Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


image Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test. We've now got our hands on a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 complete with the Android 2.1 update - lets see if it's any better or whether it's pushed SE further behind the Android pack. Sony Ericsson announced Xperia X10 smartphone. Xperia X10 is first Android phone with 8MP camera. Checkout the expected price of Xperia X10 specifications, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Android smartphone. Announced 2009, November. Features 3G, TFT capacitive touchscreen, 8 MP camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth.

After a disappointing 2009 for Sony Ericsson, with the likes of the Satio failing to live up to its flagship billing, the Swedish-Japanese alliance is back with its first Android proposition - the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. It's got all the makings of a true classic - a whopping 4-inch screen, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and it's rocking Android with a cool overlay.

In short, since we first heard about it at the tail end of 2009, we've been excited to see if it can be the handset to return Sony Ericsson to the sharp end of the mobile phone game.

It's odd, but given the massive screen on the phone, the first thing you notice when looking at the Xperia X10 is not the screen - on our black review model the main thing is simply how shiny it is.

It's an understated phone, with a sharp, angular design and minimal buttons - in short, it looks like the kind of high-end handset we'd expect from one of the leading mobile manufacturers.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The screen dominates most of the front of the Xperia X10, and there are three buttons at the bottom, denoted as menu, home and back. (Albeit with some indecipherable symbols - what's wrong with actually writing 'Menu' and 'Home' on there?)

Between each of the front buttons there's a little LED, which glows brightly whenever the phone is used - a nice touch that adds a premium feel, although they can get a little annoying, especially in the dark - and it seems there's no way to turn them off.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The rest of the phone is pretty sparse - compared to the likes of the Sony Ericsson Satio and Vivaz, it's a little odd to only see a single camera shutter button on the right-hand side of the phone, with the volume up/down key above it at the other end.

On the top of the phone, there's the 3.5mm headphone jack, flush to the chassis, and the on/off button, which doubles as the lock key too.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

It's a little far away from where you usually rest your hand, so you'll generally find yourself using your other hand to activate it - which is a little irritating.

The microUSB slot is located at the top as well under a dust cap - this is a little awkward to get off at times, and has a frustratingly short leash to keep it in place - meaning you have to really wedge it out of the way to connect up the charger.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

There's nothing at all on the left-hand side of the Xperia X10, nor on the bottom, save a little grille to attach a lanyard if you're one of those that sees a big mobile as an ideal replacement for a necklace.

The back of the phone is slightly curved - we assume this is another corollary of the ergonomics study conducted by Sony Ericsson which led to the 'human curvature' of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz.

It does make it slightly nicer to hold in the hand admittedly - but it adds a lot of thickness to the device, which is 13mm.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

When you consider the HTC HD2, which has a much larger 4.3-inch screen, is a couple of millimetres thinner at 11mm, it does make something of a difference with a device this size.

Overall though, it's not the worst looking phone in the world by a long way - it certainly doesn't overpower your hand when you're holding it, and the screen looks lovely and bright in use, without being dominated by the chassis.

In the box

Sony Ericsson usually chucks in everything it can find into the boxes of its phones, but with the Xperia X10 things are a little more minimalist.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Like HTC and Apple, the box for the X10 is coffin-like, with only basic cables inside.

The environmentally friendly idea of offering a microUSB cable with plug adaptor saves on needing an extra charger, but does get irritating when you keep having to go off and find the lead when transferring content.

Of course, it's probably easier to just perform the latter task by just connecting a memory card and transferring content that way - especially when you get an 8GB card in the box and Android is set up to connect up to your PC and easily copy content across.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Interface

If you've ever heard anything about the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 before, you'll know that it is not only rocking Android but its headline-grabbing feature is the new Timescape overlay.

The home screen uses the generic Android display (albeit with a slightly tweaked UI, with everything given a kind of futuristic 'sheen' by Sony Ericsson) and Sony Ericsson appears to have removed the option of having Splines as your home screen alternative, which we can't say we're sad about.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

If all that sounds like complete gobbledygook, then don't fret – it's just the ridiculous language used by Sony Ericsson to describe a very simple system.

