Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sony Ericsson Xperia ray Review: Part 1 - The Screen

From my initial review of the Xperia ray, the next few entries will be a more in-depth review of each aspect of the phone.  This review will be about the Reality Display.

Since the death of my P1i, Android has been my mobile OS of choice.  The expandability and flexibility has met all my communication needs since Symbian's UIQ.  Now, it's been a little over a year since I got my Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro.  I've enjoyed having such a small phone, and all the new larger phones don't really appeal to me as much.  Which is what led me to the Xperia ray and it's 3.3" Reality Display.

With my new Xperia ray, the first feature you notice is the beautiful new screen, dubbed Reality Display.  With a pixel density of 297ppi, it's much higher than my X10 Mini Pro's 156ppi, and quite close to Apple's Retina Display of 326ppi.  (On a side note, PCs run at 72ppi, most Macs run at 96ppi and the Apple iPad runs at 132ppi.)  Which is just my way of saying, at this level...this IS nitpicking.)  This makes images and video look incredibly crisp and clear.  Combined with Sony Ericsson's Bravia Engine (which only works on video and photo playback), the Reality Display is the single most stunning feature of the ray.

The following are close-up shots of the ray's screen against the iPod Touch 4, and the X10 Mini Pro.

Xperia ray screen

iPod Touch 4 screen

X10 Mini Pro screen

iPod Touch 4 vs Xperia ray
Xperia ray vs X10 Mini Pro

The level of detail on the ray is quite high and comparable to Apple's Retina Display.  Although no one will ever really read text at these sizes, it does make pages and icons look sharper and more vivid.  It also has a tendency to have a warmer hue than both the Retina Display and the X10 Mini Pro.

The other great quality of the screen is the contrast.  Blacks are very nice and deep, thus making the other colors stand out very well.  If you look at the ray vs X10 Mini Pro, you'll see that the Mini Pro doesn't really show black, it's more of a dark gray.  Color rendition on the ray is quite excellent as well. Gradients are smooth and there isn't any noticeable banding.

Another great aspect of the screen is that Sony Ericsson has made it from Scratch Resistant Mineral Glass which keeps the display nice and new looking.  I wouldn't keep my phone in the same pocket as my keys, but I'm pretty sure it can handle daily wear and tear.  So no need for a screen protector.  Due to it's glossy nature, the ray's screen is a fingerprint magnet.  On that note, my X10 Mini Pro did have scratch resistant coating and it held up decently, but being a plastic screen, it does have micro scratches visible after only a year.

Now, some people are asking if the screen is too small.  It's not.  There are bigger screens out on the market, and there are smaller screens.  It all depends on what apps you intend to use often... if you use your mobile communicator as your primary entertainment device, then you will be better off with a larger screen... or even a small 7" tablet.  The 3.3" screen of the ray is more than adequate for surfing, email, SMS, and casual video playback .  Games are pretty decent to play... but the screen size does make finger accuracy an issue with Angry Birds... hahahaha...

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