Monday, August 22, 2011

10 things you may not know about the Xperia ray

10 things you may not know about the Xperia ray

Here are 10 nuggets of trivia we learned about the ray.

1. The ray is four parts Japanese in design
While there were collaborative efforts from the various development sites in Sweden, China and the US, most of the work on the handset design came from Japan. However, product planner Kozue Tanaka said the ray was designed with the global market in mind. As such, this little Xperia won't sport Japan-centric features such as a 1Seg TV broadcast system and NFC. The company believes cellphone users in Japan are now more accepting of such global-facing handsets after the successful adoption of the Apple iPhone in the land of the rising sun.

2. Who let the arc out?
Besides the obvious difference in screen size and chassis between the two handsets, both phones could almost pass off for twins in terms of specifications. Among the common features are the Reality display (with the same 854 x 480 resolution), 8.1-megapixel Exmor R sensor and 1GHz Qualcomm processor. To maintain its more petite dimensions, though, the ray is stripped of a camera button and HDMI port.

3. Did we mention that the ray and arc were close?
Short of sounding repetitive, let's just say that the ray also runs on the same single-core 1GHz processor, and not a dual-core chipset as most people had hoped. Tanaka explained that the dual-core chip is not yet optimized for the platform. She did, however, reveal that Sony Ericsson is likely to consider dual-core processors in future products.

4. The ray uses the same battery capacity as the arc
Now this is amazing even to yours truly, because Sony Ericsson managed to shrink the various components of the arc phone into the ray's much smaller footprint. According to the company, the battery on the ray is 31 percent smaller than the arc's, but both boast the same 1,500mAh capacity. In a feat of miniaturisation, Sony Ericsson developed a smaller printed circuit board (PCB), employed ultra-small screws and used thinner stainless steel and aluminum housing, among other implementations, to achieve a more compact form factor.

5. The ray's display outshines the arc's
Even though the arc and ray are said to feature the Reality display with Mobile Bravia Engine, the ray is touted to be 25 percent brighter than the arc. This is achieved by tweaking some hardware components.

6. When all is said, the ray is not Sony Ericsson's new flagship smartphone
The arc is still the current flagship Android phone for the company. Sony Ericsson is targeting the ray at the more fashion demanding and fashionable younger set. It believes the ray will appeal to feature phone users, too, especially since its small chassis and UI customization enable one-hand operation of the handset.

7. This little ray took 1.5 years to develop
Why so long? Well, product manager Tatsu Nishimura said the actual process from concept to market is closer to one year. So most of the phones introduced in 2011 were already conceptualized as early as 2009. In short, what the company's design team is working on right now will probably see light of day in late 2012 or early 2013.

8. Only black comes with a matte back cover
One of these things don't belong with the others, and that's the black ray. Only this version, which has become the signature color of the Xperia phones, comes with a matte back cover. The other three, in white, gold or pink, sport glossy backs to emphasize the design highlights, according to color and material senior designer Linda Lissola. 

9. Surprise, "ray" comes from the word "beauty" in Japanese
According to Nishimura, the name "ray" was chosen because it sounds similar to the word "rei" in Japanese, meaning beauty. To the non-Japanese, the name is also used to represent the side of the phone as a ray of light to project a thinner, premium feel.

10. Countdown to an early September launch
Announced at the Singapore CommunicAsia show in June this year, the Xperia ray is slated to launch in Japan first before the end of August, followed by selected Asia markets in early September. While its retail price has yet to be announced, the ray is expected to cost less than the arc.


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