Xperia Play & Xperia Arc Hands-On: Sony Ericsson Catapults?

There’s been a lot of great stuff shown at MWC 2011, still ongoing in Barcelona and two of the devices we knew of and have seen more of there, are the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and also the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, otherwise known as the PlayStation Phone. There’s been a huge amount of interest shown in these devices and we’ve already posted many articles that you may want to check out to catch up.

Some of our posts about the Xperia Arc, a super-slim beautifully designed handset, include news on a release date, a comprehensive look including a video and a comparison with the LG Optimus 2X. Recent posts on the Xperia Play include official specs and release details, news of the first games and a video preview. What we’ve really wanted to hear about though, was a hands-on experience with these 2 handsets and Andrew Munchbach over on BGR has been fortunate to have just that at MWC.

Munchbach wondered if these 2 new Android smartphones would manage to catapult Sony Ericsson to glory and that was enough to make us want to get to the conclusions. The Xperia Arc has grabbed a lot of attention, a lot of that because it’s just such a beautiful looking thing, and although it has a 4.2-inch screen it’s said to feel slim and light. We’ve noted before about the ‘gorgeous’ looking display and this is re-iterated by Munchbach.

This 1GHz processor handset, which runs on Android 2.3, has also had a lot of positive press for its camera, which we also noted previously. The 8-megapixel can take quality pictures and at impressive speed too. One negative though appeared to be the Sony Ericsson UI, which was deemed unnecessary but overall the verdict was that if you’re after a slim, light phone with a good performance then the Xperia Arc may just be for you.

Turning to the Xperia Play the thing that merited first attention was its weight. The device felt heavy and that was probably accentuated after first holding the Xperia Arc, as the Xperia Play is almost twice as thick. However as the name suggests one of the main purposes of this handset is gaming and this was said to be “great.” Whilst playing a game it was said to be on a level with dedicated gaming handhelds, with smooth video performance.

Like the Xperia Arc, the Xperia Play also has a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, also runs on Android 2.3 and uses the same Sony Ericsson UI so there’s not a lot of difference performance-wise. The camera is not as good as on the Arc as it has a 5-megapixel shooter but that’s not surprising as this is aimed primarily at gamers. All in all if you’re into gaming this could be the device for you, but otherwise another phone would probably suit you better.

So, back to the original question. Can these 2 handsets catapult Sony Ericsson to mobile glory? If you’re a gamer you’ll probably love the Xperia Play but if not it won’t set your world on fire. The Xperia Arc may be a wonderful looking thing but again taste is a very personal thing, so while these phones may not propel Sony Ericsson back to the top, they could certainly enhance the company’s reputation as they are good, solid, decent handsets.

Sony Ericsson has a dedicated MWC 2011 news section on its website at present and you can see more about the Xperia Play here where you’ll find full specs, videos and images. Alternatively you can find out more about the Xperia Arc at the product page here. What are your thoughts on these new Sony Ericsson phones? Will you be purchasing either of them? Why not let us know by sending us your comments.