Timescape is basically a stack of tiles, with each one representing a different method of communication or action. Twitter and Facebook updates, text messages, songs listened to, photos taken – all of these get their own tile in the stack (which Sony Ericsson calls 'Splines'... we know).

Now the only way to get to this is by the main tile widget on the home screen, which also displays the most recent messaging update you've received from Twitter, Facebook or text, as well as photos you've recently taken too (although you can alter the filters in the settings menu).

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The main view is all of these things together in one long scrollable line – you can set the likes of Twitter and Facebook to update as often as every 15 minutes, but this will obviously drain the battery life faster.

Swipe left and right and you get each activity in its own separate Spline, making it easier to get to things like music or emails.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

It's easy enough to just swipe left and right, but if you want to go to a specific Spline, then it's much harder to scroll along the bottom, where all the icons are held.

If you have the default Android UI as your main home screen, then things should be pretty straightforward – swipe up from the bottom of the screen for the menu, swipe down from the top and you'll get access to all your notifications.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

You now get five home screens to swipe left and right onto – here you can drag and drop icons from the menu, or long-press the screen and get access to the widget list, such as power management or clocks.

There's not the greatest range of options in there to be honest – we'd have hoped for more from Sony Ericsson on its first Android phone.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The menu screen at the bottom has been overhauled to bring it up to date with the Android 2.1 upgrade - it's no longer a pull up menu, but a button to press directly. Much easier to interact with, although there can be a terrible slow down on the menu animation actually kicking in - worse, in our eyes, than the original X10 version.

We're also not entirely convinced by Timescape as anything more than a gimmick – while yes, it is handy to see all your friends in a big long row, each tile uses the profile picture from Twitter or Facebook to identify the user.

This results in a very grainy and blurry picture – making us wonder why on earth you'd use this system in the first place, as it makes the Xperia X10 look pretty lo-fi.

We're shocked Sony Ericsson hasn't updated this feature

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Also, when clicking on a tile to have a look at a Tweet, if you're presented with a link in there that you'd like to have a look at (something very important in Twitter) then you have to click the tile, wait for mobile Twitter to load via the browser (which takes a while) then click on the link from there.

This is far too convoluted for a phone that's supposed to make things simple – the point of Android is supposed to be 'zero clicks' to get information, and with the likes of the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S, there's a lot more understanding about how these social networks should be integrated with the phone.

Another change with Android 2.1 is the lock screen - it's no longer an arc, but a simple iPhone-like swipe instead. It suffers badly when the phone is woken from sleep mode though - the juddering can be terrible and you'll often miss the swipe.

But on a more positive note, the large capacitive screen is bright and responsive for the most part, working quickly when registering a finger input and allowing you to scroll through things like Timescape with ease.

What's more curious is that despite packing a 1GHz processor, the Xperia X10 doesn't seem to always be able to use that raw power.

For instance, the menu issue – it takes ages to load it up and then when scrolling through it there's jumping and lagging and all sorts of ugly things that we hoped we'd never see again on a phone with this kind of power.

It's very much a minor issue, we must stress – most of the time the Xperia X10 whips through all functions as we'd expect it to, it's just the times it drops the ball that niggles us.

What is more annoying is the update hasn't cured the inbuilt lag when waking from standby though, which we presume is caused by background updating; after about an hour, the phone will begin to slow down and only shutting down programs and background syncing will cure it.

However, as Android 2.1 doesn't come with an in-built task manager we'd still advise you get one until Android 2.2 comes along (where constantly shutting things down can actually be a negative for this version).

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Another massive point: the X10 is STILL running a pretty outdated version of the OS considering the HTC Desire, Legend and Samsung Galaxy S, which all started on older versions of Android and yet are already rocking the latest 2.2 version.

Android 2.2 offers new battery improvements, which the X10 sorely needs, and not only that: we'll be seeing Android 2.3 any day now, so once again the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is going to be two steps behind the competition.

However, let's look at the positives: X10 owners now get live wallpapers!These look great and open up a whole world of new interactivity on the home screen, which we really like.]

We're very much unsold on the implementation of the upgrade to 2.1 - it's an improvement, but the goalposts have already shifted massively.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Calling and contacts

With a handset this size, you can argue that it's more internet tablet than mobile phone – but we're always going to expect a mobile to make calls and send texts, otherwise our world could literally implode under the weight of change.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The Android OS has always been kind to contact management and calling, so the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 should continue in that vein.


