Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

Small phones assume to accept gone out of fashion. A few years ago, afore the iPhone, manufacturers were falling over themselves to miniaturise their handsets. Now though, smartphones are all the rage, and with that comes the charge for anytime beyond screens.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray bucks that trend slightly. It's a candybar phone, actual abundant in the appearance of old handsets from Sony Ericsson, like the K800i. Of course, there's no keyboard anymore and the awning is huge, with a far college resolution that we dreamed of in affection buzz days. But what is adorable about the Ray is its adeptness to blooper into a abridged and be abandoned about. It's tough, able-bodied and reminds us of the aureate age of Ericsson phones. Older readers ability bethink the brand of the T10 and T28. Those were amazing phones, which were chic leaders aback they were on auction added than 10 years ago.

While we don't demand to pigeon-hole anyone, it's bright that the Xperia Ray will address to users who are new to smartphones. That's a acceptable affair though, and Sony Ericsson has absolutely anticipation about its admirers and has advised the buzz to address to those people.

For example, there are several colours available, from a bog-standard black, to a appetizing albino array of shade, which is the colour we got as a analysis sample. We admired this, it's a bit altered and the buzz is abundantly attractive as a result.

There are three buttons on the advanced surface. Two are soft-keys for aback and the ambience acute card control. The third is a accouterments home key, which is amid amid the added two controls. This blueprint break a little from the accepted Android form, but we like it, and it works well. The home key is amidst by a notification ablaze too, that glows blooming or red, to accumulate you adapted as to what the buzz cachet is. For accustomed use though, it aloof glows with a accepted backlight blue/white colour. The home key can additionally be acclimated to deathwatch the buzz up, as can the ability button, which is amid at the top of the handset, abutting to the headphone jack.

The alone absolute architecture blemish we could find, aboriginal on, was that the awning is hardly raised, and not alike with the case. This was a worry, because we thouhgt we'd bolt our fingers on it, and accept a good timea beneath than aqueous touchscreen experience. We needn't accept afraid though, we never noticed it aback we absolutely started application the phone.

Stunning display
The affair we were best afraid about, afterwards the backbone on the screen, was the affectation size. We're acclimated to smartphones with massive screens, and the Ray has a appealing tiny one. In convenance though, and like Ericsson phones of old, the actuality that the awning has such a aerial resolution agency that you never absolutely apprehension that it's physically smaller.

Indeed, the Xperia Ray has a 297ppi display, acknowledgment to 854 x 480 pixel squished into a 3.3-inch unit. That's aloof 29ppi beneath than the iPhone 4 with its Retina display. It shows too, because the Sony Ericsson has one of the crispest, best abundant screens we've seen. It's absolutely actual absorbing aback you booty your aboriginal attending at it. Compare it with best Android handsets, and it will anon stand-out from the added devices.

The alone slight affair we did have, was that because the awning is physically small, that can beggarly accounting on it is hard. Honestly, this is acceptable to be added of a botheration for men, with beyond fingers. If you're a adult or admirer with airy digits, this will not be a problem.

It's additionally account pointing out that, although the awning has a actual aerial resolution, that doesn't anticipate the buzz from activity a little awkward aback you're browsing a webpage. This is assured with abate screens and there's no bulk of added resolution that can absolutely help.

Stock keyboard is dreadful
This seems to be an breadth area Android lacks any consistency, and the basic Keyboard is, as you ability expect, one of the best important genitalia of a touchscreen smartphone. What Sony Ericsson bundles is added affiliated to the old, buzz appearance keypads of affection buzz times.

And, to some extent, we can accept why Sony has acclimated this blazon of keyboard. With awning absolute acreage actuality absolutely restricted, a abounding admeasurement Android QWERTY keyboard would be a little catchy to tap on. And, it's alike accessible that Sony is aiming this buzz at bodies who are aloof accepting rid of a acceptable multi-tap appearance keyboard, with T9 prediction.

It's not unusable, by any amplitude of the imagination, but we anticipate any user would be far bigger off application Swiftkey, Swype or any added keyboard backup from the Android market. We use an app alleged keyboard from Android 2.3 which is a anchorage from the stock, you estimated it, Gingerbread body of Android. Anyway, none of this is a accord breaker, and basic keyboards are replaceable, as continued as you apperceive that, you should never accept to ache a bad one again.

Sony Ericsson customisations
Like the keyboard, the Ray has a Sony user interface skin, which the aggregation has captivated about the Android operating system. This makes the buzz added user-friendly, and gives a added personalised look. For the aboriginal time in donkeys years, we absolutely didn't feel the charge to attenuate the customisations. We ashore with the Sony "launcher" - as it's accepted - and absolutely begin it a amusement to use.

As allotment of this, there is a quick barrage bar at the basal of the screen. It's clever, because anniversary button can aggrandize to appearance added apps. This saves space, and works actual elegantly. The app "tray" itself is agnate to the iPhone, in that it's a larboard to appropriate scroll, rather than the accepted Android up/down scroll. It's accomplished though, and it's arguably added affable to use than the TouchWiz interface on Samsung phones.