Product Type: Sony Ericsson Smartphone
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Experience my Xperia
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
Member Name: katyboo123
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
Advantages: Touchscreen, Camera, SMS, Music / Media Playback, Fast Operating System, Mediascape Overlay
Disadvantages: Original keypad, my numberpad keypad app solved this though, Audio volume
So with my pretty basic requirements, I decided I wasn't bothered about an iPhone, the camera at 3 mega pixels was a little disappointing for me (I know mega pixels don't really matter), plus I decided that as I don't have a facebook, Twitter, mySpace, etc it really was a little pointless getting the iPhone. Oh, and I was worried that apps would begin to rule my life when I heard about the Blue/Red light therapy app to treat spotty skin. Not wanting to commit social suicide as I did on facebook (i.e. you stop socialising because you're too busy on facebook / apps / Twitter, etc, or you put an announcement up about how you hate work and your boss reads it), I ruled out the iPhone. I didn't want a BlackBerry as the keypads are too small for my fingers and a couple of people at work had the latest Nokia and I really don't like their attempts at touchscreen / slidephones. So, I was left pretty much with HTC and Sony Ericsson. I liked the cosmetic appearance of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, it seemed to have all the features I was looking for and so I ordered it.
What's in the box? Quite simply, the handset, battery, battery cover, SIM, Memory Card (Micro SD 8GB), Headphones USB Lead and USB adaptor plug. Previous phones I've had have all sorts included, but this is fairly minimal; the box is a narrow rectangular box and it's all very sleek and cool.
When I first got the phone I was surprised by the size. It measures 119 x 63 x 13 mm, not as small as I was used to. I heard today that SE have now introduced the Xperia Mini, which is exactly the same, but 50% smaller - however, it's not as powerful and after playing with it at the SE roadshow, I really couldn't use it with my clumsy fingers! The size is down to the size of the screen, at 4 inches it has ½ inch on the iPhone and aside from 3 quick launch/navigation buttons at the bottom (options, home, back) the screen is all you have on the front of the phone, on the right hand side you have a volume up/down and the camera quick launch / capture button, then a slightly bevelled edge to the back, tiny camera lense and flashlight, round to the left hand edge which has no buttons then on the top the power / lock key, USB / charger socket and the headset socket. At the bottom of the phone there is a space to hang your phone charms on if that's your thing.
Opening the back of the phone is a delicate and tricky operation, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty safe! It takes a Li-Polymer 3.6V battery and has space for SIM card and Memory Card. One deliberate omission from the box is a User Guide, there is a quick set up leaflet which tells you all I have said so far, but the User Guide is actually found on your phone, much greener this way, plus to my non-technical brain's delight, in the early days while you're becoming accustomed to the handset, you can access the Guide on the move.
My first thought once I had assembled my phone and turned it on (which takes a surprisingly short amount of time) was wow, the screen is immense. I had a touchscreen previously, but the screen wasn't much of an improvement from my non-touch screen before that. But the Xperia surpassed my expectations here, the touchscreen works instantly, no calibration required and very receptive to touch in all the right places. You can either set the homescreen up to look like your regular mobile with a wallpaper and 'widgets' or you can use Sony Ericsson 'Timescape' a fancy name for an overlay of sorts which allows you to tile / cascade every teeny item of activity on your phone, which you can then scroll through and open / delete, including facebook conversations, Tweets, texts, pictures, songs listened too, web pages viewed, call log, etc. Timescape then offers the facility to swipe the screen and move along to the individual threads stacked in the same way, so solely messages for instance. For me, the Timescape overlay isn't an option I would use as it would only serve as a reminder of my lack of cybersocialising, but it is pretty cool. The way in which I set up my homescreen means I can look at a standard but still sleek looking homescreen, then I can access Timescape to view all my texts in one place, a I am a text-a-holic, this is pretty useful to me, but not required permanently on my homescreen. No complications, I simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access my menu and down from the top of the screen to access my notifications (symbolised by literally the tiniest envelope I have ever seen on a screen).
The standard homescreen which I favour is referred to throughout the handset and user guide as an 'extended' homescreen, this is funky; you swipe to the left and have another hidden homescreen, swipe to the right and there lies a third. Your wallpaper spans all three screens and they can all be customised. When I first got the phone I couldn't work out how to change the widgets (read: button to access the application) I have never been one for following manuals, but I had to bite the bullet to ask how to get rid of the facebook widget and just have the boring stuff like contacts, calls, messages. The user guide was clear and easy to follow and together, we worked it out in no time!
