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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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.