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April 19, 2010

Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10 Review

The Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10 is technically the very first SnapDragon+Android powered smartphone to ever hit the Philippines (the HTC Magic is the first Android and the HTC HD2 is the first SnapDragon offered in the country).

The only other handset that has a similar combo I’ve tried is the Google Nexus One (though with v2.1 Android in it). The unit comes in two variants – the white one and the black one. I bought the white one for this review.

Design and Construction

The Xperia X10 was designed with great attention to detail and though the body is constructed from some kind of polymer (read: plastic), the white glossy finish and hefty weight gives it a ceramic appeal. It’s not very slim (13mm) but the somewhat curved edges gives it a slim impression. I’m not too sure about that silver-lined accent on the sides though.

The bottom of the front-panel is lined with 3 slender buttons that’s typical for an Android handset — Home, Back and Menu/Settings. There’s a dedicated camera button on the bottom right side and the volume rocker is on top of it that also serves as zoom control in camera mode. On the top side are the power button, 3.5mm audio port and a micro-USB port for data/power connection.

Display and Touchscreen

The 4.0 inch screen of the Xperia X10 offers more real estate than the 3.7″ of the NX1 and just 0.3″ short of the HD2. The 480×854 pixel resolution gives it a crisp rendering of images and icons but is no match to the brightness and vivid colors of an AMOLED screen of the Nexus One.

Nevertheless, it’s still one of the largest screens on a handset I’ve ever used. Add to that the responsiveness of the capacitive touchscreen and you’ll forget the TFT display is only doing 65k colors.


The virtual qwerty keyboard looks standard to Android and can get a day or two to get used to if you haven’t had experience with any similar full touchscreen phones before.

TimeScape and MediaScape UI

Sony-Ericsson added their own UI layer on top of the standard Android interface. The TimeScape parades all the activity done on the phone in a single timeline presented by 3D-panels.

That allows you to see the photos, tweets, FB updates, SMS, email, call logs, etc. in a single helix-shaped column of panels. You can slide across to another icon to see just a timeline for a specific activity (e.g. Tweet-only or SMS-only).

The MediaScape, on the other hand, is somewhat similar to Windows Media Center and allows for a more fluid navigation of all music, photo and video files on the phone.

Both the TimeScape and the MediaScape UI offer a lot of eye-candy but they seem to offer little practical function but just that — eye-candy. It’s nice though that tapping into a stream allows you to either fire up the browser or select an app or client for that service (e.g. TwitDroid for the tweet stream; or for SMS, TimeScape gives you a threaded view of a conversation).

The X10 also has the default 3 sliding panels of the Android, a feature I felt important after using the Nexus One with 5 and the HTC Hero with 7 — more real estate for widgets, folders and shortcuts.

Camera & Multimedia

The 8.1 megapixel camera of the X10 takes decent to good photos but is heavily dependent on available light. The shutter speed seems to be a bit slow so photos tend to get blurry on some occasion. I took several shots using both natural and artificial lighting and got these.


Click on image to see original/raw photo.

Video capture didn’t impress either. But despite all that megapixel rating, the video recording is a bit underwhelming and only captures up to QVGA and WVGA. The videos are decent but it would have been nice if it can do 720p. Here’s a sample I uploaded on YouTube.

What’s missing in this department is a secondary front-facing camera for video calls and the lack of FM radio tuner. The built-in speakers is relatively weak with the audio lacking the necessary bass and makes it a bit “tinny”.

Performance and Battery Life

The Xperia X10 is among the most powerful smartphones I’ve tried, along with the NX1 and the HD2, thanks to the 1.0GHz Qualcomm SnapDragon processor running Android 1.6. Apps load up pretty quickly, even with multi-tasking or several apps running at the same time.

The 1500mAh Lithium-polymer battery seems adequate but the device can easily get drained in two days and that’s with light browsing over WiFi and 3G.

Connectivity options are in full gear with WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and GPS. The built-in browser does a fine job rendering pages but the lack of multi-touch somewhat dampens the usability/experience.

Conclusion

For a 1st generation Android phone, Sony-Ericsson did a pretty good job with the Xperia X10. Even if the Rachel UI isn’t that impressive, an upgrade to Android 2.0 this May will hopefully make up for that.

