Those familiar with the Sony Playstation Portable or Sony Playstation will recognise the classic keys when opened, and the left and right shoulder buttons to the right of the screen when holding it in portrait mode. Supplied with an 8GB micro-SD card, it can be upgraded to 32GB. Gamers will have no difficulty filling this space. When it is released, the phone will have 50 games available, and potentially more to come, though that will depend on the uptake of this and other devices with a similar setup.
The touchscreen is responsive and it has a good 5.1MP rear camera. Switching between camera and video is seamless and all options are accessible. The forward facing camera is low definition, but easily accessed. Our review copy runs on the latest Android operating system but doesn’t have Swype pre-installed for texting, which was disappointing. This can be installed later on. Portrait mode is difficult for texting unless you have tiny hands and no nails, but the large screen makes for large, easily accessed keys in landscape. The space bar is a little narrow and because the full stop button is a little too close to it for those with large hands; it takes getting used to. In the meantime, your.sentences.may.look.like.this. We are still looking forward to an advanced smartphone that has no black bars around the edge of the screen, and more phone colours than black and white.
Snapping the cover off the rear to remove the battery is a little disconcerting to begin with. It feels as if it’s breaking, but you get used to it. This is also how you access the micro-SD card and SIM. Browsing speeds are good and viewing flash is simple. It comes with a good number of pre-installed applications and claims up to 8 hours of talk time, a little more than others we’ve seen.
Sony Ericsson plans for release in May/June 2011 through Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone. Although this phone has a large clear screen and is generally easy to use, it is not for everyone, with its bulky lines and unwieldy handling as a phone. For those used to the interface of the Playstation gaming devices however, this is a promising phone with some good features for a first iteration. We look forward to the second, improved device.
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