Sony Ericsson has overhauled the contact menu somewhat with the Xperia X10 – it's all blue background and swishy animations when moving through functions, which is nice and at least gives the phone a unique flavour.

You can also whoosh through your list of friends with no problem at all thanks to the 1GHz processor underneath – either scroll through normally or use the alphabet list at the side of the screen to get to the right buddy.

However, this also suffers a little from the slowdown we previously mentioned, and it's not as slick as something like the HTC Desire at negotiating through your phonebook.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Once in the contact profile, things get a little bit trickier, in another example of Sony Ericsson not quite getting the need to make everything as simple as possible for the user.

For instance, given there's no physical call or terminate key on the phone, it's actually very hard to give someone a ring through their contact.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

While there's a big button to begin a message conversation with them, you have to tap very accurately on their thin number to call your friend – would it have killed Sony Ericsson to make this bigger and much more finger friendly?

Android 2.1 brings with it social networking integration, but that's already included on the Sony Ericsson X10, so doesn't really change much more than tapping on a friend's thumbnail in the list to get quick calling and messaging options.

It doesn't allow you to achieve things like messaging via Facebook or Twitter, or comment on status updates – in fact all it does allow is the ability to see what's been written by your buddies.

After the beautiful systems on offer from HTC with its Sense UI we were sad to see that Sony Ericsson still hasn't made an easy way to link up your contacts' profiles with their social networking equivalents.

This means if you want to add Facebook details to somebody's profile, you're forced to scroll through all your FB buddies to find the right one, and you can't even search to save some time.

Synchronising our entire phonebook took nearly four hours all in all – and we're not that popular. Joining contacts is a matter of holding down the contact entry in a list, then selecting 'Join Contacts'.

If the suggested Facebook contact isn't there, then you're out of luck - unless you've had the nouse to hit the tiny 'group' icon in the top left hand corner of the screen, these contacts aren't listed.

But once set up, the contact profile looked great we supposed – Facebook, call history, messaging and even the picture assigned all fitted together nicely, although if the Facebook or Twitter photo is used, the contact once again looks all grainy.


The call quality on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 was pretty abysmal in terms of volume – there were times when it was impossible to hear what the other person was saying if background noise was a little louder.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Pushing the phone into the ear didn't really help either – if anything the angular shape of the chassis hurt a little bit.

Reception was fine though – while it did drop out a few times and the Xperia X10 did stay connected to GSM when 3G was available, it was nothing that we haven't seen countless times on other smartphones on offer today.

The volume liked to drop to a lower level as well, which means every time you call you'll be pushing it back up again and again.

Calling and the contacts book on the Xperia X10 really show what this phone is all about - so full of potential but for some reason failing to deliver when it matters.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Messaging

We have to say that we're impressed with the messaging options on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 – there's very little that can't be achieved.

Email – both Exchange and POP webmail – is easily synchronised, with the former handled via Moxier Mail, the same seen on the LG Intouch Max GW620.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

But what is more annoying is that Exchange isn't supported by the X10 natively - instead, Moxier handles it, despite Android 2.1 bringing the functionality. Sure, it's a good enough option, but it feels a little backward having to use a seperate app still.

Yahoo Mail and other web-based accounts are easy to connect to, and the beauty of these is that the messages are shown in the Timescape as one of their own Splines (nope, we still hate that word. Why not call it Spines or Timelines? Ohhh... we get it.)

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

SMS is similarly good, especially as it's threaded in both the inbox and when looked at within a contact profile, with converting to an MMS a simple job of just attaching an object, which we always appreciate.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

There's even an option for instant messaging via Google Talk, which is pre-installed thanks to the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 running Android – it's a swift and simple-to-use application, although you're unlikely to have a lot of contacts online at any one time (like we said earlier: not popular).

But we've got bad news – the on-screen keyboard that was a disaster zone still isn't much better. It's still inaccurate and laggy, and what's worse is that it's very easy to hit the wrong key and end up deleting a word or worse - exiting the message altogether.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Of course you can always install another keyboard such as Swype (or the HTC one if you're feeling a little cheeky) and that improves matters somewhat, but the lag in the system means fast typing is still a no no.

