Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 review

Enter the mobile world where you can have 800 x 480 pixels screen, 3″ display, a sexy, yet bold exterior, a slide-out keyboard, BT 2.0, WiFi, GPS, push-email, FM radio, 3G, HSDPA and most important of all, the brand name: SONY ERICSSON

History

SONY is not new to the PDA world. It had it’s own very popular and dedicated range of handhelds few years back, called “CLIÉ”. Due to numerous reasons, the whole “CLIÉ” range was brought to hault. Who at that time had thought that after few years, Sony would come out with a WIndows Mobile phone! Well, enough history. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 may not be the ultimate phone in the market, but surely it is the best you can get, if you want windows mobile.

Sony xperia x1 review

Looks, Build, Design

Most of the casing is made from metal, which looks very nice and attractive. Well, there is nothing to get surprised here as it is made by HTC, the leading manufacturer of Windows Mobile devices. Looks like, Sony Ericsson didn’t want to make any compromises on build-quality. It looks pretty nice in black with silver stipes around the sides.

The Xperia is not bitten by the Touch bug. It has a lot of buttons in the front unlike Touch HD (reviewed here) and Touch Pro (reviewed here). It is a micro-SD card hidden under the battery door, which can be mounted as a mass-storage device, if required.

The power button is on the top along with the 3.5mm audio jack.

Display, screen

The screen as mentioned before, is 3″ in size. It sports WVGA (800 x 480) resolution (same as sported by ASUS EEE 700 series!) and everything looks very crisp including text and images. The display is not flushed to the body like the Touch Diamond, Touch HD and Touch Pro, but it still looks very fine.

The touchscreen is quite responsive. There is no finger friendly keyboard from SE unlike HTC, but it can easily be cured by installing one of the great soft keyboards (SPB keyboard, Resco keyboard etc).

Great Keyboard

The Sony Ericsson X1 has goen with an arc-slider design for the keyboard. It has 4 row keyboard whose keys provides just a bit of travel. It is not the best keyboard out there, but not the worst too. It is quite usable for doing some short emails, messaging, entering URLs etc. Just like other slider QWERTY keyboard windows mobile phones, the display auto-switches to landscape orientation as-soon-as you slide out the keyboard.

Panels

The Sony Ericsson has highlighted the panels a lot in their promotional videos and other advertisements. Panels provide new way of looking at the today screen. Pressing the hardware panel button brings you to the panel screen from where you can select a particular panel, which actually changes the way your today screen looks. So, depending the type of task required, you can change the panel as needed.

Selecting the SPB mobile shell panel makes the phone all of a sudden very finger friendly due to excellent interface provided by Mobile Shell. The best part of it is that it is absolutely free! There is a facebook panel too.

It fairly takes 2 seconds to change the panel. You cannot disable the panels.

Web-Browsing

Decent web browsing has become a must-have feature for any premium mobile phone. Sony Ericsson has bundled the excellent Opera Mobile 9.5 browser which does an excellent job of rendering the web pages.

Camera

The camera on the SE XPERIA X1 is 3.2MP. Why SE didn’t go with the 5MP one is beyond me. The Xperia is one expensive device and it should have come with 5MP camera. It has ‘touch focus’ feature that lets you select focal point on the picture you are taking by touching the screen.

It also has a ‘flash’

As a phone

The call quality is pretty nice. You don’t have to put the earpiece volume maximum to hear the other party. The X1 has nice cell radio. It even catches signals where other windows mobiles cannot even pick up signals.

Final verdict

So, do we have a winner? By winner, if you mean an iPhone killer, then no. If you mean, the best windows mobile device so far, then yes.

Pros

  • 3″ WVGA display
  • Excellent panel concept
  • Solid construction
  • Good looks
  • Fast
  • Ample RAM
  • Built in keyboard
  • Mass-storage device support

Cons

  • No bundled finger friendly keyboard
  • Not much tactile feedback from keyboard
  • No 5MP camera
  • Expensive

$799, unlocked at SonyStyle.com

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