Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1
Was this hotly anticipated smartphone worth the year-long wait?
- Build quality and design, excellent display, QWERTY keyboard, range of the latest features
- Lag, preloaded panels aren’t great, little internal memory, still need to use stylus, high price
After almost a year of waiting, the XPERIA X1 has finally arrived. It's not the game changing handset that it looked like it would be when it was first announced, but the panel system has its merits and the display and design are first class. Unfortunately, laggy performance is an issue and it isn't cheap.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
Almost a year since it was first announced, the long wait for Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA X1 is over. It's one of the most-anticipated smartphones ever. The first Sony Ericsson mobile to utilise the Windows Mobile operating system, the XPERIA X1 promises a wealth of features and connectivity and a new interface feature dubbed XPERIA Panels.
It is simply a superbly constructed mobile. While a little thicker and heavier than we’d have liked, the brushed metal casing, arc slider and well-designed QWERTY keyboard combine to provide an excellent feel. The slider in particular is impressive: it rolls smoothly along its rails and delivers an audible click when slid open or closed. The keyboard, though looking a little small at first glance, is comfortable to type on. We were able to achieve excellent messaging and e-mail speeds with two hands, and the key backlighting looks superb in dim light.
The X1’s display is excellent. The screen is a little smaller than the iPhone, but the 800x480 resolution puts it ahead of the pack. Videos and photos look crisp and clear, while colour is outstanding. Our only complaint is that some fonts and aspects of the interface are quite small, making them difficult to view at times. The same applies to many of the icons in the Windows Mobile interface, so you’ll need to use the stylus more often than not.
A unique feature of the X1 is what Sony Ericsson has called XPERIA Panels. These skins have been designed to make the user experience on the device more efficient and effective; the standard Windows Mobile interface is not as intuitive as many competitor offerings. There are seven XPERIA panels preinstalled on the handset, with more available to download. Undoubtedly the best of these downloadable panels is the SBP Mobile Shell. This panel provides one-touch access to most of the X1’s features, including weather and calendar details, call and message notifications, favourite phone book entries and settings. Also worth a look is the Facebook panel, with a bubble interface that allows you to check your friends’ status updates with a quick glance.
The panel system works reasonably well and definitely adds to the user experience, but the preloaded panels are somewhat disappointing. Of them, there are only a few that you will find useful. The two Sony Ericsson panels pale into insignificance when compared to the SBP Mobile Shell, while the 3D Fish panel is virtually useless. The potential for developers to create more panels is there though, and the system definitely adds to the overall experience.
Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to the panels is speed. The lag when pressing the panel key, and when selecting or rotating the panels, is frustrating. The same applies for the general use of the handset, with a few exceptions.
The X1 is a 7.2Mbps HSDPA-capable device and has Wi-Fi, aGPS and Bluetooth with the A2DP profile. Internet browsing is painful on the default Internet Explorer browser, but the X1 also comes with the more user-friendly Opera Mobile browser. We tested the unit over Telstra’s Next G network and were impressed with mobile data speeds, though the X1 won’t be able to take advantage of Telstra’s network speed upgrades early in 2009. Telstra will initially launch the X1a (designed to operate on its 850MHz band) in December, while other carriers will receive the X1i (operating on 900MHz and 2100MHz bands) in January.
The X1 is a fair multimedia device, aided by the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack and the high-resolution display. A 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash performs reasonably well, but it is a bit of a let-down considering the range of 8-megapixel camera phones available now. There is also an FM radio and multimedia player and both of these applications have preloaded panels. The multimedia panel is excellent, and mirrors Sony Ericsson’s Walkman menus. You can access pictures, music, videos, games and contacts with ease and scrolling through the menus with your finger works well.
The X1 only has 384MB of internal memory, though a microSD card slot allows for extra storage. We were pleasantly surprised that the more widely available and cheaper microSD card was chosen over Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick Micro (M2) cards. The X1 uses a regular mini-USB connection for charging and synchronising.
Join the newsletter!
Why virtualise your NAS environment?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 4 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Exciting New Aussie Dash-Cams Unveiled Ahead of Holiday Road Trip Season
- Latest Spartan sports watches hit the scene
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Comparing The Google Home’s Assistant To Amazon Echo’s Alexa
- Hands On: Pitting the Apple HomePod against the Sonos One
- MWC 2018: Everything You Need To Know
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTOBIEE DeveloperACT
- FTTechnical Quality LeadVIC
- FTSenior Full stack Developer (Java)ACT
- FTData AnalystOther
- TPSpecialist TechnicianVIC
- FTAWS AdministratorOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTInfrastructure ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Software EngineerSA
- FTStorage Operations ManagerOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCSystem Engineer - InfrastructureNSW
- FTAutomation Test AnalystOther
- CCProgram Coordinator - TelcoVIC
- TPOracle DeveloperACT
- FTProject Manager - DatawarehouseACT
- CCOracle Service Bus DeveloperNSW
- FTSolution Designer/Architect - Java IntegrationOther
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect ? NetworkingQLD
- CCUnix Systems EngineerNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - RFTVIC
- FTSecurity Operations Specialist (SIEM)Other
- CCPrincipal Project Manager - ieMR ImplementationNSW