Considering we're now used to the eerily accurate iPhone and HTC Desire/Legend, this is a real let down from Sony Ericsson.

But here's one bit of good news for social networkers: you can update your Twitter and Facebook status from the homescreen of Timescape, choosing where you want the update.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

So you might spell it wrong, but at least it's easy to tell your friends when you're looking for advice on whether your thing is supposed to be that colour (although you can't upload a photo of it unless you download a dedicated application).

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Internet

If you've read this review chronologically, you might have the impression that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is a terrible phone.

It's not, and one of the areas it's a little bit better in is the internet browser - but sadly the new 2.1 hasn't done enough to keep it up to speed with the competition.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The Webkit-based browser is brilliant and takes full advantage of the 1GHz Snapdragon processor on board, whipping through webpages with no hint of slowdown.

Admittedly, this is more to do with the decent onboard Android browser than it is about Sony Ericsson developing a top-notch browser, but if you back the Android horse this is one of the benefits you're going to get.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Things like detailed bookmarks, which monitor your most visited sites to suggest bookmarks for you to add as well as presenting history in an easy to view layout all make interacting with the mobile internet that much easier on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

Infinite text reflow is also offered as well, meaning you can zoom in as closely as you want to the text and it will always reformat itself to fit the screen.

Except this is one of the failings - the only way to zoom in is to double tap, and then wait for the page to load and get the option to zoom in with the on screen magnifying glass.

Seriously Sony Ericsson, where is multi-touch? Pinch and zoom? When the Xperia X10 was first announced its omission was relatively acceptable - but now it's available on phones a third of the cost.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Similarly, there's no Flash video support; Android 2.2 brings this functionality, and while some YouTube clips will jump out to the dedicated player, there's no way to view videos from the likes of the BBC.

Accuracy on the web browser is also a little suspect at times too - trying to click on a link when zoomed out is pretty difficult to get right. That said, it's a problem that besets a number of smartphones these days, it's just we've seen some that manage to overcome it (like the Vodafone 360 Samsung H1, for instance).

There's also the option to share the web page you're looking at with others – the default option out of the box is to do so over email or SMS, but when you begin downloading applications like Facebook and Wordpress these will allow you to share the link as well.

The bookmarks you save can also be added to the home screen as thumbnail screengrabs, making it very easy to access the websites you want to look at the most.

If for some reason this web browser isn't for you, then there are a number of other of options available on the Android Market to play with – if you're after speed, check out the Opera browser; Firefox Mobile also offers the Awesome Bar and desktop synchronisation.

We were initially impressed with the internet performance of the X10 when we first used the phone, but the failure to add things like pinch to zoom and Flash video mask an otherwise slick and accurate browser.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Camera

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

If you're any kind of Sony Ericsson fan, you'll know that it has a long history of making phones with incredibly good cameras.

We've been looking forward to seeing what the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 would be like in terms of photography, and it's easily one of the best out there on the market, with an 8MP snapper with high-power LED flash.

Although the latter is odd - you can't actually use the flash like a flash; instead you have to turn on the 'photo light' and then take the pic. So lots of pictures of people with screwed up and squinty faces, then.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

However, every shot comes out crisp and clear, with a very quick shutter speed for a phone.

Sony Ericsson might not have piled on a huge amount of settings to play with, but there's more than enough to be messing around with to get the perfect picture nine times out of 10.

Smile shot, multiple autofocus and touch-to-take options mean that it's much easier to snap the photo you want, rather than watching your phone focus on things in the distance and blur up the foreground.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Another nice touch is that spinning the phone from landscape to portrait will change the UI accordingly, making it much easier to use the camera no matter which way you want to use it.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

PLEASANT: This simply divine lake scene shows how the X10 captures all aspects of detail in bright light

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

FOREGROUND: Here the touch-capture is used - the foreground is highlighted

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

THE OTHER ONE: Focusing on the sky, you can see the light meter changes accordingly

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

TOO LIGHT: With the exposure set right up

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

TOO DARK: And you would never have guessed it: with the exposure right down

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

OBSERVE THE DUCKS: But it's hard to see them from this distance

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

EXTREME CLOSE UP: The zoom merely crops the photo rather than adding a whole lot of detail when fully extended

Video is pretty darn good on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 too, with the camera offering a number of modes to shoot with, ranging from the basic 'good for web' resolution to WVGA.

