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Tags : headset



Just under a month ago, Rogers launched the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, the world's first PlayStation certified mobile device. The PLAY runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and has an impressive range of features. It has a 4" (480x854) touchscreen display, and is powered by a 1GHz processor, along with 512MB of RAM. It has a 5MP camera along with a VGA front facing camera for video calling. Sony Ericsson has included their custom UI/launcher TimeScape, which has changed dramatically since the X10 line-up. The most unique feature is its PlayStation style game pad, which can be used for a variety of PLAY optimized games including PS1 Classics. So, how does the PLAY hold up as a smartphone and for gaming?

Beginning with the hardware, the PLAY is very nicely designed. It is a little bit thick compared to most current devices, but that is expected with the full game pad hidden under the screen. It has 3.5mm headset and microUSB ports on the left edge, while the right edge holds the volume and shoulder keys. Even though the casing is made of plastic, it feels relatively sturdy and durable, and the sliding mechanism is surprisingly solid. When you slide out the game pad, the PLAY really starts to shine, bringing that familiar PlayStation feel to your phone. The device fits fairly well in your hands when slid open, but might take a little bit of getting used to. The touchpads meant for use where joysticks or analog sticks would normally come into play, are a nice addition to the controls, though very strange to use at first. Like most gamers know, any new controller design takes some time to get completely accustomed to, and the PLAY's game pad is no exception. Still, it really brought a new element to mobile gaming, one previously found only in devices like the PSP or Nintendo DS. After using the Xperia PLAY, games on touchscreen-only devices seem weak and difficult to play, so beware when trying out your friend's new PLAY.




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The games themselves are entertaining, and the PLAY comes with 6 full version titles built-in: NFL 11, Star Battalion HD, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Crash Bandicoot, Fifa 10, and Tetris. There are 5 more PS1 games available for purchase in Market for $5.75 USD each, and about 50 other PLAY optimized games and apps. Crash Bandicoot ran well and gives a great idea of what PS1 games will be like on the device. The sports games (Madden NFL 11 and FIFA 10) are great fun, and far more complex than you might think, and the other games were just as entertaining and immersive. Unfortunately Tetris didn't make use of the slide-out controls, but it is a simple enough game that the touchscreen is fine.




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As a smartphone alone, the PLAY runs just as well as most current Android handsets. OS 2.3 Gingerbread performs well, and TimeScape doesn't seem to have as strong of an impact on performance as with the X10. The application tray features custom sorting, and there are a variety of widgets pre-installed. There are media widgets that include music controls, shortcuts, and a scrolling image/video wheel. There are also a couple of clock widgets available, all of which can be used on any of the 5 home screens.

Other parts of the device that are worth mentioning include the display and camera. The display isn't very bright when turned all the way up, though it can get you by. To those who normally enjoy very bright and crisp displays like super AMOLED equipped devices may be let down however. The Camera is of decent quality, coming in at 5MP with an LED flash. It actually handles close-up shots very well, though mid and long range photos are of average quality. It can also record video at WVGA resolution, and surprisingly doesn't capture at 720p. Videos recorded with the PLAY are also average, looking great on your mobile screen but mediocre on larger displays.




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Lastly, battery life. The PLAY surprisingly held up very well, lasting longer than many devices in the current market. Even while gaming for a few hours, the battery indicator only dropped a sliver. Unfortunately it still doesn't compare to the life of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 or a few other devices, but considering its large screen and game pad, does very well.

Overall, the Xperia PLAY is a great device. It is a full-featured Android smartphone and really makes mobile gaming possible. Kudos to Sony Ericsson for producing a great, and very unique device! Hopefully they continue to create great handsets that stand-out and bring a new element to smartphones.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY is available from Rogers for $99.99 on a 3 year term or $549.99 contract free.


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Rogers has recently added a new handset to their Pay As You Go line-up, launching the Samsung T249. This vertical slider is a GSM/EDGE handset, and features a 2.1" display, 1.3MP camera, and low resolution video recording. The Samsung T249 is available now for just $79.99 from Rogers. According to their website, a bluetooth headset is included in the box, sweetening the deal a little bit. If you, or someone you know needs a simple prepaid handset, the affordable phone may be worth considering.


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We recently let you know that Virgin Mobile was preparing to release the LG 230 in pink, a basic and affordable flip phone. The LG 230 "Pink Pebble Kit" is now available, and features a 1.77" display, basic VGA camera, and a 2.5mm headset jack. While this device might not appeal to everybody, the contract-free price tag can make it an enticing option for those who just want a simple device for calls and text messaging. The LG 230 in pink is available now from Virgin Mobile for free using the SuperTab, or just $60 contract-free.


