Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Review
You have probably heard already that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will not hit the shelves with the latest Android edition. It is based on version 1.6, while a lot of cell phones are to get updated to edition 2.1 anytime now and get the same software that powers the Google Nexus One. So, is this a big deal really? What would you be missing out on?
Perhaps the most important drawbacks are you will not be able to synchronize your phone with multiple accounts (a feature brought by version 2.0) and you won´t be getting Microsoft Exchange support either. Moreover, eye-candies like Live Wallpapers and a spectacular main menu are rather conspicuous in their absence, especially alongside of the visual delight you are treated to when using the Nexus One. Oddly enough, the voice search in the dedicated Google pane is missing and this happens to be a distinguishing feature of Android 1.6. Finally, the home screens are just... three.
Calm down! Sony Ericsson has fallen over backwards to personalize the interface (called UX that stands for User eXperience). The lack of several accounts might prove to be a sore spot for a lot of people, but everyone using Exchange would be happy to know the Moxier application pack is available (Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Sync, Tasks) and it also allows for push alerts. There wasn’t even a single occasion when we felt we needed more space on the home screen and the credit goes to the pair of multifunctional applications developed by Sony Ericsson especially for the Xperia X10. We are talking about Timescape and Mediascape. Let’s take a closer look at them, since they happen to be the most important aspects of the interface.
Timescape gives you information about what´s going on around you and enables you to take a look at the last things you did using the device. It´s a cross breed between a social networking client and personal diary. We guess this sounds somewhat confusing, so let us explain in detail.
Timescape allows you to see latest information about your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and VZnet buddies in the form of cards called Splines. The concept is not new and we have already seen it in action in the Happenings widget of MOTOBLUR and the Friend Stream tab available with the latest HTC Sense interface. Moreover, Timescape shows the latest conversations, messages, emails, pictures and audio tracks you´ve carried/received/viewed/listened to. You are allowed to filter content and focus on a single element or remove some of them in overview mode and, for an instance, disable all of them but Facebook and Twitter. The application permits you to simultaneously update your status in all available social networks, which is a nice feature.
When you choose a certain card in Timescape, it gets larger and you are prompted to take one of the following actions:
11) Press once gain to open the relevant service. If you pick a phone contact, you will get to the dialling screen, choose the card of a received message and you will be able to reply, the Spline of a social service takes you to the corresponding webpage, etc.
2) Press the Infinity button (yep, the one with the infinity symbol on it) and you will get all the available information about the selected object. Take a look at the two examples below:
- Choose an audio track (in Timescape) and press Infinity. A screen showing all albums of the band available on the expansion card will pop up. The pages below it enable you to download more music via Sony Ericsson PlayNow or watch videos of the performer uploaded on YouTube. You also have the option to search the Internet via Google on pressing the Web search button.
- Choose a Twitter or Facebook post and you can link it to a phone contact. In this way you get a screen that unifies all relevant posts the person has published on the social network. If already linked to a contact, the above mentioned screen will show up instead.
All told, the concept behind Timescape is really nice and the application saves you the trouble of handling multiple home screen widgets in order to keep in touch with the latest whereabouts of your online buddies. Moreover, the program is the actual point of access for many functions and provides a wealth of information. You can enter Timescape via a widget that shows the latest event or set the application as a home screen. We don´t really like the latter option, since you are left with only four application shortcuts and they cannot be personalized.
Yes, we do like the whole idea, but it´s not all coming up roses either. We would have liked Timescape better if it allowed for RSS feeds to follow websites. Moreover, a social networking Spline opens the internet page of the corresponding service, even if you happen to have a dedicated application for it. This is acceptable in the particular case of Facebook, because the touch-screen version of the web site is convenient to use, but there are some really great Twitter clients out there. The other issue with Timescape is that it does not provide information on comments and messages you get on the social networks you are registered with, but status updates only. In other words, the application simply does not have the necessary functionality to fully replace dedicated social networking clients.
This is where you get access to all available multimedia files... and something else as well. The concept is not brand new and exists on Sony Ericsson devices in the form of the famous Flash Menu. It has been developed further and now features extra internet-based services.
A list of recently played files is visualized at the top of the Mediascape screen, while its counterpart at the bottom shows information about the particular media type, i.e. audio, video, pictures, etc. PlayNow gives more details on audio tracks, provided the service is supported in your country. No such option is available for videos, but you can watch them (in shuffle mode as well). The picture gallery enables you to browse your online albums on Facebook and Picasa.
The button “More” provides extra filtering options. Say, you can sort tracks by recently played or added content, favourite songs, relevant genre/artist/playlist/podcast/audio books, etc. Once you select an image or audio track, you gain access to the Infinity button that we have already told you about.
