Product Type: Sony Ericsson Smartphone
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Sony Ericsson Xperia X8
Member Name: BitterFusion
Sony Ericsson Xperia X8
Date: 03/05/11, updated on 03/05/11 (111 review reads)
Advantages: Amazing amount of apps, easy to use, good price
Disadvantages: Not as wonderful as more expensive smartphones, but for the price, are we really complaning??
I'm just going to throw it out there: I am in love with this phone. This is the first experience I've had with an Android phone, and so cannot compare it to others, but I have had experience with the iPhone, and so will probably be comparing it a lot to that. Of course, this phone is not as good as an iPhone. However, do not let that deter you from reading this review.
I personally think the design of this phone is great. It looks stylish, with a sleek casing. It's not too big or too small, fitting perfectly into my pocket, and is of a reasonable weight at 104g. Its 3" screen allows the display plenty of room for viewing pictures/watching videos. Mine is black, but apparently it can come in a range of various other colours listed below:
- white (pictured)
- aqua blue/white
- silver/dark blue
- white/dark blue
I wasn't offered, nor was I aware of, this range of colours when I purchased mine. However, I wouldn't say I'm unhappy with the colour I got, as I do think it looks very stylish.
This phone is a touch screen/button combo. You mainly use the touch screen to navigate your way around the phone's system. The three buttons on the front of the phone serve the following purposes:
Left hand button - multi functional button. Offers more options to various applications. For example, on the home screen, it serves as a means to which you can change your wallpaper, re-arrange icons etc. On the Maps application, it brings up a bar which allows you to access the modes 'Search', 'Directions', 'My Location' etc.
Middle button - minimises the application you're using and takes you to the menu.
Right hand button - takes you back to the stage you were at before. For example, when using the Facebook application, you initially go to the Home screen where you can select to look at your news feed, profile, messages etc. If you then click on your news feed, for example, the only way to get back to the initial screen with all your options is to use this button.
There is also a button at the top which, if pressed lightly, locks the phone. If held for a few seconds, it offers to switch off the phone, turn it to silent mode, or to put it in airplane mode. The buttons on the right hand side of the phone adjust the phone's ringer volume, or if in the middle of using an app, adjust the media volume. There is also a button below this which acts as the shutter release for the camera. It also activates the camera mode if held for longer than a few seconds.
As far as the touchscreen mode goes, it's quite sensitive to the touch. Although not as good as I would argue the iPhone is in terms of being able to pick up that there is a finger touching the screen, I'd say this is still a good touchscreen. In the past I've had a Nokia touchscreen which required a stylus-like pen to operate it, which kind of defeats the point of it being 'touchscreen'. This most definitely is way better and is really easy to use in my opinion.
What's on offer
Contact list - You have the option with this phone to sync your contact list with your Facebook friends, something I had not encountered before. You can either do this for all of your friends, or just the friends you want to manually input into your phone. I opted to do the latter, and so when I entered the name and number of someone, Facebook automatically gave them a contact picture (their profile picture) and added all additional information they have listed on the site into my address book. I also found that it does this for people I had not entered into my address book. For example, an old number I had not expected to text me appeared on my phone one day, and instead of scratching my head, wondering who it was, because they had listed their number on Facebook, I was given the name and contact picture of the person. I also like that you can add your favourite numbers to a 'Favourites' list, which makes it easier to make a call to your top used numbers, instead of having to search through your contact list.
Messaging - Easily done if you like using the qwerty touch keypad. I find that if I hold the phone upwards, the qwerty keypad is slightly squashed, and I often press the wrong buttons. However, turning the phone onto its side flips the screen, allowing the keys to get bigger and thus I make less mistakes. The corrective speller that comes with the phone does take some getting used to initially, but you can switch it off if you find it gets too annoying.