HD video has been added to the mix and well, and it works pretty well too - we're in the middle of properly testing this (ie filming a loon dancing) and will be back with the results soon.

We believe it captures at 24fps, but the quality and smoothness of the footage is a little suspect at times in VGA mode. Overall, it's a good video recorder, but not the best in the world by a long way for a mobile phone.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Media

Sony Ericsson fans - this is where the Xperia X10 comes into its own - there's so much that you can do with the media player that other handset manufacturers just wish they could mirror.

The first thing to note is that once again Sony Ericsson has developed a special area where video, music and photos are handled, called Mediascape.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

While you might be worried that all your files will be offered up in Splines (damn that word) you need not fear - Mediascape is just a zone where all the entertainment elements are handled.

Divided up into Video, Music and Photo (as you might imagine) this is very icon-based. You can see which songs you've listened to the most, which videos have just been added, and, if enabled, the chance to see recommendations from Sony Ericsson's PlayNow arena.


The music section is very well stocked - not only does the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 excel sonically, it also manages to offer a very intuitive UI that makes skipping through tracks a breeze.

Each artist and song is given the 'Infinity' button, which takes you through to the mobile browser to search for more information on them through Google.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

You can also slide your finger along the bottom to find similar tracks from PlayNow, and also see videos from YouTube.

There's a slight issue in that it can sometimes be quite hard to hit the 'skip tracks' button on the music player, but apart from that there's not a lot wrong with the music player and clearly it takes cues from the Walkman range by Sony Ericsson.

Things like being able to update the album artwork from the phone (albeit only over Wi-Fi) are a really nice touch, and help place the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 above other mobiles in terms of media playback - perhaps even ahead of its own range.

PlayNow was also on hand to let you buy songs instantly - they came in at £1 (charged through your mobile bill) or £0.79 if you synchronised with PlayNow Arena. However, we have no idea how to do such a thing via the mobile, so we're not even sure if you can bring the price down on the Xperia X10 or if you only get that discounted rate online.

If you're thinking of buying this phone for a child, make sure you've got this element protected at the start - it's a very simple process to just buy a song from your mobile bill.

If only something like Nokia's Comes with Music could be integrated - this UI is a brilliant way to get unlimited tracks.


Video is similarly excellent, with the WVGA-resolution screen (the best from a Sony Ericsson phone thus far) pumping out brilliant quality footage. If you're being picky, you could say the fact it's a larger screen can make the pixels a little more obvious from time to time, but then again we're pretty sure 99% of people won't be bothered by that.

You can watch video in both portrait and landscape modes, with some pre-loaded stuff on the Xperia X10 (like classic World Cup goals) being better than the usual in-the-box content.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Sony Ericsson must have decided that the X10 was going to be used for music videos a great deal, as the landing screen offers the chance to shuffle up your vids - we're pretty sure you wouldn't want to do this if you're only going to watch two hour movies.


The best way to describe the photo section of the Xperia X10 is in-depth - you get to do an awful lot from the basic interface.

The pics are presented in categories, all visible at once: recently taken, recently viewed, favourites and there's also an option to see your photos from Facebook and Picasa as galleries on your phone - nice to see and something you rarely see on other handsets.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

We're particularly impressed with the latter option - it quickly updates your albums on the phone, and allows you to swipe through them at a decent pace.

We're a little sad that the animation between each photo when swiping through isn't there - it means that we're forced to just wait as each snap loads.

But the main thing is there's a lot of functionality here - you can view your photos by favourites (which you can easily tag while going through), camera footage, memory card; in short pretty much every way.

You can also tag photos of your friends, although this takes a bit of time and in practice isn't that easy. Unless you only have one friend, in which case it would be a veritable breeze.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Battery life and Maps

Battery life is becoming ever more of an issue on today's smartphones, and it seems never more so than on Android handsets - we're starting to see a pattern of phones simply eating up their battery.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The HTC Desire, HTC Legend, Samsung Galaxy Portal and Acer Liquid all have noted issues with battery life for some people, lasting just over a day with general use.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is in the same camp - despite having a 1500mAh battery, among the largest in the industry, the phone will run out of charge easily after a day's use.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

While at the first review we didn't label this a downside, the number of people complaining about the performance shows that this is an issue - smartphones need to last over a day under normal conditions (ie not using them constantly for eight hours) and the X10 doesn't manage to do this.

