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Sony Ericsson's 'PlayStation Phone' Previewed

Not to be outdone by Gizmodo and the whole iPhone 4 scandal, Wednesday Engadget published a hands-on preview of Sony Ericsson's unannounced "PlayStation Phone," the Xperia Play (R800i). If anyone had any prior doubts that the gadget wasn't real, then the preview's extensive walkthrough of the hardware and software should prove it to be real and ready for the spotlight next month.

According to the hands-on, the Android 2.3-powered device has a 4-inch multitouch 854 x 480 LCD possibly powered by a Bravia engine for improved video playback. The site was unable to verify the actual processor used in the device. Instead, Quadrant and Android System Info was used to discover that it has a single-core CPU clocking from 122.88 MHz to 1 GHz, and is coupled with an Adreno 205 GPU.

"This combo, along with Gingerbread and the generous 512 MB of RAM, scored a chart-topping 1,689 on Quadrant and an impressive 59fps on Neocore," the site reports. "Other benchmark scores include: about 35 MFLOPS on Linpack, and around 43fps on NenaMark (tying with the Tegra 2-packing LG Star)."

Most of what Engadget covered in the preview are features we've seen for a while in prior reports including:

  • Four buttons at the at bottom of the screen for Home, Menu, Back and Search (not backlit surprisingly)
  • Left and right trigger buttons with a volume slider sitting in-between
  • Headphone jack and microUSB port on one side
  • Power button with mini-LED on top (vertical)
  • 5MP camera, LED flash and secondary microphone (possibly for noise cancellation) on the back
  • Stereo speakers (located under battery cover)
  • Slide-out gamepad

As for Gingerbread's performance, the screens scrolled left and right quickly and smoothly. The interface itself had a "PlayStation" feel in its overall presentation. On the Home screen, an icon at the bottom-left allowed the user to sort icons automatically by category whereas an icon located at the bottom-right allowed the user to move icons individually, mimicking Apple's iOS method of "shaky" icon placement.

Naturally the preview briefly showed the PlayStation Pocket app-- located on the Home screen-- which unsurprisingly didn't feature any games to demo. "Since we have little experience with the PSP Go, we asked a good friend of ours to compare his experience on our Xperia Play with his 50 to 100 hours of play time on his PSP Go," the preview reads. "Interestingly, one of his first reactions was that the phone is less well balanced than the bottom-heavy PSP Go, and then he noted that the shoulder buttons could do with more depth, but this would obviously require a thicker body.

"That said, we both agree that the Xperia Play is still comfortable to hold, and also it has a better build quality than the PSP Go," Engadget added. "We also noticed that the screen can be wiggled gently when closed (such phenomenon is commonly known as the "oreo effect" amongst Palm Pre users), but it's nothing major."

To check out the full hands-on preview of Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play smartphone, head over to Engadget here.