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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G
What's hot: Great gaming controls, good call quality and reception.
What's not: Not a dual core CPU.
Reviewed September 16, 2011 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
A few months after Verizon introduced their version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, AT&T has it for a bargain $50 with contract. The Xperia Play 4G is a very nice phone for the price, and certainly an intriguing one if you're a hardcore gamer thanks to its Playstation certification and slide-out Playstation controller. This is an Android smartphone that runs OS 2.3 Gingerbread with light Sony Ericsson UI customizations. It's also nearly identical to the Verizon version except for color (deep blue vs. black), GSM rather than CDMA and carrier software bundle. The Xperia Play 4G has an advantage vs. the Verizon version: it has 4G HSPA+, which is markedly faster than 3G EV-DO Rev. A on Verizon. If you use the Internet a lot on your phone, the AT&T version is a better choice, assuming you have equal coverage from both carriers.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G runs on a 1GHz single core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 205 graphics, and that's a little disappointing for a serious gaming phone. As with gaming PCs, hardcore gamers want the best CPUs and graphics in the business, and today's more powerful phones run on 1GHz or better dual core CPUs. That said, the Xperia Play 4G plays games very well, and we can't say that in use we wished for a better CPU.
Phone call quality is very good, and reception is also solid. Data speeds were likewise good, and the phone averaged 4.5Mbps down and 1Mbps up using Ookla's Speedtest.net app. The speakerphone is superb, as is in-game audio and multimedia.