Last Updated: August 20th, 2012

Update: Now with video goodness. In fact, you can watch Maria Sharapova (don't get too excited) talk about the Xperia Active. And hey, she knows about active lifestyle phones, because she's sporty.

Catch the other videos about the Ray (here, and here) and the Active (here). You know, if you want. Also, the word "lifestyle" was definitely used in describing the design of the Ray. I felt queasy.

Today at CommunicAsia (we've never heard of it, either) Sony-Ericsson announced two additions to the Android-powered Xperia line of smartphones: the Ray and Active. Both phones are niche sort of "lifestyle" devices, and will probably be marketed more heavily in Japan than the rest of the world. However, it seems both (well, one, at least) will be available in markets worldwide this fall.

The Ray appears to aim to resolve one of the great mobile hardware question of the early 2000's - how big of a camera can we fit on this tiny phone? The Xperia Ray sports an absolutely diminutive 3.3-inch display, albeit colorized by Sony's much-touted Mobile Bravia Engine. Simultaneously, it is fitted with an 8.1MP camera with Exmor R optics. And it does it all weighing less than 100 grams (hold your gasps, ladies and gentlemen).


Next up is the Active. Unlike the Ray, the Active's name sort of implies what it's all about: Sportagizing(TM). But really, it's basically just a lightly ruggedized phone that comes with a wrist strap accessory and some very informative fitness apps and weather widgets (it has a barometer!). Both phones are powered by 1GHz Snapdragon processors, and run Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread.

Exciting. To be fair, this hardware is definitely designed with SE's home market in mind - and it seems Japanese smartphone makers are having a hard time divorcing themselves from the idea of "lifestyle" devices aimed at specific demographics, a craze that never really caught on with smartphones in the US.

So if you're a person who needs a phone that can fit in the change pocket of your jeans but also snaps great photos, or an athlete who finds buying a wrist strap and looking up fitness apps to be too much work, keep your eyes peeled for news on these phones in the coming months.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Alex

    Your comment on Japanese makers and lifestyle devices is spot on.

  • http://reviewsbycole.com Cole

    I'm a bit sad to see the typical Android buttons on these devices. I liked Sony's phones with the actual, physical buttons and was considering moving to their phones simply for that reason. Alas, still good looking.

    • ergu

      wait, i thought this phone does have physical buttons... what sony buttons are you talking about?

  • Bruce

    Look at all of the space between the edge of the screens and the actual edges of the devices. This is Sony's typical bulky design of Android phones. Not good.

  • Blowfish

    Never heard of CommunicAsia? Only one of the biggest trade shows in Asia when it comes to communications (mobile, fixed, sat).

    Ok, I'm biased - I live here :-P

  • Gordon

    she is hot and awesome but that is one ugly get-up she's wearing.

    • ben dover

      haha. same here. my first though was WHAT IS SHE WEARING!?

  • ergu

    sweet! i miss hardware buttons...