It’s already day three of the 2011 Smart Phone Madness Tournament, and the action is heating up! Today’s two games feature the Samsung Nexus S vs. the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, and the BlackBerry Torch vs. the Sprint HTC Arrive.
Game 5: Samsung Nexus S (T-Mobile) vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (Verizon Wireless)
The first phone to run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), the Samsung Nexus S is the closest thing you can get to a pure Google experience on a smart phone–unless you still have a Nexus One. The Nexus S has a cool Contour Display that’s slightly curved for a better fit against the side of your face, and its Super AMOLED technology provides a bright and crisp picture. Another first is the built-in NFC chip, which will let users instantly look up or exchange information with a tap. (Someday soon you might be able to use this handset as a wallet.) There’s a 5-MP camera on the back, but it can’t record 720p video. We were also disappointed that the phone doesn’t support 4G speeds on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. Overall, though, this is a powerful device.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, otherwise known as the PlayStation phone, is heading to Verizon Wireless. This device also runs Android 2.3, but has a 1-GHz Snapdragon with an Adreno GPU. When we got our hands on it, we were impressed with the gaming experience on the Xperia Play’s 4-inch, 854 x 480 screen. You get a boatload of physical gaming buttons, and Sony Ericsson promises upwards of 50 titles, form The Sims 3 and Guitar Hero to Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell.While this phone will most likely appeal only to gamers, it’s a compelling variation on the Android theme.
Game 6: BlackBerry Torch (AT&T) vs. HTC Arrive (Sprint)
RIM’s first slider, the BlackBerry Torch contains a number of firsts: BlackBerry 6, a new OS with multiple home screens, a much improved WebKit browser, and a Social Feed app that aggregates Facebook, Twitter, and RSS updates. Its 3.2 inch screen has a relatively low resolution of 480 x 360, but we like the sliding action and the premium feel of this device–it’s like a Palm Pre for the business set. Still, the Torch feels sluggish compared to other smart phones, and the interface can be confusing.
The HTC Arrive is one of a handful of Windows Phone 7 devices that have trickled out since Microsoft’s new smart phone platform was introduced last fall, and the first to arrive on Sprint’s network. The phone has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and the screen tilts upwards at a 30-degree angle so it’s easier to view your Outlook mail and Netflix movies. Otherwise, the internals are pretty much identical to other WP7 devices: A 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 3.6-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, 16GB of memory, and a 5-megapixel camera with flash and 720p video. Copy and paste is also on board (yay!) but you don’t get 4G (boo!). Overall, though, the Arrive looks like a solid phone for work and play.