Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Review
The Sony Xperia X10 is an Android device that has been available in Europe for some time already. It has received a fair share of both praise and criticism since its original release date. Now, the X10 has finally made its way stateside, with AT&T. With only three Android phones to choose from, AT&T could certainly stand to gain by adding to their selection. Is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 a worthy addition for AT&T? Read on below to find out!
Here’s the unboxing for the Xperia X10. The box comes packed with just about everything you need, including a 2GB MicroSD card and earbud headphones.
Let’s look at the X10’s specs. Keeping up with typical mid to high-end Android devices, the X10 possesses a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor. Unfortunately, this is dwarfed by its low 384MB of RAM. This means that multitasking can become somewhat slow as the phone is bogged down by multiple running applications. The X10 is capable of reading up to a 32GB MicroSD card. Combine this with the 1GB of onboard storage, and you’ll have a fairly decent amount of storage available to you. The 8.1 Megapixel camera combined with an LED flash is capable of taking good quality pictures. Taking video clips however, renders a different outcome with lower than average quality.
When matching up the X10’s screen against the critically acclaimed Super AMOLED of the Galaxy S, the differences are quite clear. Colors do look vibrant on the X10’s screen, however it still has an overall washed out feel with some colors. The X10 does make use of a capacitive screen, but the sensors or calibration seem to have problems, especially when typing on the on-screen keyboard. Scrolling through some applications and the application drawer rendered multiple “miss clicks”, and typing on the keyboard was extremely frustrating at times. The 4″ screen does offer a good deal of real estate for fitting widgets and application shortcuts on each of the three homescreens.
If you’ve seen our previous review of the X10 mini you will notice its similarity with the X10. That is because the X10 mini is a smaller version.
The left side of the device is a smooth finish with no button or ports. The right side contains a volume rocker that doubles as a magnification feature for use within the browser. A dedicated camera button is also located on the right side. Dedicated camera buttons are always a great addition to a phone because they make snapping a picture faster and much easier.
Moving to the top of the device we will find a power button, microUSB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Users can use the supplied headphones here, or any of their favorite pair. Rather than just leaving the port open for damage, the Micro USB port features a swivel plug cover design. The plug is a good option to have but can sometimes get in the way when trying to plug the charger in.
Removing the battery cover makes sight of a 1500mAh battery, which Sony claims is capable of providing 8 hours of talk time. Beneath the battery is a SIM card slot, as well as a MicroSD slot. As mentioned, a 2GB card is supplied, but the phone is capable of reading up to 32GB.
Like the other manufacturers creating Android handsets, Sony Ericsson embeds their own UI as a skin over the Android OS. Part 1 of our software overview provides a look at the navigation through this custom UI. We also demonstrate Sony’s Timescape and Mediascape applications, each of which serve a unique purpose. Timescape acts as an aggregator for social networking sites by bringing Twitter, Facebook, email, and more into one interactive feed. Mediascape, on the other hand, aggregates all of the music, pictures, and videos on the device into one central viewer. The X10 is somewhat held back by Android 1.6 being stock preloaded. Sony has recently stated that an update to 2.1 will be available late September.
Since kicking off our coverage of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, you’ve seen our unboxing video, Part 1 of our software overview, and the hardware overview. Well now it’s time for Part 2 of the software overview.
In this video we compare the speed of the Xperia X10 against the Samsung Galaxy S. The X10 is preloaded with Android 1.6 while the Galaxy S comes with 2.1. These two devices face off in a stock browser comparison, YouTube load time test, and finally a simple assessment of app opening times.
You will surely notice that we have opted to load custom launchers on these two devices over the stock manufacturer skin. On the Galaxy S we use Launcher Pro, which unfortunately requires Android 2.1, leaving us to use ADW launcher on the Xperia X10. By giving a demonstration of each of the two launchers, you can formulate your own opinion on which you prefer. So, press play!
With its 8.1 Megapixel camera the Xperia X10 takes great pictures, especially in low-light environments. Overall, pictures tend to have a “soft” appearance to them, but the camera does not disappoint.
Unfortunately, the LED flash is significantly underpowered and does not offer much assistance when taking pictures in dark environments. For an example of such, see the picture below.
The 1Ghz allows the X10 to open application quickly. General navigation through the user interface is snappy and posting updates on Twitter and Facebook was very responsive, and an overall breeze. However, dreaded bottlenecks start to surface when attempting to run multiple applications simultaneously. This is mainly due to the smaller amount of available RAM.
CALL QUALITY/NETWORK SPEED
Overall call quality over AT&T’s network was very good, with zero dropped calls.
In areas with very weak signal, such as basements, we did not notice any degradation in voice quality. 3G speeds were on par and typical with any of AT&T’s 3G phones. As always, 3G is not available in all markets, so your mileage may vary.
Sony claims that the X10’s 1500mAh battery will provide 8 hours of talk time to users. With our review unit we found it difficult to get through a full day with only light use. With medium use, users will surely want to tap into a car charger during the day. With high use, making numerous phone calls, responding to many email messages, and using application and/or browsing, you’ll need to use a car charger and a spare ad adapter at you desk. The very subpar battery life may only pertain to our particular unit.
PURCHASING AND AVAILABILITY
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is currently available from AT&T at $149.99 with a two-year contract.
+ 1GB of onboard ROM memory
+ Camera quality
+ Thin and light
+ LED flash
+ Above average battery life
+ Large 4″ screen
– Screen sensitivity sensors
– Low amount of RAM
– Below average battery life
– Preloaded with Android 1.6
– Colors appear washed out
Any addition to AT&T Android lineup is very welcome. Competition and choice are always good for the customer. By adding the Xperia X10 to their arsenal, AT&T is helping to contribute to the cause. Unfortunately, the price point is what holds the X10 back. While you may get relatively up-to-date specifications, the wait for Froyo to be released, (if ever) will be a painful one.
While the device is up to date with many of its specifications, the screen disappoints. Colors do look better than on devices such as the HTC EVO 4G, but the touch accuracy of the screen can be very frustrating, especially when typing long text messages and emails. The combination of the less-than-accurate screen, as well as Sony’s finicky UI take away from the otherwise great effort from Sony Ericsson with the Xperia X10.
If you’re new to the Android game and don’t mind waiting for the 2.1 update to hit, then Xperia X10 is currently a good entry-level option. However, for only $50 more you can get a much better overall device in the Samsung Captivate. Either way, the final decision rests in your hands, (and your wallet). I give the Xperia X10 a 3/5.