We put Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X10 smartphone through its paces
Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X10 smartphone, the company’s first handset to run Google’s Android operating system, was announced well before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, for many people MWC was the first chance to get some one on one time with the phone. We were lucky enough to get our hands on an almost-final version — here are our thoughts.
Firstly, the physical design of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 is certainly refreshing. With every touch-screen smartphone starting to resemble the iPhone in terms of looks, Sony Ericsson’s choice of glossy white plastic and curved back and edges gives the X10 a unique look and feel. It feels comfortable to hold and well constructed despite the plastic casing.
Although our demo model was still a preproduction version, the software couldn't be accused of lacking speed. We found it swift to open and close applications, smooth to swipe through menus and responsive to finger presses and gestures. The entire UI looks clean and feels polished — we think it's an improvement over Google’s own Nexus One smartphone.
The XPERIA X10 has two features that set it apart from most other Android phones on the market — Timescape and Mediascape. Timescape is a central communications hub, while Mediascape is, predictably, an entertainment hub. The idea here is that all your communications and media are contained in a single menu structure, eliminating multiple folders, icons, and separate applications. For example, you can see an individual's SMS messages, Facebook status updates, e-mails and tweets all from a single location, effectively eliminating the need to open four separate applications.
From the brief demo we were given, it seems that Sony Ericsson has accomplished this in such a way that means it isn’t overwhelming to use. The design is clean and straightforward.
The question that remains unanswered is whether people will use this feature on a day-to-day basis. Often, we find that these types of features sound and look effective, but don’t end up being practical in everyday situations.
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