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We recently let you know that Fido was preparing to launch the Sony Ericsson J108 Cedar, an eco-friendly entry-level cellphone. The Cedar features a 2.2" (240x320) display, 3.5mm headset jack, along with a 2MP camera, and social networking integration for Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. The Ericsson J108 Cedar is available now from Fido for $10 on a 2-year term, or just $110 contract-free.


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Virgin Mobile is going to be launch a pink version of the LG GU230, likely just in time for Valentine's Day. This CDMA handset is a simple flip phone featuring a 1.77" (128x160) display, a basic VGA camera, and a 2.5mm headset jack. No word yet on exactly when the pink LG GU230 will be launched, but we should see it drop within a couple days. If you're looking to pick one up, contract-free pricing is set to a very affordable price point of $60, so keep an eye on Virgin Mobile!


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Bell is trying to get rid of a few older devices to make room for all of their newer handsets, and are offering up some pretty low contract-free prices on two devices specifically. The Motorola Dext and the Palm Pre have both been dropped down to a low $149.95 contract-free price.

The Motorola Dext runs on Android 1.5 (with no further upgrades coming), and features MOTOBLUR, along with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5MP camera, and Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS connectivity. It comes with a 2GB microSD card, but can hold up to 32GB for additional memory.

The Palm Pre is a CDMA device that runs on webOS, and it features a 3.1" (320x480) touch screen display, slide out QWERTY keyboard, and a 3MP camera, along with Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS. It also comes with 8GB of internal memory, and has a 3.5 mm headset jack.

They have also dropped the price of 3 of their devices by $75 each if purchased on a 3 year term, offering up the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant for $24.95, the HTC Desire Z for $4.95, and the LG Quantum for free. These are some pretty great prices if you're willing to sign a 3 year contract, but are only available until December 31st.


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Canada's new entrants have been doing a great job lately, expanding their device line-up regularly and offering up a multitude of discounts, promotions, and more. One of the latest device additions comes to Mobilicity, who have added the Android-powered Motorola Spice to their offerings. The Spice, which runs Android 2.1 at launch, features a 3" (240x320) touch screen display, a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out, and a 3MP camera. Powered by a 528MHz processor, the Motorola Spice also features 256MB of RAM, 512MB of internal memory, and Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS support. You can pick up the Motorola Spice now from Mobilicity for $199.99 contract-free, and Mobilicity is currently offering a bonus bluetooth headset to those who pick up this affordable Android handset.


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We have a lot of device launch news from Videotron, with one device having launched, 2 others beings posted on their site but soon after removed, and hints at the BlackBerry Curve 3G. The LG dLite is now available from Videotron, while the Motorola Spice (Android), and the LG Wink were posted but then removed.

The LG dLite features a bright blue colour, unique customizable LCD external display, 2.8" screen, and a 2MP camera. The dLite is now available for $14.95 "reduced price", or $219.95 outright.

The Motorola Spice, which runs Android 2.1, features a 3" touch screen, slide out QWERTY keyboard, a 3MP camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity. This handset was posted on Videotron's website, but was quickly removed for unknown reasons. When it was posted, it was listed at $59.95 as a reduced price, or $279.95 outright.

The other device to be posted but then removed is the LG Wink, which features a 2" touchscreen, 1.3MP camera, FM radio and a 3.5mm headset jack. This device is the least expensive of the newly launched/upcoming handsets, and comes in at $9.95 reduced, or $159.95 contract-free.




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Lastly, it looks like Videotron is getting set to launch the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300, as the BlackBerry software update website lists it under Videotron's category. No word yet on when the Curve 3G will join their BlackBerry line-up, but we should see it fairly soon. We'll be sure to let you know once any further information is available!


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MTS has jumped into the news lately, first by released the Motorola Milestone A584, and now by launching another new device - the Kyocera Rio. The Rio E3100 features a 2.8" touch screen display, 1.3MP camera, 3.5mm headset jack, and can hold up to 16GB of memory via microSD card. This new CDMA device is available no from MTS for $0 on a 3 year term, $69.99 with a 2 year contract, or $304.99 outright.


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WIND Mobile has launched the Huawei U3200, which features a 2.2" (240 x 320) display, a sliding standard keypad, and a 3.2MP camera. It also has FM radio, bluetooth, a built-in LED flashlight, and can hold up to 8GB via microSD card. Coming with a 3.5mm headset jack, this device versatile and affordable. The Huawei U3200 is available now from WIND Mobile for just $90 contract-free.


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