Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray smartphone review

Compact, lightweight Android 2.3 handset
Photo of Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray smartphone
£299 SIM-free; free on Vodafone contract

Sony Ericsson seems to have got its mojo going nicely, and the Xperia Ray is a prime example of how. The Xperia Ray is a mid-range smartphone with a very small profile, and its components fit together well.

Small but perfectly formed?
With a screen measuring just 3.3in and taking a tall, thin format, you might not expect a lot from the Xperia Ray. The 480×854-pixel resolution screen is certainly sharp and bright, but things can look a bit tight and cramped – the on-screen keyboard, for example, isn’t ideal for lthose with larger fingers. Web browsing, too, feels pinched. This isn’t the handset to choose if you’re a big fan of surfing the web on your mobile.

The Xperia Ray runs Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’, the latest smartphone-specific version of Google mobile OS> Build quality of the handset is solid, and with an overall weight of 100g it won’t feel heavy in the pocket.

Smile, please!
However, the presence of an 8-megapixel main camera in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is a pleasant surprise, and a flash, face and smile detection, image stabilisation and red-eye reduction all make it quite a satisfying experience for photography. It’ll shoot 720p video too, and there is a VGA front-facing camera for self portraits.

Sony also proves it can do the neat stuff by offering a smart widget overview system. Pinch in on any home screen, and all your widgets hover in miniature form. Tap any one to go to it immediately – so you don’t even have to remember what screen you put things on. Shake the phone in overview mode and the widgets all move around!

Timescape is back
It has to be said that we’ve never been the biggest fans of Sony Ericsson’s Timescape social media app, but it’s getting better all the time – and if you don’t like it, you can delete it from one of the five home screens and use something from the Android Market instead.

Company: Sony Ericsson

Website: http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/shop/mobile-phone/sony-ericsson-xperia-ray

Contact: Vodafone on Tel: 08080 408 408

Positives
  • Compact, great screen, good camera.
Negative
  • Not ideal for web browsing.

Verdict

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray isn't suited to media rich activities, and the keyboard is cramped. But it is ideal for small fingered, small pocketed types with less media heavy requirements.