Sony Ericsson differentiates itself from the rest of the smartphone market by creating a compact form factor smartphone rich with features and designed with the human curvature in mind, by introducing a fresh new outlook on pocket-sized smartphones. Introducing the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray, a tiny beauty powered by Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and chockfull of features that will make any lifestyle-conscious beauty or geek drool. The little sister to the successful Sony Ericsson Xperia arc shines as brightly as well, radiating with a 3.3-inch Reality Display (Mobile BRAVIA Engine), speedy 1GHz processor and 8.1-megapixel camera with Exmor R technology.
Made for one-handed operation with social networking services, productivity, multimedia, apps, navigation and more, the ray redefines the world of smartphones where manufacturers are going for larger screens. Perfect for feature phone converts and targeting the fashion-savvy youth, the ray brings forth a brand new light in the way smartphones work. A perfect fashion accessory as well as a communication device, the ray is a result of global teamwork, observation of people around the world to create something that is human-centric.
Shigeaki Suzuki, Design Manager, Industrial Design says, “Our philosophy is the human-centric design and it is established in the Sony Design Centre. Observing global influences, changes and consumer behaviour were part of the process. To create the aesthetic framework, we used two key words: human curvature and precision by tension.” Suzuki also holds the role of the Head of Creative Product Design Department at UXC Tokyo and was responsible for the Xperia X10 and Xperia arc as well.
Originally from Sony Ericsson in Lund, Sweden; Linda Lissola who is the Colour and Material Senior Designer also speaks on the design team strategy. Lissola mentions that studying lifestyles from different people across the globe provided the aesthetic expression to create a wider range of products for consumers.
“Sony Ericsson wants to create products that project honesty, value for money and are long-lasting,” says Lissola. Speaking about the four colour options available, black is Xperia’s signature colour; white for more edge and attitude; gold for something sophisticated and matured while pink is a very expressive, young and energetic colour.
Underneath the sleek form is pure engineering genius and for Tetsuya Okuchi, Mechanical Design Leader; the two main challenges he faced were to compress everything into a smaller size – the battery and the printed board assembly (PBA, or the motherboard equivalent) which was shrunk to 20-percent smaller than the Xperia arc. These sizes are so small that the screws; M.08 in size; which hold the pieces in place are those found in wristwatches.
“The LCD module of the ray is 25-percent smaller than the arc’s while the LCD brightness has been increased. Sony Ericsson did not compromise performance even though the product has shrunk in size,” explains Yoshio Kawahara, Electronics Design Leader.
For Ryuichi Arai, Radio Design Leader, he had to make sure that the placement of the components did not interfere with the radio signals of the ray. The device also had to go through countless tests to ensure that there were no dropped calls, no wireless interference and that all the connectivity features worked well in a compact form factor. Arai says that even at the concept stage, all factors had to be considered.
Facts about the Ray
- In Japanese characters, ray means beautiful.
- It is 25-percent brighter than the arc
- ray has a front-facing video call camera
- Everything is based on the arc but miniaturised, even the battery size as well as the screws
- All the colours are in a high gloss finish except black which has a smooth matte finish