Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Review

No matter how you slice it, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray  is the embodiment of cuteness. It’s stylish, with bikini waistline and shiny black mirrored face, available in various colors, sports the newest version of Android beautified by the Timescape overlay, and has the acclaimed 8MP Exmor R camera sensor.

From the looks of it, only a very few things can ruin this munchkin, chief among which would be an eventual high price tag. Is that the case? Read on our review of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray where we try to solve this puzzle for you...


As small touchscreen smartphones go, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is almost the perfect size, not getting lost in your palm if you have big hands, and fitting admirably if you are regular. The handset is one of the thinnest smartphones out there, at 0.37” (9.4 mm), and feathery at just 3.53oz (100 g). We also noticed that the Xperia ray is extremely comfortable for one handed operation due to its dimensions - your thumb just reaches everywhere like an anteater's tongue.

You can compare the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

A big part amidst the phone's positives plays the screen, which is 3.3” LCD,  and Sony Ericsson didn't skimp on the level of image detail, gracing the Xperia ray with 480x854 pixels – a pretty high resolution for a screen of this size. Plugging the numbers in a pixel density calculator returned 297ppi, which is just shy of the 300ppi threshold. This threshold became mainstream knowledge when Steve Jobs introduced the 326 ppi Retina Display iPhone 4, and said that above around 300ppi a normal human eye can't detect the individual pixels from 10-12 inches of distance.

Unlike the Xperia arc, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray’s screen sports rather wide viewing angles, with nary a change in contrast or brightness when looked from extremes. Couple that with above average brightness and visibility outside, plus very good sensitivity, and we can say that the Xperia ray flaunts one of the best little LCD screens we’ve encountered so far.

This alone makes it a pretty enticing handset, running the latest version of Android - 2.3 Gingerbread, but when you add the 8MP Exmor R camera sensor on the back with LED video light (yep, you can't use it as a flash, it has to be turned on manually), which proved its virtues in the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, we might have a formidable category contender.

Unlike the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, the Xperia ray sports a front-facing VGA camera for video chat, but it skips the HDMI port – something had to give. There are also only 300MB of user-available ROM for apps, and a 4GB microSD card is included in the package.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is the first to hit retail with the new Xperia line design, which boasts a huge semi-circle in the middle for a physical home button, and two capacitive keys on its flanks. We dare to say it's better than the previous design, which had overly thin buttons arranged in an arc under the display, which took getting used to.

The resulting design looks very stylish – a thin handset with shiny black front, but lighthearted at the same time, with the choice of pink, black, white and gold colors. It is actually one of the few handsets that look even better in person to us than the press shots, which don't do the glossy front justice. It has every chance to grab the hearts of the design-conscious and/or female smartphone lovers, plus it delivers on the functionality front as well. The only thing we disliked is the placement of the microUSB port on the upper left side, which makes using the phone with the cable plugged in a bit uncomfortable.

Sony Ericsson Xperia ray 360-degrees View:

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1. ryq unregistered

this is a great looking phone too bad it has such small screen. even samsung mid level phone have bigger screen. no wonder sony ericsson is struggling. they still dont know what the consumer wants.

8. ztedac

Posts: 69; Member since: May 17, 2010

not everyone wants to have a giant massive 4" screens -____- think, there are some people with smaller hands teens, children in school that their parents want to locate them, etc etc etc SE is catering to different groups of people just NOT the group that you think you belong in if you want big screen phones, go for the arc

11. maroon5christina1807

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 19, 2011

luv itt!

16. ILoveXperiaRay unregistered

You are wrong; sony ericsson DOES KNOW what the consumer wants. I prefer a small on than a phone with is difficult to get from my pocket. It`s a wonderful phone. if you need a larger display, go for ARC. That`s easy.

29. unknown61591 unregistered

some people like me would still recognize this kind of phone not just because of its internal specs but also with screen..for a 3.3"display its pretty good seeing a high pixel density screen..and i dont really like huge body smartphones because of their bulkiness..:-)

42. Ronald Nilo unregistered

For me I prefer small Screen 3 - 3.5 inch......... sifaima

43. executor46d

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 11, 2011

i have 2 rays, and just what i was looking for in a smart phone, 4" are great but i like my rays... just what ztedac have said

46. linie

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 27, 2013

excuse me? they do know what the consumer wants... they have an xperia range... so there are different types of models to chose from, this phone is more for people with delicate hands.... people who don't want a big phone!

2. vu2ikl unregistered

i donno if you missed it but, the default keyboard in SE 2.3.4 is swipe enabled. so, instead of pressing the tiny keys, it would be easier to swipe.. that wont make up for the tiny keyboard keys but definitely make typing much simpler..

3. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Looks very nice. It's very pretty. Would love to have it.

4. Hsiao unregistered

nice phone

5. AlexanderT unregistered

I got this phone yesterday, and it is excellent. I agree with all that the review said, and it's up to each user to decide whether the setbacks are worth it or not. Here in Europe, an unlocked Ray is some €100 cheaper than a carrier-locked Arc, which makes it very appealing. BTW, I can't understand why people criticize the size of its screen. The m*o*r*o*n who said that SE doesn't know what the consumer wants is as wrong as you can get. There are plenty of large screen phones on offer, both Sony Ericsson and other brands. This is a very clever move by SE who cater for lots of people like me that want a smartphone that's not overly huge and cumbersome to put in your pocket. And I have no trouble with the on-screen keyboard and I have large hands.

6. gump unregistered

can someone tell if the the buttons are backlit or not?? I read somewhere that they are not backlit making it impossible to see in total darkness :(

9. AlexanderT unregistered

No, they're not. However, there's that sort of crescent moon light around the home button so it's extremely easy to deduce where the other buttons are. You can take my word for it.

18. gump unregistered

Thanx for the info...also can you tell which one to buy: Sony Xperia Ray or Samsung Galaxy S ?? They are both similarly priced (with Galxy S slightly expensive)

22. AlexanderT unregistered

It wouldn't be fair to tell you that the Ray is far better than the Galaxy or vice versa, because I've never used a Galaxy S enough for me to be able to say which is the best. The Galaxy is pretty impressive but the price, the form factor and previous satisfaction with SE phones made me choose the ray.

10. ztedac

Posts: 69; Member since: May 17, 2010

yes it should, but you can feel it through tho

7. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Where I live this is exactly the same price as the bigger Xperia Neo and Xperia Play, just under $500 sim-free. Sorry but 3.3 inches in a 16:9 aspect ratio is simply too small for many people. Screen sharpness and quality is awesome though. In this price range its only real competitors are the Neo and Play, as well as the Similarly priced Nokia X7 and LG Optimus black, which aren't exactly threats. Another great turnout by SE, I'd say they make some of the best Droids around and I'd take them over Samsung any day. I don't particularly care for screen sharpness, so I'd rather spend this money on the bigger Neo.

12. Azuz unregistered

Can we install apps on Memory Card in this phone?????

23. AlexanderT unregistered

Sort of. You install the app then you can move it to the SD card.

13. qReza unregistered

where is video review ??

15. tulien unregistered

Got one of these. Great device for those of us who dont want a 4 inch rocket in our pants and still want a useable android device

17. TYAP unregistered

Sold the phone after 1day of ownership. The wifi connectivity poses some problems. It keeps scanning, connecting & disconnecting over & over again. There's no issue with my X10 mini pro, E72 & iPad 2. There's no flash light for the camera, it's photo light! 2 turn off for me. Nice design & effort though :)

19. gump unregistered

Was it so bad ??!!!! Given a choice between Galaxy S and this one...which one will you buy??

21. medalaster1 unregistered

galaxy s it issssssssssssssss!

24. Jean L's unregistered

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and Xperia Ray, which is the smartest choice? LOL

30. AlexanderT unregistered

Xperia Arc + Bigger screen + LED flash + HDMI Xperia Ray + Cheaper than the Arc + Brighter, more legible screen + Smaller When I found out that the Ray had no camera button, I almost gave up on buying it. But I've gotten used to it, it's great.

25. Bahumbaba unregistered

My LED works when i take pictures, just so u know :)

26. black unregistered

hi, am from it costs around 19000 INR. Is it worth buying.. Or any idea of releasing date of neo V and its cost.

27. PPATEL unregistered

On Homeshop18 its prices is INR 18750.00 this is initial price therefore more chances are there price will be slash after few months. maybe Xperia ray will be available in shop in Oct month. ......... i have no doubt that Xperia Ray is one of the best phone in my price range (16k to 20k) Slim, small, good looking, Android 2.3 platform, scratch-resistant mineral glass, 3.3'' Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine, 8.1 MP Camera, HD video recording. i review couple of sites where i read comments. i found that it has good battery backup comparatively more thn Xperia mini. 8.1 MP camera which is turn me on. on other side whn i see turn off factors like has no dedicated camera click button on body. i feel the LED light is not the best one flash light. Has no HDMI out put port like Vivaz. few months back i planned to buy Xperia Mini almost in the same price range. now choose Xperia Ray.This is in my buying range cell phone.
Xperia ray
  • Display 3.3" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Storage 0.3 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)

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