Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Review

Interface and Functionality:

We examined the Timescape UX Android overlay extensively in our Xperia arc review, and, while we wouldn’t exactly say it’s as elaborate as HTC Sense, it’s pretty far out there, and certainly more visually pleasing than Samsung’s TouchWiz, for instance.

The new Facebook inside Xperia integration comes woven into Timescape over Android 2.3 Gingerbread on the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray. It goes as deep as warning you that the Facebook friend who's calling has a birthday today. You can "like", share and comment on songs and pictures right from the music player or gallery on the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray, and update notifications appear on your lock screen. The lock screen notifications are static - you still have to unlock the phone and then select the respective app, unlike in the newest versions of HTC Sense or TouchWiz.

Even if we leave aside the new deep social networking integration, intricately woven in the UI, it is a beauty, with transparencies and transitional animation galore. You almost never see the underlying Android Gingerbread interface on the Xperia ray, except when you run some of the Google Services apps, or the gallery. The 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 and 512MB RAM have proven themselves already in the other phones of the Xperia stable this year, and don't disappoint here too, running the interface smoothly and without lag.

Messaging, Internet and Connectivity:

Typing on the fairly small touchscreen of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray isn't very easy, especially with bigger hands, but there is not much you can do about it. Still, both the portrait and landscape keyboards have well-spaced keys and act with responsiveness, but the screen is just too small for correctly typing on the portrait keyboard in a quick manner - we mainly used the landscape orientation, unlike what we do on phones with 3.5”+ screens.

This Qualcomm chipset powers very decent Adobe Flash display in the browser, which is a joy to use not only because of the smooth performance, but also since the 480x854 resolution on the 3.3” display makes for a good reading experience on the smallish screen. Text doesn't reflow automatically like on the HTC Sensation 4G, when you enter an article to read, you have to double-tap the screen for it to fit the screen's width, but that's a minor quibble.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia ray comes with 3G connectivity, plus the usual set of radios – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, and FM radio. It also features DLNA for wireless streaming of multimedia, and there is a Media Server app, which is used to manage your DLNA sessions.

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