Sony’s next Xperia Play? A phone with a QWERTY keyboard and a full game controller

Sony Dual Keyboard PatentOne of the major weaknesses of Sony’s Xperia Play smartphone was that it forced users to put up with a bulkier phone just so they could have a gamepad to play some Android games. Most just didn’t buy into the idea. But what if it also had a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard? That sounds more interesting to us and it might be exactly what Sony had, or has, in mind.

A new patent uncovered by Engadget shows that Sony has devised a way to have two slide-out drawers on a smartphone: a gamepad, and a keyboard. It was filed back in 2010, but finally granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can read the full, horribly complex, text of it here

Here’s how it works: The bottom of the phone is a slide-out keyboard, much like most QWERTY Android phones, but once you pull it out, you can actually slide the thin keyboard layer back into the phone, revealing a lovely PlayStation gamepad underneath. It’s a gaming geek’s wet dream.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play screen angle openOf course, this patent doesn’t solve the other major problem Sony has with a phone that’s also a gaming handheld: the short shelf life of smartphones. Gaming handhelds like the Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable can stay on store shelves for half a decade, but phones are usually gone within half a year, and that’s if it’s a successful phone. The iPhone is the biggest phone on the market and even that is upgraded annually. If Sony takes another go at the Xperia Play, it needs to make sure its phone can be bought by people on any of the big 4 wireless carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon — and that it’s built to last. The Play required users to give up a keyboard, switch to Verizon, and offered no insanely awesome reasons (no flagship games) to make the jump.

We approve of Sony trying this idea, but the phone needs to stay relatively thin and it has to have some killer games. 

What do you think? Would you like a phone with a QWERTY and a gamepad? It would be a fun conversation piece, if nothing else.


A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 — will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.

Sony rumored to favor Qualcomm's new superchip for upcoming Xperia XZ4

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.

LG G7 owners experiencing dreaded bootloop will have to wait a few days for fix

If you’ve picked up LG’s flagship and it’s not behaving itself, then you might find a solution here. We’ve rounded up the most common LG G7 ThinQ problems and tracked down workarounds and possible fixes.

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Xiaomi is preparing to set records with 48-megapixel phone camera

Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it certainly makes headlines. Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi is set to release a phone camera with a staggeringly large 48 megapixels on a single sensor.

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition comes with 10GB of RAM, and supercar style

OnePlus has partnered with McLaren F1, creating the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition. With 10GB of RAM and all the usual top-level hardware, this new flagship killer comes with some new design touches.

New Moment photo cases and lenses are a big plus for the OnePlus 6

Moment has announced that it is now releasing photo cases and lenses for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, giving owners of those phones the ability to add on some high-quality photographic accessories.

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition: Everything you need to know

The Vivo Nex Dual Edition is the gorgeous flagship we need to close out 2018. In addition to dual screens, the Nex Dual Edition has some other awesome features. Here's everything you need to know about the new Vivo Nex Dual Edition.