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An in-depth look at a pre-production Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

Review by Michael Oryl on Tuesday April 06, 2010.

sony ericsson xperia x10 · android reviews · smartphone reviews · sony ericsson news · android news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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Sony Ericsson is a company struggling to maintain its share of the market as well as its share of the consumers' interest. Like Motorola, it has been a tough couple of years for Sony Ericsson. Also like Motorola, Sony Ericsson is hoping that the Google-backed Android smartphone OS will help revive its smartphone model lineup where Symbian and Windows Mobile have faltered.

The Xperia X10 is the first Android-powered smartphone from Sony Ericsson, and it offers up a fairly impressive spec sheet and a suite of interesting applications for dealing with messaging, social media, and multimedia. The device that Sony Ericsson supplied to us is not running final firmware, and suffers from a lot of problems. I can't, in good conscious, review this phone as it was presented to us. It is half-baked and not ready for consumption, and while I don't expect that most of its issues will go away by the time it hits retail shelves, it would be unfair to suggest that the phone I've been using will not improve along its way to retail shelves in the next few weeks.

Physical Aspects

One thing I can discuss with some sense of finality is the hardware design of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. The device I was presented with is final hardware, so what I see is what you'll get in this respect. The X10 is a beautiful piece of hardware, likely the best looking design (soon to be) on the market. The phone is made up of soft curves, rounded corners, and rich looking materials.

The front of the phone is dominated by the massive WVGA (854 x 480 pixel) capacitive touchscreen(INFO) display that measures 4 full inches across the diagonal. The display is made from traditional TFT LCD technologies, as opposed to the current AMOLED(INFO) displays that are in vogue, but it is bright and crisp none the less. While it is readable in direct sunlight, it certainly doesn't look its best in such conditions. I also found its touchscreen surface to be less than responsive and accurate in use, though that situation could possibly improve with the final firmware. What will not likely improve, though, is that the display is very prone to fine scratches. My X10 was showing these scratches after only a few days of mostly desktop use, which doesn't bode well for its long term survival.

The three hardware buttons that rest below the display work well and light up enough to be easily found in the dark. The buttons handle the menu, home, and back functions of Android and are used quite often. On the top edge of the phone is the power button, which must be pressed to wake the screen so that a swipe gesture can be used to unlock the phone. Being able to press the hardware menu key twice to activate and unlock the phone would have been far easier to do, since at 120mm x 63mm x 13mm (4.7in x 2.5in x .5in) and 138.9g (4.9oz), the Xperia X10 is a somewhat unwieldy device for even my large hands to juggle.

Next to the power button, on the top of the phone, are the 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and the covered micro-USB charger port. I'm not a fan of covers on charging ports, but it does improve the look of the device. On the right hand edge of the X10 can be found the volume rocker switch and the dual-stage camera shutter button for the 8.1 megapixel camera. Nothing of note is located on the left edge of the phone, nor is there anything all that interesting on the bottom, apart from the shiny black chrome finish and a lanyard fixing point. The back of the phone is covered by a soft-touch paint that is a perfect compliment to the slightly curved back of the phone, which sits so nicely in the palm of the user's hand. The aforementioned 8.1 megapixel autofocus camera, with its LED flash, are located at the top of the rear cover. The cover itself can be removed to gain access to the 1500mAh battery, SIM card, and included 8GB microSD(INFO) memory card.

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Ahmad Helmy @ 9:48:43AM EDT on Wednesday April 14, 2010

This mobile is a good one, but it still not very fast as we think about Snabdragon CPU, also i don't know why SE not support front cam? and sound volume still not high as X1i, but version Android 1.6 is not big broblem because its easy to upgrade and software realy is the best one in android and hole design also

charles @ 10:26:17AM EDT on Thursday April 29, 2010

I don't have SE:X10 as yet, I want to buy one,having read the comments;I am a little sad that SE didnot foresee these problems, what kind of engineer do they have? Can these defaults be updated?.I hope that they have made corrections.Keep me info. I might get one soon.

Cube @ 12:23:26AM EDT on Tuesday June 8, 2010

I agree Ahmad Helmy, its lacking two things front camera as well as stylus(needed when hands are dirty). Need to wait about 2 months for updates.

rp @ 12:06:28PM EDT on Sunday October 10, 2010

i am planning to buy a new phone which one is better x10 or samsung captivate ..
i us emy phone for music
social networking sites
web browsing
and lot of pictures (sometimes in night too)

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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