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Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia ray 8.5

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Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Review

The earpiece of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray produces good enough volume and the sound comes out clear, with no audible distortions, even at the highest level.

People said they can hear us very well, and the second microphone for noise cancellation played their part to filter out the surrounding noise. One of the mics is on the back though, so you will be often cupping it with your palm when you talk, thus diminishing the usefulness of a dual mic setup.

Sony Ericsson also supplied the Xperia ray with a 1500mAh battery, which is rated for 7 hours of talk time in 3G mode, and that is another plus we don't see often is smallish Android handsets.


To summarize our impressions from the tiny phone – it is tempting to dismiss the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray as a less-capable version of the Xperia arc, but what you get is in fact a more compact variant, without sacrificing much but an HDMI port. Actually, the fact that the 8MP Exmor R camera didn't perform as well as we expected, and also that the LED on the back has to be used as a light instead of automatic camera flash, are the only letdowns we experienced with the Xperia ray.

Most everything else works like a charm, and looks good in the process. Props for the great pixel density on the 3.3” screen, it really makes a difference while reading, and the pretty UI overlay. The loudspeaker is very strong and clear, as with all handsets in the Xperia line, and we have dual mics for noise cancellation.  All of this is wrapped up in a slim and stylish chassis that you wouldn't be hesitant to whip out even in the VIP section of your favorite club, unlike some smartphone clunkers we've met. It's without a doubt a chic and capable miniscule handset that runs the latest Android version beautified by the Timescape UX without a hiccup, and that places it in a unique category of its own.

In a nutshell, the attractiveness of our Sony Ericsson Xperia ray turned out to be not only the stylish design, but also the fact that it doesn't cripple functionality compared to the bigger sibling Xperia arc, but rather adds some, like a front-facing camera, and that makes it a very enticing small Android handset.

It, however, hovers in a price range that is only about $50 less than the Xperia arc without a contract, so you will be likely to choose it before the larger handset only if you are mesmerized by its compact nature. If you want an even smaller alternative with similar specs, the Xperia mini seems a good bet, but it's not more compact, as the chassis is thicker.

Going downmarket for something cheaper, we come across the Samsung Galaxy Ace with its slightly larger screen, but its outer shell is a far cry from the beautiful Xperia ray, and the processor/screen/camera trio is inferior as well. It is, however, roughly $100 less, so the pricing of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray might really put you in a bind, unless it becomes an impulse purchase.

Software version of the reviewed unit: 4.0A.2.368

Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Video Review:


  • High pixel density display
  • Design-conscious chassis
  • Good loudspeaker
  • Dual mics for noise-cancellation and stereo sound capture


  • Camera could be better
  • LED light doesn't serve as automatic flash
PhoneArena rating:
8.5 Excellent
User rating:
9 8 Reviews

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posted on 19 Sep 2011, 10:35

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.

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 12:32 12

8. ztedac (Posts: 69; Member since: 17 May 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

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 16:49 1

11. maroon5christina1807 (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Sep 2011)

luv itt!

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 20:07 3

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.

posted on 25 Sep 2011, 01:11 4

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..:-)

posted on 14 Oct 2011, 02:31

42. Ronald Nilo (unregistered)

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

posted on 11 Dec 2011, 17:37

43. executor46d (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Dec 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

posted on 27 Mar 2013, 00:59

46. linie (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Mar 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!

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 10:46 1

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..

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:19

3. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

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

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:26

4. Hsiao (unregistered)

nice phone

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:46 4

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.

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:56

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 :(

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 12:32

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.

posted on 20 Sep 2011, 07:26

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)

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 09:38

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.

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 12:34

10. ztedac (Posts: 69; Member since: 17 May 2010)

yes it should, but you can feel it through tho

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 12:18

7. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 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.

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 17:09 1

12. Azuz (unregistered)

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

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 09:40 1

23. AlexanderT (unregistered)

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

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 18:43

13. qReza (unregistered)

where is video review ??

posted on 19 Sep 2011, 19:34 1

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

posted on 20 Sep 2011, 00:31

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 :)

posted on 20 Sep 2011, 11:43 1

19. gump (unregistered)

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

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 04:37

21. medalaster1 (unregistered)

galaxy s it issssssssssssssss!

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 01:01

24. Jean L's (unregistered)

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

posted on 26 Sep 2011, 08:47

30. AlexanderT (unregistered)

Xperia Arc
+ Bigger screen
+ LED flash

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.

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 16:04

25. Bahumbaba (unregistered)

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

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 20:30

26. black (unregistered)

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

posted on 23 Sep 2011, 05:01

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.

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Display3.3 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (297 ppi) TFT
Camera8.1 megapixels
Single core, 1000 MHz
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.37 x 2.09 x 0.37 inches
(111 x 53 x 9.4 mm)
3.53 oz  (100 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 6.5 hours talk time

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