One thing to note - the X10 will charge to full, then drop 5% before charging again. It's not a big thing, but you might wonder why the phone seems to be losing charge faster than usual.

In an ideal world, these phones would last three days at least while managing push email, widget updating and all other manner of day-to-day use, but at the moment they're heavily constrained by the available technology.

However, if you want to improve battery life on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, there are a few things you can do: turning down the frequency of Timescape updates is a major one.

Push email from Moxier mail eats the battery, as do many of the widgets and turning the screen up to full brightness. If you dial all or some of these features down then you'll probably eke out around two days' use if you don't hammer the phone too much - but then again you shouldn't have to do that if you bought the phone with these purposes in mind.


There are two types of mapping applications on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, which is more relevant for UK users than their US counterparts.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Google Maps obviously offers the most familiar interface for most users and the new Android upgrade to 4.1.1 brings ever-greater functionality to the platform - Buzz, Latitude and more easily navigable information when searching for information on restaurants or attractions.

It's also blindingly quick on the Xperia X10, with GPS picking us up pretty quickly too (although in built-up areas it struggled somewhat to find and maintain a connection).

But downloading and scooting the maps was really quick, allowing us to find out where we are in super-fast time, which is what we'd be expecting with a phone of this calibre.

With this version of Google Maps, now the Android 2.1 update comes through you can use the live maps option to see where you are from the home screen at all times.

Google Maps has now advanced to the point it can function as a separate sat-nav option for both walking and driving, with a car mode offering larger buttons.

The use of this is excellent; for instance, if you're walking and look down at the map you're following, it will drop to 2D - lift it up in front of your face and you'll go 3D with landmarks. Awesome.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The other option on board the Xperia X10 is WisePilot, which is dedicated sat-nav software. It's certainly a fully featured GPS platform, making it easy to navigate from A to B without a hitch - although we did find the odd problem connecting up the GPS on occasion.

However, we're not sold on the idea of using a phone as a sat nav if we have to pay for the privilege, especially when we can do the same thing on the phone with Google Maps, and in our mind it's easier to use as well.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Connection and applications

There are all the connections you'd hope for on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 that you'd hope for and expect on the Android platform - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP connectivity, aGPS, 7.2Mbps HSDPA connection - all present and correct.

We're not sure the Wi-Fi is as powerful as it could be, as sometimes when we were two rooms away from the router we encountered issues holding the connection.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The GPS was also a little lacklustre at times as well, which we mentioned earlier, especially in the city. However, the Bluetooth was great and held the connection to our Jabra Clipper headphones without any drop in performance, unlike on the HTC Desire.

But the best item of connectivity was the way you could interact with the PC - not only is there the decent backup and repair software that's bundled on the memory card, but also Media Go, which works in a very similar way to iTunes and will help you dump your music collection onto the phone.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

As far as we could tell there was no mention of said software anywhere on or in the box for the Xperia X10 - if we hadn't gone rooting round the memory card, we wouldn't have found the install file, and we're sure a number of people wouldn't feel comfortable just installing something to see what it is.

But once up and running, it's a great suite of products, especially for media, and we're glad to see it's not just the same drag and drop offer once again.


The bundled applications with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 are pretty minimal - there's the Quadrapop game and of course YouTube as standard, as well as Google Talk for instant messaging.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

It's the latest version of YouTube on the Xperia X10, meaning you can comment, rate and view related video with ease - there's also an option to watch things in higher quality, although over 3G this will struggle a bit.

HTML5 support means that the mobile version of YouTube is also accessible now, and that's certainly a step in the right direction, and the newer version of YouTube even allows portrait video watching so you can comment pointless banalities like everyone else at the same time.

Another new application with the Android 2.1 upgrade is Backup and Restore, which we really like. The main reason is you can save not only contacts and pictures to microSD, but you can also save messages too.

This is one of the hardest, but most-asked for, things to do simply on an Android phone; previously you'd have to download a separate app to do it.

