The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray really is a phone of contradictions. The internet browser is amazing, but the camera and keyboard are average. That's the only way we can think of to describe it.
And in these times when we seem to be getting more obsessed with the mine's-bigger-than-yours argument (we're talking screen sizes here) with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2, the BlackBerry Torch 9860, the (probably) forthcoming iPhone 5 and the HTC Sensation, it's really refreshing to go back to the smaller units. Holding it makes us feel slightly nostalgic – almost as though we're gripping an old Nokia 8210.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is an impressive handset with a powerful processor and very impressive battery life. Plus, it rocks Android Gingerbread, so is customisable to the hilt.
It flies through internet pages – even with Flash – like nobody's business, but struggles with some live wallpapers. Based on the size of it, it should be a basic handset, but it is actually a stealth powerhouse.
The small size won't be to everybody's taste – especially when it comes to trying to type on the screen. And while children and the slender handed will be fine, the giants among us won't be fans.
It comes with an 8MP camera, but doesn't take pictures as well as you'd expect, and the flash is really underpowered. The video is equally uninspiring, especially when sharing it over MMS.
We can't help wishing it was ever so slightly more powerful than the 1GHz it currently gives us, so that we don't feel we're putting it under strain with live wallpapers.
There is no doubt about it – never mind a rabbit, Sony Ericsson has pulled a gem out of the hat here. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is a joy to use (for 99% of tasks) and we're seriously impressed with the form factor and how it's squeezed it all in.
The only issue we have is that the remaining 1% of tasks that are less pleasurable to do with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray (typing on the screen, for example) really do affect usage, so this is a handset you should try out before you buy.
The beauty is that if typing is your only gripe with the Xperia Ray, then the Xperia Arc will provide you with an almost identical experience, albeit in a larger form factor.
But that's also the problem – the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is not massively different to the rest of the Xperia line, which is starting to feel like its saturating the market with 'me too' handsets that don't offer anything uniquely different.
Not that this will matter to the majority of buyers who, like us, will be won over by its small size.
And there is no getting away from it – if you want something small that packs a punch and don't fancy Scrappy Doo in your pocket, then the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is definitely a very worthy contender for consideration.