Camera:

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is the world´s first Android handset to integrate 8.1-megapixel camera. We have to point out we are truly surprised and pleased at the great number of options its interface offers.

The interface starts up in less than two seconds and you need a second and a half for the camera to focus properly. Saving a snapshot takes about 3 seconds, meaning you won´t be able to take images in quick succession.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 offers contemporary options like face and smile detection and touch focus. It´s interesting to mention there is a function that automatically sets all relevant options depending on the current conditions (something like the Intelligent Shot of the LG Viewty Smart). During our tests, we couldn’t find any noticeable difference between images taken with the mode turned on and off. It´s really cool that you´ve got a number of presets with a real impact on the picture quality. We don´t like the fact that important options like those relating to the camera flash and white balance are inaccessible via the view finder and you have to enter a submenu to change them.


We quite like the option that visualizes miniature versions of the last 5 images/videos at the bottom of the screen. This means that you always know what you´ve snapped last and there is a button that takes you to the gallery right away, located on the side of the handset.

The overall snapshot quality is quite good indeed. Bear in mind that all of our test shots were taken in cloudy weather, which typically has a negative impact on the color representation and increases the amount of image noise. Still, we believe the colors could have been more saturated in order to look more real. Pictures have enough details, especially shots in macro mode. The only aspect we are disappointed at is the quality of pictures taken indoors, due to the extremely weak camera flash that just cannot provide proper lighting. As a whole, the overall quality is better than what all other Android devices to date offer, including the Motorola DROID/MILESTONE and Google Nexus One. The result is comparable to what high-end cameraphones deliver and the only aspect the X10 is not that good at is the accurate color representation in fully automated shooting mode (the multiple options, however, allow you to fix that easily).



The video capture capabilities of the device are quite good as well. You can choose between VGA (640x480) and WVGA (800x480) and the average frame rate count is remains around 30 no matter the resolution you´ve picked. The colors appear slightly thin yet again, but the overall result is satisfactory, especially alongside of other Android-based handsets. The Samsung Omnia HD and Sony Ericsson Vivaz are far, far better and they also offer HD video capture (720p).

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 video sample at 800x480 pixels resolution
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 video sample at 640x480 pixels resolution

Multimedia:

We have already told you that Mediascape kicks in when there´s media playback involved. Despite the fact we like the application, we just have to point out that it comes with several omissions in terms of functionality.
 
First, you zoom on pictures in a rather odd way in the gallery. Double tapping the screen gets you into a super close-up mode and you have to use the screen keys to zoom gradually. 


The audio player offers a great number of options for filtering content and accessing additional information (via the Infinity button), but lacks equalizer. This is rather peculiar and displeasing at the least, not to mention it´s quite strange of a manufacturer that equips almost all of its handsets with such an option, no matter the class. You also have audio recognition via TrackID. Fortunately, the audio quality is really good. The boxed headphone set (MH500) has once against proved itself as one of the best that can be found in a cell phone box these days. The sound it produces is clear, loud and with pleasing basses, a truly rare quality with handsets today.


The video player recognizes MPEG4 videos coded in H.264 only and does not support DivX and Xvid, which is a shame really, since the huge screen is extremely suitable for watching videos. Still, the player is a capable application within its limitations and the playback of files with extremely high resolution of 1,280x720 pixels is not a problem at all. The image quality is not stunning, since colors appear slightly thin, but clips play smoothly and without any hang-ups or noticeable artefacts. It´s such a shame that you have to convert videos in order to watch them, not to mention that there is simply no software that adds DivX/Xvid support to Android-based devices today (like Core Player for Symbian and Windows phones).

We just have to tell you the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 allows for sharing of multimedia files via Bluetooth, something that requires additional software with all other Android handsets.



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