Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 Review
With such a large, high resolution screen we have high expectations for the X1’s media capabilities. For the most part it performed well, and videos did indeed look fantastic. It is listed as being able to play MPEG4, WMV, H.263, H.264 video files, and indeed it played our H.264 files just fine no matter the resolution or fps (including 720x306 pixels at 1500fps). One minor annoyance is that when you tap on the screen to bring up playback controls- a requirement to adjust the volume - it automatically pauses the video.
As found on newer SE phone, the music player interface is clean and of a similar layout philosophy as an iPod; anyone who has used the PS3 or Sony TV menus will recognize it. With our own headphones Sony earbuds the sound was excellent; highs were crisp and the bass was rich. It recognized all of our ID3 tags just fine, though only one of the six albums properly displayed the art. The now playing screen has all the essential information, though is a bit crowded for our tastes. These are all minor gripes, however, and what really matters is that the player is easy to use and the audio sounded great.
The 3.2 megapixel camera performed decently. Despite autofocus our indoor pictures turned out blurry, but outdoor shots were nice and crisp. Color representation was perhaps a bit on the dull side, but it was a dreary day when the pictures were taken and the camera captured it admirably. There was little to no noise, pixilation or distortion. The shutter speed was relatively quick, though it did vary based on lighting conditions. The interface is simple and options were good; the user can adjust the scene mode (night, portrait, etc,) focus, flash and shot mode. As the X1 isn’t marketed as a high end camera phone we were pleased with the results.
The X1 is powered by a Qualcomm MSM7200 processor running at 528MHz. It has an ample 256 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM and microSDHC expansion. In general it ran very snappy, but there was some lag present especially as associated with loading panels. This is to be expected for Windows Mobile however, and all things considered it ran very smoothly. We’d put it just a rung below the Touch Diamond in terms of speed. GPS performance is lightning quick, aided by HTC's Quick GPS program which primes the GPS by downloading satellite data.
Included programs are rather sparse, but of course many third party programs are available. Sony did ship some essential programs like Google Maps and Opera Mobile, and interestingly enough Dashwire, which also has a panel available for download. As we mentioned earlier, many panels like Facebook are basically applications as well.
Confession time: the device is built by HTC. Unlike with the Treo Pro HTC has done its best to hide their fingerprints on the X1, but programs like their Comm Manager, Quick GPS and Streaming Media have made their way onto the device. Unfortunately their wonderful YouTube app did not. No shame in having the world’s best WinMo manufacturer help you break into the game, and the panel interface is said to be all Sony, so it’s not a complete white label effort by HTC.