Thanks to the fast processor and big screen, the X10 performs exactly how you would expect from Sony Ericsson's flagship device. The operating system and applications run very fast, and the smoothness of zooming in and scrolling through multimedia and web pages is impressive.
The smartphones comes with Android OS 1.6, an older version of Google's operating system, but Sony Ericsson has promised to release an OS upgrade.
The handset comes with 1 GB of internal memory and an 8 GB microSD memory card, which is enough for storing plenty of apps and files. For users who need more memory space, microSD cards of up to 16 GB are supported.
The Xperia X10 supports all 2G and 3G bands, therefore can be used easily around the world, without thinking about mobile network operator's technology, which is something frequent travelers might appreciate. The phone also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.
There's no other way to say it: call quality isn't satisfactory. People on the other end sound as if they were in a small confined acoustic space and their voice is followed by a faint echo. Many other handsets have a significantly louder speaker. On the other hand, the microphone quality is very good; the user is always heard distinctly on the other end.
It's a pity the address book isn't intuitive enough. After a desired contact has been found, it takes an additional three screen touches in order to actually make a call (first for the number and then on the call icon). This issue can be sidestepped by installing a better dialer, many of which are available in the Android Market.
Sony Ericsson used the adaptability of Android OS and created the Timescape/Mediascape user interface for its first handset with this platform. The UI focuses on Internet communication and multimedia content stored in the phone. Timescape is an application that manages many types of communication: calls, SMS text messages, emails, and Facebook and Twitter, among other social media outlets. It can also be set as the home screen.
All the messages are lined up in reverse chronological order when Timescape is activated, and show a photo of the person who you communicated with. They can be filtered according to them type of communication and every one of them, along with the photo, has an icon with the infinity sign that shows a complete communication history with that person.
Mediascape functions similarly, but with photos, videos and MP3s organized in reverse chronological order; files most recently used or added are first on the list.
Web Browsing and Email
The smartphone features the standard Android OS 1.6 browser, capable of rendering even complicated web pages. Furthermore, the handset's 1 GHz processor allows very smooth scrolling and zooming, making web browsing a very pleasant experience.
Flash is not supported, but this downside is somewhat offset by a fast and simple YouTube browser.
The handset includes an application suite for synchronization of various segments of MS Outlook with the handset (email, contacts, tasks, calendar). The most interesting among them is Moxier Mail, used for Exchange Server email access that doesn't need server-side extensions since it uses the server's Outlook Web Access interface.
The standard email app can be used for POP3 and IMAP email accounts, as well as for Gmail.
The X10 features an 8 megapixel camera with an LED flash. The camera software has a large feature set reminiscent of Sony Cyber-shot cameras. In addition to excellent face detection, people in photos can be tagged (similar to Facebook), which can prove to be useful for subsequent sorting in Mediascape.
Daylight photo quality is above average for this class of handset, exceptionally sharp and with vivid colors. Photos taken in darker settings, however, have much duller colors and a large number of artifacts. Some Sony Ericsson phones have much better image quality in this type of setting; it's a shame that the X10's camera doesn't. Furthermore, the LED flash must be manually activated, which is another downside.
The Xperia X10 features a 1500 mAh Li-Poly battery, sufficient for about two days of normal usage. Heavy usage of Wi-Fi, multimedia and GPS functionalities reduces the autonomy drastically; the handset, under those conditions, will have to be recharged daily. The reduced battery life is probably due to the large screen; the good news is that, just like other Sony Ericsson phones, ordinary calls have little impact on battery life.
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