x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a

Posted: , posted by John V.

Tags:

Pages
Interface:

Hardware aside, the most frustrating part about the Xperia X10a is its more than outdated inclusion of Android 1.6 – granted though, its personalized interface called UX (User eXperience) attempts to ease some of the heartache. Sporting a speedy 1GHz Snapdragon processor, there's no arguing that the handset can run like a champ when it effortlessly delivers some smooth looking 3D visuals. Regretfully, it's aggravatingly difficult to fathom why Sony Ericsson decided to launch the handset with an older build of Android – especially when most devices launch with at least Android 2.1. As for its homescreen, you're presented with three panels which of course are decorated with customized translucent widgets that seemingly adapt to any wallpaper. However, it's blatantly obvious that modern amenities like live wallpapers and Exchange Server support are feverishly absent – and that's really something of a sore! As we've witnessed firsthand some of the innovation surrounding Android, it definitely feels like we're stepping into a time machine with the Xperia X10's experience – unfortunately, it's a trip to the past. 

Homescreen - Interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Main menu - Interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review

Homescreen

  

Main menu


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 reiterate the experience again.

Timescape allows you to see latest information about your Facebook, Twitter, emails and media 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.

Timescape allows you to see latest information about your Facebook,
Twitter, emails and media In the form of cards called Splines - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Timescape allows you to see latest information about your Facebook,
Twitter, emails and media In the form of cards called Splines - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Timescape allows you to see latest information about your Facebook,
Twitter, emails and media In the form of cards called Splines - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review

With Mediascape, 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. While the picture gallery enables you to browse your online albums on Facebook and Picasa.

Mediascape - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Mediascape - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review

Truth be told, the unique experience on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is an acquired taste – much like the other customized Android experiences we've checked out on other handsets. Although it's not the most glitzy looking one out there, its speed is thankfully tolerable enough to make the overall performance more than acceptable at the same time. However, its decision to stick with Android 1.6 might be its undoing especially when a handful of handsets launched this summer pack Android 2.1 and up. And it really makes you wonder what the company was doing since initially launching the devices overseas – especially when there is no movement in the platform since its inception.


Organizer & Messaging:

The phone book has also been personalized by Sony Ericsson. Perhaps the most easily noticeable alteration is the addition of the alphabet on the right that allows for fast filtering of entries. You also have constant access to a search tab and the option to find contacts based on both parts of the name. Finally, you can update your current status on various social networks directly from the phone book (just like in Timescape).

The options relating to bringing order to your daily grind have had a facelift. The alarms application allows you to choose the appearance of the clock, which will appear, while the handset is trying to wake you up. The calendar is the standard program that comes with Android and allows for visualizing events in daily, weekly, monthly and agenda modes. Adding entries is done in pretty much the standard way and all of them can be set as all-day events, plus they can be assign recurrence pattern. The presence and privacy options are here as well and you can add descriptions for improved clarity.

Phone book - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Phone book - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Alarms - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Calendar - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review

Alarms

Calendar


One would surmise that a device sporting a 4” display would be an ideal candidate for a decent text messaging experience, right? However, there's just something about it that doesn't quite resonate a worthwhile experience when relying on the portrait style on-screen keyboard. Sure it's the stock Android keyboard that's found on any device, but we noticed that it didn't seem quite up to par in terms of speed and responsiveness when compared to some of the other newer offerings. We found ourselves pressing the wrong letters as we attempted to type casually, however, the problem is naturally less prevalent with the spacious landscape one. Fortunately, it looks like Sony Ericsson finally took the time to bring the landscape option to the text messaging app – something that was missing with the original.

On-screen keyboard of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
On-screen keyboard of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review

As with any other Android device, the Xperia X10 provides for a fantastic Gmail experience since it replicates some of the features found with using the desktop client – such as threaded view. In addition, setting up alternate email on the phone doesn't require much effort since it generally requires your email address and password to setup automatically – with the requirement of server addresses for some non-traditional ones.

Email - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Email - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Email - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Email - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review
Email - Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a Review


14 Comments
  • Options
    Close





Want to comment? Please login or register.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10a

OS: Android 2.3.3 2.1 1.6
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
7Good
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (245 ppi) TFT
Camera8.1 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.25 GB RAM
Size4.69 x 2.48 x 0.51 inches
(119 x 63 x 13 mm)
4.76 oz  (135 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 10 hours talk time

Latest stories