to 122Mhz and had no obvious speed or responsiveness problems. Noticeable battery life boost though.

Faster is always nice but most of us are a long way from *needing* that much power in our phones and it's hard to imagine that changing before our phone's get replaced anyway.

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Shiny Ball

Where did you take the picture of that shiny ball? Looks like one of Anish Kapoor's.

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Anonymous Coward

Vatican

I think it's from the Vatican...

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You think correctly.

Is that who they're by? I've seen another very similar one in Japan.

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Anonymous Coward

There is definitely a market for good quality phones with screens in the low 3"s. The 3.2 in the Hero may seem a bit small now but at the time was perfectly useable.

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Small screen (well small phone)

That's exactly what I'll be looking for when my contract ends. This Desire is great but just too big

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WTF?

Hate to break it to you, Dave...

... but it IS a proper-sized FWVGA screen.

"The capacitive screen’s a bit of an odd one. Diagonally, it measures 3.3in, but that actually translates to 480 x 854 pixels, offering an unusually widescreen resolution, like a dinky little cinema screen. It promises over 16m colours and looks as sharp as a tack, but there’s really no getting round the fact that for a smartphone, it’s rather on the small side."

Umm guess what? This is is the standard resolution of all Sony Ericsson, Motorola etc Android phones - you know, smartphones you regularly review here...

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Anonymous Coward

Price

"Not to mention it's priced at the same level as faster handsets."

really? It's easily available for £290 unlocked and I can't think of any faster phones that you can pick up for that price. The more I think about that it's actually pretty cheap for a Snapdragon handset with a very good camera. As others have pointed out putting a dual-core chip into a phone like this would be pointless. A bit more RAM would be a much better and cheaper idea.

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Anonymous Coward

LG?

Optimus 2X is priced at £290 according to a recent round-up

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Unhappy

LG?

Satan get thee hence!

I had the misfortune of having an LG foisted on me last year by my employer. A total pile of poo. Buttons all down the side so it was impossible to pick it up without performing some unwanted action. The crazy auto locking behavior while you're in the middle of a call that could NOT be disabled. A manual lock that seemingly could be undone by pressing almost any button.

The only gadget I have ever lost my temper with.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll have an iPhone thanks

I didnt think there was still a market for crap phones like this SonyEricsson turd?

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