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Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray: Hands-on shots and first impressions

We’ve seen the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray up close and personal before. But we’ll never say no to a second look at a phone, especially if it’s as good looking at the Ray. That airless screen has got an incredible viewing angle on it. At a glance it gives the iPhone 4’s Retina Display a run in the screen quality stakes; the Xperia Ray crams 854 x 480 pixels into a 3.3-inch screen.

Sony’s trademark Mobile Bravia engine, as seen on the Xperia Arc returns here, promising unbeatable colour fidelity, high contrasts, blacker blacks and all the rest. We may have to put the Xperia Ray through a comprehensive screen-off once we get our hands on a review sample...

Screen lovelyness aside, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is simply one of the nicest-looking phones we’ve seen in a while.

It’s slim and compact and has a dense, solid feel to it in the hand. It’s also available in a range of shiny metallic hues alongside the regulation black and dark grey, so there’s aesthetic appeal to be found here as well.

Like the Arc, Arc S and the Xperia Neo, the Xperia Ray rolls with an 8.1-megapixel camera. It features the same Exmor R light sensor that’ll allow for HD video recording and picture-taking in the gloomiest of locations. To aid this you get a single LED flash thrown in for good measure.

There’s also a VGA camera added for video calling and self-portrait tomfoolery. Sony Ericsson’s blueish user interface is present here along with Facebook Inside Xperia and other regular features such as TrackID, PlayNow, SenseMe and the xLOUD loudness enhancer.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray boasts a great build quality and a compact, high contrast, high resolution screen.

Though we were expecting an August release date, that obviously didn’t happen; the Xperia Ray however has popped up on O2 and Vodafone’s coming soon pages as well as at Carphone Warehouse, with O2 mentioning a vague September release date.

Update: Sony Ericsson told us that the Xperia Ray's RRP is £299.00

The VGA front-facing camera up there on the top left.

Check out that viewing angle. Pretty nice right?

It's a pretty slim handset but it's not lightweight or flimsy feeling. The Xperia Ray feels really solid throughout.

We like how Sony Ericsson has arranged the buttons here, with the home key underneath that coloured arch. It gives the Ray a distinctive look that's overwhelmingly 'Sony Ericsson'.  Android phones can often look a bit samey, so we appreciate the effort here.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is available in the standard grey-black palette, metallic chery red, shiny gold and a smooth white colour scheme.

The range of colour options adds to the Xperia Ray's appeal as a fashion/feature phone. The cherry red one on the end will colour co-ordinate nicely with your raspberry beret. Or something.

A quick inside look at the black Xperia Ray's guts. As you can see, everything inside is pretty tightly packed. You'll need to dig the battery out if you want to pop a new microSD card in though - the price of an elegant design.

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