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Product Listing
Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray - A Small Glimpse of Light
By Wong Casandra - 4 Oct 2011
Launch SRP: S$598

Features & Performance - Part I


The UI on the Xperia Ray follows what we've seen on the earlier Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, retaining a simple and streamlined navigational system with five home screens that give users easy access to frequently-used apps. While Sony Ericsson has previously featured the smart four-corner UI on the Xperia mini series to increase user accessibility, this isn’t available on the small Xperia Ray. Instead, the phone gets a nifty widget that facilitates easy one-touch calling on its minute screen.

The UI is a familiar sight to those who have used the Arc before: it has five main pages for the placement of widgets, shortcuts and folders. As seen from the screen shot, Timescape makes a reappearance here.

The Xperia Ray gets a one-touch calling widget for ease of use. You can access your favorite contacts here via the tab in the foreground, and your call history via the tab in the background.

Regarding text input, the phone starts off with an old-school alpha-numeric keypad in portrait mode, but switches to the QWERTY keyboard format in landscape mode. The former is a little too cramped for accurate typing.

The QWERTY virtual keyboard in landscape mode has smaller keys than those we are used to but we found that typing was a pretty accurate and speedy experience.

Benchmarking the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

We have adopted a few benchmark tests specific to the Android platform for a few reasons. With the Google Android platform maturing so quickly, choosing a suitable phone in a growing sea of Android devices with close to identical specs is extremely difficult. In addition, with manufacturers jumping on the dual-core processing bandwagon, these results will give a gauge of how they will fare against their lesser-endowed counterparts. Also, should a phone not perform favorably in our usage experience, these results would also help add a valuable dimension to further back up why it didn't meet expectations. Hopefully, these benchmarks will allow for a clearer picture on which smartphone is worth your while.

Within this page, we'll be looking at two specific benchmarks, both of which are downloadable via the Android Market.

  • Quadrant: It measures the device's performance based on its CPU, I/O and GPU. Simply put, Quadrant is a benchmark that gives you a general idea of how your device performs against other Android devices.
  • NeoCore: It is targeted towards the device's GPU performance. This is especially important given how smartphones of today have evolved into alternative, high-powered devices that dabble in heavy graphical interfaces and gaming.

Do note that the above two benchmarks are not absolute in measuring performance, but they give you a good rough estimate of how the device performs. Our tests were conducted on devices from a fresh reboot on a stock firmware. To show how the Xperia Ray performed against the competition, we compare its results against the following high-end Android devices - the HTC SensationSamsung Galaxy S II and its bigger brother, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.


Device Sony Ericsson
Xperia Ray
HTC Sensation Samsung Galaxy S II Sony Ericsson
Xperia Arc
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
MSM8260 dual-core 1.2GHz
Samsung Exynos dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
MSM8255 1GHz
GPU Adreno 205 Adreno 220 Mali-400MP Adreno 205
RAM 512 MB 768MB 1GB 512MB
OS Google Android 2.3 Google Android 2.3 Google Android 2.3 Google Android 2.3

If you look at the Quadrant benchmark scores, the Xperia Ray and Arc are head-to-head in terms of scores. Looking at the comparison chart for the phones' specifications, you will see that they both share key identical hardware specs, which explains the similar scores we got from Quadrant.

To give you a good gauge of how the Ray's score compare to the dual-core smartphones, we have also included the latest two smartphones from that particular category. As you can see, the Ray and Arc lag pretty significantly behind the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II, with the Samsung smartphone's score doubling that of the two Xperia phones.

However, when it comes to the NeoCore scores, all four devices gave remarkably similar scores, though the Xperia Ray tops the cohort. With an FPS score of 62.6, the device achieved slightly better scores than the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Sensation. Taking into consideration the margin of benchmark error, we think it's safe to say that the Xperia Ray is powerful enough to handle 3D graphical games smoothly, much like its dual-core peers.

The Xperia Ray, like its Arc cousin, is fleet-footed and lag-free even as we navigated through the phone. Speedy screen transitions and apps were the norm, and multi-tasking with several apps in the background did not put a damper on its performance. During the testing period, we experienced no crashes. While its 512MB RAM pales in comparison to the Galaxy S II's 1GB or the HTC Sensation's 768MB offering, it certainly did the job for us. All in all, you will get a responsive phone with enough horsepower for fluid multi-tasking.

  • Design 8.5
  • Features 8
  • User-Friendliness 8.5
  • Performance 8
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Unique and classy "Ray" design
Snappy overall performance
Capable 8.1-megapixel camera with f/2.4 lens
The Bad
Average battery performance
No camera shortcut button
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