iPhone 4 Rival Alert : Sony Ericsson Xperia Play @ £150 On O2

O2 has dropped the price of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play to £150 (on Pay As You Go), the clearest sign yet that the phone is on its way out, probably to be replaced later towards the end of the year, by a new Xperia Play 2 handset.

Given that the phone was released only in February 2011 and carried a suggested retail price of £499.99, this represents a saving of nearly 70 per cent, which is quite significant for what is essentially a competitive handset.

O2 requires you to buy a topup (minimum of £7.50) but you should be able to swap the SIM card for one from GiffGaff or for Tesco Mobile both of which are O2 MVNOs.

The phone comes with eight free games and has a slide out controller like the Playstation Portable gaming consoles. It is powered by a single core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC clocked at 1GHz, has 512MB RAM and a 8GB microSD card.

There's also two cameras, a 4-inch 854x480 pixels touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the option of adding a docking station which allows you to connect the phone to an HDMI-enabled TV set.

At £150, the Xperia Play is by far the best value for money handset on the market, regardless of the platform. Choosing between this phone and the iPhone 4, which costs nearly three times as much should be easy.