Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review

The PlayStation Phone finally lands - but can it live up to the hype?

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
The definitive Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play review: Apps

Rather than come with the slew of apps that most modern smartphones pack in, the Xperia Play has just a few apps beyond the realms of what we've already covered elsewhere.

There's Timescape's own dedicated UI, presenting a stream of social media updates and even your text messages on a scrollable stack of cards this time. Tap one to bring the message up in full, and then again to visit either a full SMS conversation view or the profile page of your chosen subject.

Sony ericsson xperia play

A dedicated Facebook app is also on board, which is functional if not particularly flashy.

The calculator ties in with the overall translucent buttons of blue-black background theme, and there's an option to switch the basic functions for an advanced panel. This is fine for one-off sums, but doing your maths homework on it would be a chore.

Sony ericsson xperia play

There's also an app for the PlayNow media store, where you can purchase new music for your phone, although this is notably more expensive than iTunes or Amazon's MP3 service.

Of more use is the TrackID app, which is a Shazam-alike that worked really well in our trials. We especially like the options to search for it on YouTube and recommend the tune to your friends.

Speaking of searching, there's a Voice Search option, but this was far less accomplished at figuring out our mumblings.

Sony ericsson xperia play

Sony Ericsson's sync app is here too, for keeping your devices up to date.

The Calendar app should help you stay current too, but making a new appointment is tucked behind two layers of menus form the default screen, which is worth being aware of.

Finally, there is an OfficeSuite icon if you must pretend you're ever going to work on the Xperia Play, but you'll have to fork out $9.99 for the pro version of the software.

More software is, of course, available from the ever-growing Android Market, which has thousands of apps to download.

Sony ericsson xperia play

For getting around, the quadrumvirate of Google Maps, Navigation, Places and Latitude is here. They act much as they do on other Android smartphones, although the Play's accelerometer is put to use for a behind-the-shoulder view in Maps.

The GPS sensor was fast and accurate at pinpointing our location, while asking for directions was quickly and efficiently handled, too.