Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Review
The Timescape camera interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is the newest version, so we can now zoom digitally with the volume buttons for images of above 2MP of resolution, which we couldn't on the Xperia arc, for example. Not that digital zoom is any good to begin with, but it's nice to have options.
You take a picture by directly tapping on the screen, same with video mode for start and stop. The most used presets like Sports, Night shot or Snow and Beach are present, but we were looking for a Macro mode in the settings and couldn't find it. Turns out it is automatic, with the little flower icon appearing on the screen when you approach the closest distance from which the Xperia ray can take a clear macro shot, which seems to be from about 6 inches. The automatic option is pretty good, quickly recognizes the lighting environment around you and adjusts accordingly, displaying what preset mode it will be using for the next shot with an icon on the display.
The pictures taken outside are characterized with washed out colors and the amount of detail captured should have also been higher from an 8MP shooter. Indoors the pics and video come a bit noisy when it's darker, which most phone cameras can't shake off, but decent when there is enough light. The LED light has to be turned on manually, which is a bummer, and sometimes messes with exposure compensation – when you have light shining in the lens it would be good to counter it by firing up the flash, as most decent cameraphones do, but not in our case, unfortunately.
Video capture is done in HD 720p at 30fps, and the handset consistently repeats the fuzzy colors that are visible in the stills as well. The videos are lacking detail as well, but the handset doesn't skip frames even in a fairly busy setting. The dual mics record stereo sound, which is a plus, but the sound is not very clear and wind noises managed to sneak in.
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Sample Video:
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Indoor Sample Video:
Xperia ray features Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine, borrowed from its LCD TV sets, for enhanced sharpness, saturation and contrast while watching pictures or video, which you can turn off if you don’t like. It does make a slight difference in boosting those aspects, which increases the noise in the imagery, but then it also applies noise reduction, so the end result has similar noise levels, which are barely discernible on the smallish screen of the phone.
The gallery interface is the standard Android one, and the handset doesn't have DivX/Xvid codecs hardwired in the video player by default, but it plays MPEG-4s up to 720p definition with no issues.
The music player has a minimalistic interface and sports album art backgrounds while playing the song. It also groups your tunes by artist, album, or playlists, and has 10 equalizer presets to choose from Music playback through the loudspeaker is exceptionally strong and clear for such a svelte and tiny handset – good speakers are a trademark for the Xperia line of Sony Ericsson.