iPhone 4S Rival Alert: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Now Available From £149.99

This has to be by far the best smartphone deal of the year; the eight-month old Sony Ericsson Xperia Play handset is now available on PAYG from T-Mobile affiliate Chitterchatter, for a mere £149.99 plus £5 top up credit.

Just to put things in context, the phone originally went on sale for more than three times that amount which begs the question: is Sony Ericsson getting rid of remaining stocks of the Xperia Play ahead of the launch of a new Xperia Play 2 smartphone?

The Play comes with some cracking hardware at this price; there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon Scorpion SoC clocked at 1GHz, 512MB RAM, 400MB onboard storage with a microSD card slot (8GB card included), a 4-inch 854x480 pixel touchscreen, a five megapixel camera but no front-facing one or HDMI port.

There's also a slide out gaming controller - which is one of the phone's unique selling points - as well as the fact that it is the first Playstation certified handset on the market.

As expected, the device, which was launched back in February, comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is slightly thicker than comparable handsets at 16mm (that's nearly twice the thickness of the Xperia arc).