You can even schedule constant back ups - it's a really nice application from Sony Ericsson and a nice nod to the consumer's actual needs.

With applications these days though, it's all about the post-purchase experience, and the Application Market for Android is getting better every day.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

There were 9,000 apps added in March alone to the portal, meaning it's likely to be staying on Apple's coat tails for the time being and making it a very compelling option for those trying to work out which operating system to back for their mobile phone.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Hands-on gallery

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


Sony Ericsson Xperia X10: Verdict

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 - it's a phone that we had such high hopes for when we first caught wind of it in the middle of last year.

A 1GHz processor, innovative overlay, the best Android has to offer with great media playback and a supersonic camera? Yes please.

And the good news is that most of what we expected has come to pass - the Xperia X10 is a great phone at its core, with some great use of the Android operating system to push this phone up into the stellar smartphone category at times.

The update has helped somewhat with a few of the key issues we had with the handset overall - but the problem is other phones that have come out in the meantime have moved ahead as well in terms of functionality.

We liked

Where do we start? The WVGA high resolution screen is just great - responsive, expansive, and capable of displaying a large amount of information with little hassle.

The 1GHz processor has again been used well - most action whipped along with very little hint of lag or judderiness to annoy us - well, at least to begin with.

The Timescape overlay might be a little bit lightweight, but quickly becomes useful when you get the point of its function - to simply keep you updated. We'd have liked something a little more interactive - being able to click links in a tile would have been nice - but beyond that we generally enjoyed it.

Mediascape was also a powerful application for the entertainment side of things, offering far more than we've ever seen before from Android in terms of organising music, video and photos.

The camera, an 8MP effort, was great too - we've not seen much to match it, although we would have liked to be able to fiddle with the settings a little bit more to craft our snaps better, and that 'flash' issue is insane.

The Backup and Restore application is ace too - we loved the fact we had our messages saved without a worry.

And of course, the Xperia X10 also made use of things like the excellent Android web browser, the easy-to-use menu system and accessing the Application Market to improve the functionality of the phone instantly - we're glad to see Sony Ericsson is finally on board with the Google wagon.

We disliked

Sadly, Sony Ericsson built a few too many issues into the Xperia X10, something we're growing too used to saying with its phones.

The main culprit is the on-screen keyboard - it's awful. After a week's use, we were becoming more adept at it, but it still required a great deal of focus and effort to stay accurate.

The lag on the menu system when using Timescape as your home screen was ridiculous, and the slowdown when not employing any kind of task killer was almost terminal at times - why it hasn't been eradicated we don't know, and people will continue to have a real problem with this.

Battery life is a little on the suspect side too, with a day's use the most you can expect from the 1500mAh unit in most situations.

Audio quality on phone calls was also too quiet for our tastes, with people constantly being difficult to hear even in quieter situations.

Why there's no multi-touch despite the upgrade, we don't know. We can only assume that the hardware doesn't support it, and given the likes of the Orange San Francisco manage it with no problem, this is downright embarrassing.


We were quietly confident that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 would be a front-running phone when we first heard about it - a complete Android overhaul and some top end specs were enough to have us drooling.

Then the phone came in for review, and we were disappointed. Laggy software, only Android 1.6 and a somewhat baffling system made it hard to see what had happened with Sony Ericsson - but there was hope with the Android 2.1 upgrade on the horizon.

Now that's landed, and a lot of the problems we had still haven't changed - meaning it must be the underlying hardware that's at fault.

Multi-touch is a must on today's handsets, as is a camera with a flash that fires when you take a photo.

Non-laggy interfaces that don't bog down are also important too - if you don't know how to kill background applications, then you'll downright hate the X10 at times.

It's more annoying that the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini is such a smashing little device - it's fast, quirky and basically does what you want it to do. That's what the bigger brother should have been, but an order of magnitude better.

We wouldn't go as far as saying we can't recommend the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, but in the time its taken to upgrade to Android 2.1, we're nearly two steps ahead in terms of platform from Google, and a slew of (often much cheaper) phones have appeared that are better than this one - and great phones like the HTC Desire are still the same price with much better performance.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 : Price

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Price. Click Here [via eBay]

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