The absence of an FM radio is a minor setback and once the Android 2.0 becomes available, multi-touch might be enabled on the device too (although earlier reports indicate that no multi-touch support is due to hardware issues). The retail price of Php32,500 isn’t too bad either, considering their first Xperia came out at a whooping Php42,500.

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111 Responses to “Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10 Review”

  1. dyepnoodle says:

    the next update wont have multi touch! update will be available by the end of OCT. I’m working at NOKIA and no NOKIA PHONE is better than the X10, dont even bother buying the N8, it really sucks, trust me.. Known issue would be the phone will shut off and wont power back on.. (bases on complaints we receive) all of the new phones that they released has a lot of issues,. They will release the E7 (N8 with slider) and the C6-01 (it also sucks)

  2. dyepnoodle says:

    the next update wont have multi touch! update will be available by the end of OCT.(best thing bout the update is android 2.1 and 720p HD video recording with continious focus).. I’m working at NOKIA and no NOKIA PHONE is better than the X10, dont even bother buying the N8, it really sucks, trust me.. Known issue would be the phone will shut off and wont power back on.. (based on complaints we receive) all of the new phones that they released has a lot of issues,. They will release the E7 (N8 with slider) and the C6-01 (it also sucks)

  3. dyep says:

    i have updated my x10 to 2.1, first in the philippines! rooted my phone and finally, updated it.!!

  4. YOGI says:

    @DYEP San puede mag pa root saka mag update ng 2.1?

  5. jayc says:

    @YOGI YOU TRY THIS LINK BELOW, FOR UPDATING YOUR XPERIA IL HOPE IT HELPS

    http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/home?cc=ph&lc=en

  6. junulrik says:

    after updating to eclair 2.1, my xperia x10 shows so much improvement from previous version. i really enjoy now my unit especially with huge screen for internet browsing and also live wallpapers are really spectacular…

    • summii says:

      how did u do that..i mean the downloading of 2.1 android

    • drew202k says:

      download mo yung pc companion para sa cell mo or etc.. vice versa then log in mo lang yun cell mo yung. software na maghahanap ng auto update sa cell mo or its either ikaw maghahanap

  7. nadzlb says:

    yuga paano ko mgagamit yun mga android market, facebbok applications dito sa pinas??? dapat ba wifi? ksi i tried using Globe 3g di po pwde..huhu..pls help me..

  8. jenue says:

    Anybody knows where can I but Sony Ericson LiveView product? Here’s the link of the product http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/accessories/overview/liveview

  9. striker
    Twitter: striker629
    says:

    xperia x10 s0_01b japan is good at all…

  10. Mondeq says:

    Anyone got info about the Android 2.3 update? When? Tnx!

  11. androclus says:

    already got x10 its cute and very handy with 16gb mmc.. all i can say is hands down to x10

    never tried n900 madali lang kasi magpalit ang nokia

    at ayaw ko sa cell is yun may slide down alam nyo naman review pag may may flex diba 3 years mong e slide yung flex what will happen

    dont tell me dahan dahan kang magslide para di wear off yung flex xD

    kudos na lang but its your own choice i got my own opinion just my two cents lang..

  12. jenue says:

    Guys, where can I buy a brand new Nexus One here in philippines? Pls advice . Thanks

  13. ali noori says:

    give me new model of mobile

  14. I really enjoyed reading your blog, you bring up some very good points

  15. I just owned this x10i, but to my surprise, there is no SIM menu coz Im using a retailer sim with my e-load business, so I cannot access the e-loading menu of my SIM, I tried searching for an app that might have been designed for this but so far its a blank wall…but my lenovo a60 lephone has this menu…does anybody have any idea if there is some sort of a hidden menu or code to access the sim services menu on the x10i?

  16. AHMM..ACTUALLY THE BATTERY LIFE IS VERY FAST GET LOWBAT.!!I HOPE U WILL MAKE A BATTERY FOR ARC S XPERIA THAT WILL NOT EASILY GETS LOWBAT.!!

  17. I’m using an Xperia X10 right now and what I did to prolong the batle]tery life is to use a combination of Juice Defender[aggressive Profile], Advance Task Cleaner, StartUp Manager, and Background Data on the Settings is off, the brightness is at the lowest if im not using the phone…and I installed Best Simple Battery Widget so I can monitor the battery life…eureka!The phone can go up to 5 days now and perhaps 3 days if you always tinker it[text and call and net browsing]…

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