It’s that time of the year again. It’s time to go back to school, but it doesn’t have to be a chore and it certainly doesn’t have to be a bore, not if you get your hands on the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY.
For those of you not familiar with the device, the Xperia PLAY is the world’s first PlayStation-certified smartphone, and it is equipped with a set of slide-out controls: a d-pad, two touchpads, and, of course, the X, square, triangle, and circle PlayStation buttons we all know and love. Take public transportation to school and have a long commute? Got some free periods during the day? Need to kill time on campus between classes? The Xperia PLAY combines your smartphone with a portable gaming device to give you an unprecedented mobile gaming experience whenever you have some free time.
And there’s no need to be antisocial; the Xperia PLAY is multiplayer-ready so if any of your friends have one, you can enjoy gaming sessions with them online or locally.
This device comes preloaded with a handful of games, including Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Star Battalion, and Madden NFL 11, so you can game right out of the box. And these games look nothing short of stunning for a handheld device, as the Xperia PLAY is equipped with a powerful 1 GHz Snapdragon processor with an Adreno 205 GPU to allow you to enjoy amazing graphics and butter-smooth framerates on its roomy 4-inch screen.
And should you ever need to get your fix for more games, this smartphone has access to both the Android Market (for apps and Xperia Play optimized games) and PlayStation Pocket, which features classic PSOne titles available for download. That’s right: you can play the original Crash Bandicoot on your phone now.
But just because this device lets you enjoy PlayStation games anytime doesn’t mean that you always should. We don’t recommend playing it during class; after all, you are there to learn. And besides, it’s not exactly the most subtle thing in the world, since — with the controls slid out — it shares a similar form factor and is held the same way as the PSP Go. It’s going to be pretty obvious when you’re using it to game.
The Xperia PLAY isn’t a one-trick pony, though, because it isn’t just all about fun and games. Running the most up-to-date version of the Android OS for smartphones, Gingerbread, this handset sports a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate user interface with a wealth of practical features. Besides games, the Xperia Play also has a calendar/scheduler, 3G mobile hotspot capabilities to keep your other devices connected, turn-by-turn navigation for travelling, and, of course, Web and email access. And with 8 GB of pre-installed storage and a microSD card slot that is expandable up to 32 GB, it can serve as a media powerhouse, as well. Say goodbye to your iPod, your PSP, and your smartphone because now you have all three of them in the same place.
So keep that in mind when convincing your parents to help you scrape together the cash for an Xperia PLAY: this isn’t just a handheld gaming titan, this is a well-rounded smartphone with enough pragmatic features to keep you productive and organized once you go back to school. At just $100 after a new, two-year contract with Verizon Wireless, the Xperia PLAY won’t break the bank and it will give you good bang for your buck.
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