As a whole, we do not have any major complaints relating to Mediascape – this is user-friendly, spectacular unification of the picture gallery, audio and video players. The internet services tend to load the requested information slowly at times, but not to the point of being annoyingly sluggish.
However, we do happen to have a gripe or two regarding the UX interface as a whole. First off, most of the icons and buttons are tiny and therefore, not very easy to press with your finger. And we have to say the 4-inch screen provides ample space indeed. Second, it´s the lagging issue. The handset can get sluggish rather unexpectedly, no matter which part of the interface you are in. For an instance, the software can be running smoothly in Timescape, and it can freeze, while you are in the main menu. Quite strange. This does not happen all the time, but more often than to go unnoticed. The device gets more and more sluggish as you overtax it with various programs and can even freeze in certain applications, which is inexcusable. After all, we are talking about a 1GHz Snapdragon handset here. Third, all the animated transitions are cool, but annoyingly slow. We did enjoy them at first, but in time all we wanted was... just to get to the relevant menu/information as fast as we can instead of having to wait, watching animated images spin around. The problem can get especially irksome in Timescape.
1. Jyakotu (Posts: 812; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
I never really understand why reviewers take off points for Android phones for shipping with outdated software. This is common with most Android phones nowadays anyway. And if I'm not mistaken, this one can be upgraded.
4. JASON666 (Posts: 20; Member since: 31 Oct 2009)
So basically this phone needs OS upgrade BADLY.... or just go to a carrier faster.
5. littlejohno (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Mar 2010)
Iphone 3 Gs at the mo have been waiting for this to upgrade not so sure now but always liked sony not had one for a longtime though?????
6. adixxx (Posts: 18; Member since: 26 Jan 2010)
will prefer HTC Desire instead of this. price is too much, plus the outdated software is a no-no. people always want to be updated, and this having 1.6, i think Sony will pay for their delay.
7. dust (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Mar 2010)
I tried sms and mail in landscape mode on x10. QWERTY worked fine for me.
8. freakatronic (Posts: 9; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)
At least the X10 performs splendid with such a great display! Did you people read about the Nexus One's resolution @ BoyGeniusReport? Apparently, it's not actually 480 x 800... You can go tohttp://www.boygeniusreport.com
9. yugam11 (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Mar 2010)
why isnt the video working??????????? IT IS PUTTING ME OFF THIS SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10. chunky1x (Posts: 51; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)
Out dated software and crappy low light photos are the major flaws . However everything else is good and personally I want it. Even with software flaws it can still put a punch to its rivals.
12. JuanNizzle (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Mar 2010)
if you shoot over to gizmodo.com you'll see they have an interview confirming that the X10 will launch in the U.S. with Android 2.1 not only this but almost all lag problems have been solved. Kinda makes you feel like allowing these websites to do preemptive reviews was quite a foolish idea since all negatives seemed to have been fixed. ****note**** it launched in japan a week or 2 ago with Android 2.1, How long ago did they mail these review units? P.S. this phones only competition seems to be the HTC Evo. I will get this over the Evo since i don't trust 4G... especially Wimax.
13. arash84v (Posts: 28; Member since: 18 Nov 2009)
I have 2 Questions Do you get the Android Market Place or we are stuck with SonyEricsson's Market place for Applications??? Does it automatically get the Picture Profile Facebook for the Address Book? or we have to manually do it? In how much time will it take for them to switch the X10 to Android 2.1??? and there will be no Multi touch for picture or browser like Pinch to Zoom??? Please help me.I'm probably going to buy it.
14. pjt (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Apr 2010)
this is a dreadfull phone. Touchscreen is highly unresponsive and needs cleaning after every use. cant synch with outlook express. . Camera doesnt have a flash and is very sensitive to movement. battery life is about three to four hours in standby, if you want 3g on so you can get pics messages then it will keep connecting to mobile internet and cost a fortune, qwerty keyboard is inaccurate and predictive text is really not predictive at all. And the sound quality is appaling and you cant assign mp3 as ringtones. Do not get one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
21. Kullgan (unregistered)
@ pjt, what you said about connecting and using mobile internet on its own is scary, should have an option to ask before connecting, have to check this.
I dont agree with you about not able to put mp3 as ringtone...you just have to select / play the mp3 in mediascap and press one of the 3 buttons underneath the screen...the first one, you will see 4 option including "set as ringtone". On android 2.1 though.
15. zbih (unregistered)
you have rated Camera with quite nice number like 9 .. but there is my question .. SE Satio has 8,5, so with your opinion has X10 better camera than Satio?
16. frankinsteen (unregistered)
What's so great about this phone? Droid X, Droid Incredible, Droid 2, Captivate, Evo, all blow this thing out of the water.