Camera - The 3.2MP takes pictures of fairly good quality, although I haven't found a way to zoom when using the camera. Once you've taken the picture, you can zoom into the picture, and it is fairly detailed. There are also four different modes - Auto, Twilight, Sport and Beach/Snow to pick from. I think Beach/Snow mode is a bit random, and haven't really noticed any difference in the picture quality here. Video mode also has two settings - one normal, and one especially for MMS, which I suppose condenses the size of the video file. Videos are of a fairly decent quality, in sound as well as picture. Although I am happy with the quality of the camera, I am not a big camera/video camera user, and I'm sure there are probably better cameras on the market.
Music player - Good sound quality to be had here. My phone came with a memory card of 2GB so there's enough space to get a good few songs on here. However, if you have a massive library, you might want to consider getting a better memory card. I have an MP4 player, and so don't use this too much. I have a few of my favourite songs on here, but don't use it overly as a music device, as I suspect this would drain the battery. Nice and easy to use though.
Android App Market - This is, by far, my favourite thing about this phone. I love apps - the games, the diet trackers, cinema listings, the social networking apps etc. They were one of the main clinchers when it came to the deciding which phone to choose. Although I do not mind paying for good apps (generally starting from 59p), there are plenty of free ones to keep me occupied. I especially love the games, and the fact that Angry Birds is free on the Android Market, whereas you have to pay for it in the iTunes marketplace to get the full version. The are, however, a few drawbacks. The Android Market range, despite being very extensive, is still not as extensive as its Apple counterpart, and popular games such as Cut The Rope are unavailable for Android. The other drawback is that I have found that games like Angry Birds run a little slower on my phone. It can be a little glitchy, as though it is having trouble dealing with the graphics. However, this is only a minor glitch in my opinion as, for the most part, I am able to play the games without any problems.
There are many other applications such as the standard Alarms, Calendar, Notes etc. that come with all Sony Ericssons. There are literally so many applications that come with this phone, that I would take up your whole day writing about them! The only other important thing I think that would be a consideration for some people is that, of course, you can sync your phone with your email addresses. However, you are not notified when you get a new email and must check the application yourself. Also, the phone has WiFi capabilities, which can boost your internet signal in areas where you get bad coverage, or data useage is not included by your provider. Lastly, the phone has GPS, which I love! I'm completely awful with directions, and when I found myself in a part of town I was not familiar with, and needed to get home, I found that GPS was an absolute saviour!
The battery life, I admit, is not amazing, but I think this is down to the amount I use the phone. I generally have to charge the phone every day/other day at most, but I don't mind this really. It lasts the whole day, which is what I need, and I do use it a LOT. Turning off things such as WiFi can help to preserve the battery, otherwise it's actively looking for a signal all day. Also, putting your phone into Airplane mode if you're playing a game and don't want to be disturbed is probably a good idea. You can also adjust the screen display settings. If, like me, you don't really mind charging your phone often, then I wouldn't worry too much about this.
I bought my phone from 3 for £89.99 and it came with a £10 top up. Essentially I paid £99.99 for the phone, as I didn't want the sim but had to buy it anyway. This seems to be the general price for the phone, but you may be able to get it cheaper if you shop around. However, I think this is an amazing price for what this phone has to offer. It has far more expensive counterparts on the market, with the newest version of this phone costing around £499.99.
The only bad thing I can think of about this phone is that the apps do not close after you stop using them, nor is there anyway to turn them off completely without turning your phone on and off (which I never do). Having them continuously open will drain the battery, and I would therefore suggest installing the 'Advanced Task Killer Free' app from the app market. It is, as the title suggests, free and is simple to use.
Aside from that, I adore this phone and would recommend it to anyone who is happy using a touchscreen and wants something affordable. However, this really is an all singing, all dancing phone, and if you want something totally simple for just making calls/texting, I would probably stay away from this phone.
If you made it to the end, thanks so much for reading, and sorry for the massive essay this turned into! Hope it was useful.
Summary: An app lover's dream!
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