The super-skinny Xperia Ray arrives equipped with Android 2.3, a high-resolution Reality Display, and a powerful 8.1MP camera
Editor's Review of the Xperia ray
Big screened handsets may be all the rage, but Sony Ericsson's Xperia Ray bucks the trend with its small 3.3-inch screen and tiny dimensions. Can the Ray prove that the best things come in small packages?
Design & Build
Its fair to say that the Xperia Ray hasn't been made with big fingers in mind, measuring in at a dainty 111 x 53 x 9.4mm. However, it seems super-tight skinny jeans have been considered, as this phone will slip straight into your pocket without a struggle.
While we're not usually keen on brightly-coloured handsets, Sony Ericsson is offering the Ray in a bunch of appealing hues, including; Black, Pink, White and Champagne. This, coupled with its size, will no doubt help to attract smartphone newbies, as well as those simply after a stylish-looking handset.
In a market full of mammoth-screened handsets such as the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S2, we were worried about the Ray's small screen. We shouldn't have been however, as this may just be one of the best smartphone displays yet. Sony Ericsson have squeezed 854 x 480 pixels into the 3.3-inch screen, offering up a noticeably bright 279ppi - just a few pixels lower than the iPhone 4S.
OS & Interface
Like the rest of its 2011 siblings, including the Xperia Play, Neo and Mini, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). As per, this comes skinned in Sony's custom-made Timescape skin, complete with Facebook Inside Xperia integration.
One of the main features of Sony's UI is the social widget, which aggregates your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates into one scrolling-wheel you can place on the homescreen. Although cute, we found the app was slow to update and took ages to scroll through hundreds of updates, so we ended up retreating to the standard applications.
Multimedia & Storage
It may be billed as an affordable alternative to the Xperia Arc, but on the rear of the Ray you'll find a similarly impressive 8.1 megapixel camera. In well-lit surroundings, the phone produces impressive snapshots with plenty of detail and realistic colour. However, unlike the Arc, the camera seemed to struggle in low-light conditions, and ended up delivering grainy-looking images.
Don't let the Ray's small size deceive you though, as the camera's also capable of shooting 720p HD video. Again, it struggles in poorly-lit conditions, but video looks excellent in reasonable light.
The phone also arrives equipped with DLNA technology, which allows you to transfer files from the phone to your PC or TV, making them look far more impressive than on the small 3.3-inch screen. Unlike the Xperia Arc however, there's no HDMI connectivity onboard.
As is the norm with most smartphones nowadays, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray comes with both HSDPA and WiFi connectivity. We expected to struggle with the browser, however, given the small screen size and our clumsy fingers, but one again - we were wrong.
We rarely noticed the phone's small screen when flicking between multiple web pages, and multimedia content loaded in an instant. The Ray also comes with Flash integration, unlike some more expensive smartphones.
Finally, battery life. Again, the Xperia Ray may be small, but it manages to carry a decent 1500mAh battery. The phone will easily last you a day of heavy usage, or maybe even two if you tweaks with the settings.
We didn't have high hopes for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray, but - as you may have guessed - we couldn't have been more wrong. It may be small for a full touch screen, but the Ray packs a stunning 3.3-inch screen, an excellent camera, a top-notch browser and a long battery life. Our only criticism is Sony's clunky TimeScape UI, but you'll soon quickly overlook this given the phone's impressive usability.
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray News
Sony has announced that it’ll begin upgrading Xperia devices to Ice Cream Sandwich in the next few weeks. According to the newly-renamed manufacturer, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc S and Xperia Neo V will be the first three handsets to receive the update, with Android 4.0 expected to arrive on the phones in [...]
Sony Ericsson has officially confirmed that Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will be coming its 2011 XperiaÂ portfolio. Back in September, SoMobile exclusively revealed – having spoken to a Sony Ericsson representative at a London event – that all of the firm’sÂ 2011 Xperia smartphones came with support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Sony Ericsson has now [...]
Sony Ericsson‘s latest Android smartphone, the Xperia Ray, has officially landed at Vodafone UK. Although not as cheap as rivals O2, Vodafone is offering the handset for free from £26 per month on a 2 year contract. As well as a free Xperia Ray smartphone, this will get you 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB [...]
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Ray is now available to buy in Blighty, with O2 stepping up as the first UK network to start offering the smartphone. On sale now at the O2 Shop, the handset’s available for free on a £21.50, 24 month tariff, complete with 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of mobile data. It’s [...]
Orange has revealed that it’ll soon be selling the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray, having added the smartphone to its official Coming Soon page. The listing confirms that the Xperia Ray will be available on the network in both Black and White flavours, although there’s no mention of its Pink and Gold (right) siblings. There’s not [...]
Sony Ericsson has confirmed that its current-gen Xperia line-up, including the Xperia Arc and Xperia Ray, will be updated to Android 4.0. Speaking to SoMobile, a representative from the London-based phone-maker assured that its 2011 Xperia smartphones all come with support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich – the next iteration of Google’s mobile OS. Of [...]
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Specifications
111mm x 53mm x 9.4mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: TFT LCD
Size: 3.3 inches
Resolution: 854 x 480
Interface: TimeScape UI
External: microSD up to 32GB
Included: 4GB microSD card
A-GPS with maps
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
8.1 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and LED Flash
720p Video Recording
At 30 fps
Front facing camera with video calling
Battery Capacity: 1500 mAh
Talk Time: 420 minutes
Standby Time: 440 hours
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3, AAC
Video supported formats