Contacts are stored on the SIM and can be copied / backed up to the included memory card. They can be accessed via the phonebook widget and once in the phonebook its pretty cool, scroll to or type and search for your contact (very responsive owing to the large processor on the phone), then when you open them up you can message, facebook, IM, call them. Instead of having the contacts widget on my homescreen though, I just have the dialler. From here you can access contacts fully, dial, view your call log and add contacts to your favourites. It's very comprehensive and useful if you can't be bothered going in to your menu each time you want to make a call. Weirdly calls are made and ended using the touchscreen - that's right, no red / green button, this took some getting used to for a technical geriatric like myself. Within the call there are all the usual options like hold, mute, touchtone - it's best to check the user guide on how to access all of the incall functionality (too much to list here!). In call volume though is worth mentioning, it's not super loud, so I would recommend turning it up to max and my hearing isn't too bad, I don't think someone with a hearing impairment however slight would be comfortable with this phone. My called victims also say that there is a lot of feedback when they are on the line, this is apparently a common feature of smartphones as they switch between the 3G (when available) and 2G network.
The phone makes connecting to web based email accounts (and similarly your work Outlook email, unfortunately) really easy - you can either access these within the messaging base, or through the Timescape system depending on your preferences. SMS is simple too, the conversations link in threads, rather than being inbox / outbox / sent / drafts, they are all in one place which I really like as I am forgetful and so I never remember what people have said when I get round to texting them back. My biggest gripe with this phone initially was the Android / QWERTY keyboard options. The buttons were so small and sending a text was nigh on impossible for me unless I turned the phone to the side to get a landscape keyboard and I really took my time. One painful letter at a time. So I searched online and found lots of people felt this way and someone had directed them to an app called the (Even Better) Numberpad Keypad; this costs $3.99 and is the best money I've ever spent. It converts your keyboard to a normal 0-9 keypad with T9 (predictive) dictionary - thankfully after installation I was back to my 100 text a day habit - phew! When you receive a text as I previously mentioned, when you don't use Timescape the message icon is barely visible to the naked eye, but the phone LCD light flashes green intermittantly and you can set tones to alert you as well. Overall now I have my numberpad keypad, this is probably the best phone I have had for SMSing.
The Camera is 8.1 mega pixels. This is more than my own digital camera and every shot from the fast shutter speed, comes out crisp and sharp. There's a smile shot which removes the need for saying 'Cheese' and an auto-focus, everything else is pretty standard and surprisingly pitted against the rest of the phone the camera is simple to use for fab pictures. Obviously as a prerequisite of mine this is important and it satisfies my requirements. The phone has only a 1MB internal memory, but will accept memory up to 16GB externally. I have the standard issue 8GB and around 500 photographs, it's no where near full.
Apps-wise this cannot compete with the iPhone app market. Having said that, the Android Market (requires Google account can be set up within 3 steps from the handset) has a lot to offer and is constantly trying to better itself and compete with the iPhone. So far my favourite apps have included my numberpad keypad (did I mention that?) and my Android Task Killer. The latter was free and by far my best find. I will wait to tell you why when I talk next about battery life. I also downloaded for free a horoscope app, just for fun, and a weather checker for Turkey as I am making my way there on holiday in a couple of weeks. Aside from that, apps aren't really my thing and I am either going to use them for fun or they will be to improve the performance of my handset. Oh, one last one to mention, Android Blogger - this allows you to blog from your handset directly and view, manage, read blogs too. I quite like that one and it was free.
As promised then, battery life. It lasts a day max with full usage of the handset. I charge my phone religiously every night and usually through the day at work from my PC inbetween calls - the USB charger makes that possible and then by plugging the USB in to the socket adaptor supplied you have an instant wall charger. Incidentally the wall charger adaptor (if this has a proper name let me know!), works with USB from iPod, E-Readers, etc so quite handy if you're going away, a fab one size fits all. What I didn't know until a couple of days ago is that when you go in to an app (including SMS, call log, Browser, etc) it continues to run in the background, inevitably draining the battery quicker than if you were to completely shut down each app by going in to settings and then apps, then manage apps (you get the picture). So I installed an App called Android Task Killer, a charming name for a Task Manager for your phone. It works too, I didn't have to charge my battery last night and I still have around 60% charge - I am over the moon with this app too...
There's so much more to the handset including Sat Nav and Wi-Fi, both of which I've accessed and used successfully, but not at any length (Sat Nav for home-to-work-to-home just isn't reasonable!), and aside from these, I don't think I will ever explore the full content of the handset, perhaps a little sad, but like I said at the beginning, as long as it meets my requirements and looks good, I'm happy. In fact I would go one step further and say I am truly over the moon with this cool, functional, useful Smart Phone.
The Best: Touchscreen, Camera, SMS, Music / Media Playback, Fast Operating System, Mediascape Overlay (like Timescape but just for your pictures and music), Browser, Apps I've used so far, Battery now that I've got my Killer, abundance of web support, forums, help, User Guide
The Worst: Original keypad, my numberpad keypad app solved this though, Audio volume
Overall: Highly Recommended
Email on your phone
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Internet on your Phone
Music play back
Camera: 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Color display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 65K colors, 480 x 854 pixels, 4.0 inches
Email: POP3, IMAP4
GPRS: Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps
EDGE: Class 10, 236.8 kbps
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g, DLNA
Operating system: Android OS 1.6
CPU: Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon 1 GHz processor
Summary: Highly recommended to all, regardless of ability