Did you know? Sony's first Xperia smartphones didn't run Android

Did you know? Sony's first Xperia smartphones didn't run Android
People usually associate Sony's Xperia brand with Android smartphones and tablets, but did you know that, initially, the Xperia series had nothing to do with Android?

The very first Xperia smartphone was announced and released way back in 2008, when Sony was still in a joint venture with Ericsson - thus, the handset was called Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. The X1 ran Windows Mobile Professional 6.1, being a high-end device that competed with smartphones like the HTC Touch Pro, Apple iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold, or Nokia's Symbian flagships. Interestingly, the world's first Android smartphone - T-Mobile G1 - was launched one month after the Xperia X1.

The X1 had a 3-inch touchscreen display with 480 x 800 pixels - at the time, this screen offered the highest pixel per inch density of any smartphone: 311 ppi. Another notable feature of the handset was its slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The X1 was actually manufactured by HTC for Sony Ericsson (back in the day, HTC used to manufacture phones sold under various brands other than its own). If you're overwhelmed by nostalgia, feel free to check out our Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 review!


After the Xperia X1, in September 2009, Sony Ericsson announced the Xperia X2, which hit the market in January 2010 running Windows Mobile Professional 6.5. The Xperia X2 kept the same form factor of the X1, obviously including a full QWERTY keyboard, though its screen was slightly larger, measuring 3.2 inches (and yet the pixel resolution remained unchanged at 480 x 800). The X2 wasn't received as well as its predecessor, being the last Windows-based Xperia. For a closer look at the device, check out our Xperia X2 review.


The following Xperia model was the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 - a 4-inch handset that hit the market in March 2010 with Android 1.6 Donut on board. And, yes, this was the first Android-based Xperia. After that, the floodgates of Android handsets opened, and Sony Ericsson (later just Sony) released devices like the Xperia X10 mini, Xperia Arc, Xperia S, and the Xperia Z series.

Earlier this month, Sony announced the Xperia XA, Xperia X, and Xperia X Performance, all part of a brand new X series running Android Marshmallow and replacing the Z series. In a way - since the company launched plenty of other Xperia X handsets years ago - the new Xperia X family represents both a new beginning, and a back-to-the-roots move for Sony (with the major difference that, this time, there's no trace of Windows around).

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26 Comments

1. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3048; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I had the X1. It was a horrible WinMo phone.

4. Nopers unregistered

Yeah, the brushed aluminium back scratched badly for me and it was unusable without a stylus.

7. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1075; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

There was a methoding of tweaking the sensitivity of the screen so it worked better with finger based touch input. I ended up running Android on my Xperia X1i for a while and then Windows Mobile 6.5 which was too heavy for the hardware.

2. canner

Posts: 68; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

this was surprisingly interesting

15. ph00ny

Posts: 1976; Member since: May 26, 2011

and very wrong Are we forgetting all the symbian based devices that SonyEricsson produced? P series phones (P800, P900, P910, etc) Back when i was going through winmo phones, P series was on my short list due to the funky keyboard setup

19. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2225; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

This article was about the first Xperia, the P Series was not an Xperia line device.

24. canner

Posts: 68; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

thank you

3. remyrz

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 28, 2010

ooh my old x1 TT_TT

5. 0kax0el0

Posts: 237; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

I associate Ericsson with dark times for Sony, it wasn't until they got separated that I got interested in Sony's phones, except maybe for the Xperia Play.

8. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1075; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Before touch interfaces became the standard the Sony Ericsson phones were very good, by far my favorite. Design wise the first Android Xperias werent that great, the Xperia Z was a beautiful phone, just a tad fragile. The Z1 was held back by the TFT LCD screen which was crappy in sunlight and a powerhog, but the aluminium frame was a great improvement. But any following Xperia Z models were too minor an improvement to consider buying. And the delayed release for the Xperia X Performance will hurt sales.

6. BobLawblaw unregistered

I had the Xperia Arc. Great phone but so unreliable. Plus the battery was woeful..

9. theo14461 unregistered

BLECH! Who cares about these ancient devices.

11. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

You cared enough to click the article, scroll through it and comment...I think that's all iPhonearena requires.

12. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Good. Old days.

13. MacWiNux

Posts: 126; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

ihave both of them good phones but laggy as well because of winmo i need to overclock it for fluid experience

14. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

It would be nice to see a Sony made thin Windows 10 mobile smart phone with Continuum Capability. Us Windows smart phone fans could use afew good flag ship level smart phones

16. romeo1

Posts: 802; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

The x1 was my favourite phone. It was leagues above the competition in the built quality department. It costed around 800€ but it was worth it. It was a premium phone and came with a special card that if something happened to your phone(not working) and you weren't in your own country they would come and change the phone in 24 hrs. Also wp6.1 had so much capabilities to tweek the phone and make it the way you wanted.

17. reaper61616

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

It actually runs Android. ;)

18. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

How the hell is "new" X series going back to the roots for Sony? Same old stuff like Z series, I really don't know what Sony is trying to accomplish here, people are not that stupid

20. SIGPRO

Posts: 2809; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Did you know almost all phones ran Symbian!

21. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Loved the Symbian S60 S90.

22. SIGPRO

Posts: 2809; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Plus 1 for you :)

23. FireDragon

Posts: 117; Member since: Nov 13, 2009

I LOVED the design of X2, and still love it. Want that design language back at least for one more handset.

25. nightcrawler

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

most manufacturer start with windows for their smartphone such as samsung with omnia, O2 and dopod. Except nokia with symbian

26. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

did you know that first gen iPhone didnt have appstore and cant record video? lol

27. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 2013

311 ppi. 2 years before Apple introduce Retina Display for Iphone 4

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