We compare HTC’s upcoming Mango masterpiece, the Radar, with Sony Ericsson’s next-gen Xperia Ray
As Microsoft readies its first major Windows Phone update, Mango, manufacturers prepare to unveil their new devices to the world, based upon the upgraded software. One of the first to be announced was HTC’s Radar, a slim, good looking device that aims to capitalise on the virtues of Windows Phone 7.5.
To put the Radar through its paces we’ve picked out a corking contender in the shape of Sony Ercisson’s Xperia Ray, an Android device that has plenty to offer.
The HTC Radar is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset which consists of a 1GHz Scorpion CPU and Adreno 205 GPU, giving the device a nice, even power base from which to run. We’d have liked to see more than the 512MB RAM on offer though, as we can’t see it ageing terribly well once the dual-core WP7.5 devices hit the shelves.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray runs on an identical chipset to the Radar, with a 1GHz Scorpion processor sitting beside the self-same Adreno 205 GPU and, like the HTC, the Xperia Ray only offers 512MB RAM, making it Mr. Average in the Android field, as well as this contest.
Both device’s do offer internal storage too, with the Radar boasting 8GB of memory, with no support for Micro SD cards, and the Xperia Ray offering 1GB internal and support for up to a 32GB card.
Winner – Draw
Form & Build
HTC Radar – 120.5 x 61.5 x 10.9 mm, 137 g
Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray – 111 x 53 x 9.4 mm, 100 g
The Radar looks every inch the modern HTC device, with minimalist lines, a neat black and grey chassis made of plastics and metal and no hardware keys apart from the power switch.
The device isn’t ugly, but it certainly won’t win any contests for outstanding beauty, in fact it’s a device that’s instantly forgettable and we can’t decide whether that’s a good thing or not, frankly.
The Xperia Ray is another of Sony Ericsson’s plastic fantastic Xperia series and you’ll be hard pushed to find anything specific to like about it.
From the emaciated, curved back to the clumsily designed key layout on the front, aesthetic appears to have been roundly forgotten on the Ray and the lack of any discernible metallic elements in the construction renders the device a bit of a lightweight overall.
Winner – HTC Radar
The HTC Radar features a 3.8-inch S-LCD screen which operates at a resolution of 480 x 800 and offers up a pixel density of 246ppi, making it captain average once again.
The screen does benefit from a dose of Corning’s Gorilla Glass though, so you can rest easy knowing it won’t scratch or be otherwise damaged if you give it a bit of general abuse.
The Xperia Ray features a 3.3-inch LED-backlit LCD display which runs at a resolution of 480 x 854 and knocks-out a pixel density of 297ppi, giving a it a pleasing edge over the Radar.
Sony Ericsson hasn’t opted to give the device any toughened glass or other perks though, so you’ll want to treat it with kid gloves.
Winner – Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray
The HTC Radar is one of the first devices that will run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 aka Mango and the device is all the better for it.
The OS has some smart new features such as unified inbox, greatly upgraded social network integration, Silverlight 4 and Internet Explorer 9.
The platform is still as user friendly as it was in its first incarnation and we’re pleased to see Microsoft has expanded the UI to offer more customisation features.
Good job, Microsoft.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray runs on Google’s Android platform which has plenty of its own to offer, such as solid security, tons of apps and games (the majority of which are free) and pleasing widgets to keep you up to speed with the information and apps that matter to you.
On the Xperia Ray version 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) is present, overlayed with SE’s own TimeScape UI, which brings some much needed eye-candy to the fore, as well as some natty social networking nous in a neat timeline driven UI.
It’s impossible to pick a clear winner in this category because it’s generally a matter of personal taste. Both Google and Microsoft have created pleasing, productive mobile platforms – so unless you have already, get out there and test them both before making a decision based upon OS.
Winner – Draw
HTC’s Radar has taken its first beating. The device is certainly decent quality and it’s great to see the company launching a new smartphone to go hand-in-hand with the upgrade to the OS, but why the heck didn’t it make the Radar just that little bit more ‘updated’.
The only thing new and eye-catching is Mango, and other users will be able to install that to their own devices when it’s rolled out.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is worthy winner today, but it isn’t anything to top the charts either.
It’s a solid, mid-range Android smartphone which brings together some of Sony Ericsson’s key strengths (and some of its notable weaknesses) to give users a device which won’t let them down, but don’t expect it to excel either.