17. Ankur Narwania (unregistered)
Apart from all the bugs it has,the worst part is this phone is coming with faulty earphones/mics.Most of the phones which are getting sold are coming up with the same problems and the fault is still not getting removed even after taking the handset to the service centres. By this time now,sony should know this but still its not recalling its products back which clearly shows how much concern it has for its users unlike tata,toyota,honda which recalled their products.I have even submitted my complaint to their site but of no use.I would suggest every 1 to refrain from purcahsing such handset which will cost you every single penny from your pocket and still fails to provide basic utility of a phone ie clear communication which could be better handled by even a chineese handset. Ankur Narwania 09738385489
19. Jason_south_africa (unregistered)
Got the x10 today. Not a bad phone overall, but as someone who doesn't follow phone trends I wasn't aware of some limitations in android as opposed to windows mobile. The biggest surprise for me was the apparent lack of shell integration for any filetypes other than .zip and .html
The phone appears not to be able to see anything other than those 2 file types - odd. I eventually gave up trying to browse to pics & vids I'd just taken by using the gui, seems you have to use the built in media player... Me, I like to be able to move my files, or more importantly I want to control where they're saved, and chuck a shortcut onto my desktop/home screen
qwerty functions for MMS & SMS in both landscape & portrait BUT I can't retrive contacts for either SMS or MMS when in landscape i.e. I have to rotate the phone to portrait before it'll find the contact's name I'm typing into the To: field
The killer for me of course is the qwerty itself, in either portrait or landscape flavor. when I touch "o" it's because I want "o" I don't want "r" or "space" likewise when I hit "r" I don't want the phone to give me an "enter" which is the same sometimes as a "send"
I'd also really have liked the option to turn off the frankly very useless "helpfully suggesting the word I think you're trying to type" feature which makes the text field jump up and down. It wouldn't be so bad if the word I touched on could be selected, as opposed to a different word, elsewhere in the list, I might find a use for the feature, that is of course assuming the phone could speak any of the other 11 official languages in South Africa besides english - strangely my home language and the one I use the least LOL
And why oh why in gods name would anyone put the backspace near the bottom and send near the top *shakes head* everyone's pinky knows where backspace is, why's send got to be there??
Oh well it helped me alleviate boredom at work today, but it's going back tomorrow. iphone4 maybe...?
22. Kullgan (unregistered)
You can turn off the [frankly very useless "helpfully suggesting the word I think you're trying to type" feature which makes the text field jump up and down0 :)
its quite simple, when you are typing a message..press the key between the dot and the enter key...you will get the "basic settings" just navigate downwards and turn off the "predict next work". Android 2.1 though
23. Kullgan (unregistered)
"Predic next word"*
20. Kullgan (unregistered)
Well, been 3 days since i got my phone...overall im happy with it....some of the main issue for me are the battery...die too quickly but ive read that this problem can be solve easily, still have to figure out how.
Next issue is the wifi range / connectivity...my brother with his HD2 has a better range...i dont get connection when im outside on the balcony and he does, its like 10m away from my wireless netgear. Sometimes wifi even show disconnected even when in the settings netgear shows excellent status, what i have to do is switch off and on again phone or my netgear router (trying to reconnect it through settings doesnt work). My router works fine and has a good range. If i can fix these issue ill be very happy :)
24. Will fC (unregistered)
Battery life sucks!!!!!! Sony customer service sucks!!!!!!
Got my x10 within 1 year and couldn't charge the battery!! Send back to sony and they said liquid damage and can't fix!!!! Swear to god my x10 never touch any kind of liquid!! I checked via internet and I found out lots of people have the same charging problem. People can get a new one back in the US but in Canada it’s not even under warranty!!!! They want us to buy a new one!!!!!!!!
I will never buy any Sony Ericsson products in the future!! And I will not recommend this brand to anyone!!!!!!
25. Will fC (unregistered)
Battery life sucks!!!!!! Sony customer service sucks!!!!!!
Got my x10 within 1 year and couldn’t charge the battery!! Send back to sony and they said liquid damage and can’t fix!!!! Swear to god my x10 never touch any kind of liquid!!
I checked via internet and I found out lots of people have the same charging problem.
I required for photo proof and they keep avoiding my phone calls, I have been dealing with them for 2 months and talked to 5 advisors and 2 supervisors and they just keep saying ''i will call you back within 24 hrs'' but actually they never call me back!!
People can get a new one back in the US but in Canada it’s not even under warranty!!!! They want us to buy a new one!!!!!!!!
I will never buy any Sony Ericsson products in the future!! And I will not recommend this brand to anyone!!!!!!
26. Sc32 (unregistered)
To Will fC you got the battery wet I am sure of it ever been out side when it was raining? Ever had the phone in the bathroom when showering? E.t.c it is called humidity. it does not mean you sank it in the pond. So before you go ripping on Sony buy a motorola and see how that works for you I work for a major cell phone company and Sony Is the least returned phones.