Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 First Look Review

by Reads (15,556)

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 is the followup to this company’s stylish and popular — albeit ridiculously expensive — X1 model, released a little over a year ago.

The X2 isn’t quite so gobsmackingly spendy as it’s predecessor, partly because the specs aren’t as out of this world as they were when the X1 was released — and they haven’t been altered much except for the camera.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X2Internally, the X2 has nearly the same hardware as the X1. The processor speed, GPS capabilities, screen resolution, and wireless capabilities are all the same.

For some reason Sony Ericsson saw fit to reduce the internal flash memory on the device from 512 MB to 256 MB, which leaves the user with less than 100 MB to play with out of the box.

In compensation though, they bumped the internal camera up from 3 megapixels to 8.1 MPx. They also re-engineered the styling a little, cramming in a slightly larger screen (3.2 inches versus 3.0) and redid the button arrangement in favor of a flat style and optical trackpad.

The X2 that I received was the European version, which means that it lacks the 850 MHz 3G band for use in the US and a few other places (like Australia). These import models can be had for a pretty reasonable price in the US, but you’ll end up lacking a lot of high-speed Internet coverage. How much depends on your region — for instance, in my area, 850 MHz represents the only 3G available, so without it you’re stuck on EDGE. Moral of the story: get the 850 version if you live in one of the countries which uses it.

PERFORMANCE
My first couple days playing with the X2 can be summarized as this: great hardware, marginal — at best — software.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X2The specs are awesome, the design is solid and ergonomic, and many of the little design decisions add up to a phone that’s physically comfortable to use.

For instance, Sony Ericsson could have done what most manufacturers do now, which is provide audio output through the same plug used for USB. But instead they chose to mount a proper 3.5 mm audio jack on the device, letting you use standard headphones without an adapter. Coming from my Samsung Jack, I hadn’t realized how much I missed that.

My initial experiences with the X2’s software loadout have not been as good. For starters, the device doesn’t perform nearly as fast as it should given its specs. Menus that should slide like glass hitch and hesitate, and buttons which should be reacted to instantly end up taking a second or two.

Secondly, the pre-loaded software itself is a bit of a mess. Microsoft made some bad decisions with Windows Mobile 6.5, most notably using a non-intuitive honeycomb grid for the application launcher. And the extra stuff Sony Ericsson bundled into the device doesn’t help.

Stay Tuned
I’ll go into this in more detail in the full review, but my initial suggestion would be that if you like this phone you should be prepared to learn about custom ROMs. If you’re still interested, we’ll have a full review soon.

If you just can’t wait, the Xperia X2 is available from eXpansys USA for $695.

 

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