Ah yes. The hotly anticipated Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 is just a few days away, and we’ve got the down-low on the unreleased goods.
Sony Ericsson is launching their new flagship smartphone brand with the XPERIA X1. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA brand is the creme de la creme of the handset maker’s smartphone, and XPERIA X1 is the inaugural flagship handset.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 uses the Swedish-Japanese company’s new Panel UI to mask its Windows Mobile downfalls. Each Sony Ericsson “Panel” represents a customizable homescreen that can be configured to show various personal data (email, calendar, etc.) as well as application shortcuts. Different homescreens serve different functions. At work, you’ll want to use a work-oriented homescreen – email, calendar, contacts, etc. For play, a more casual homescreen might be appropriate – applications, music, games, etc. Hitting the gym? Fire up the media Panel – you get the picture.
But, the new Sony Ericsson Panel UI isn’t all there is to the XPERIA X1. With integrated GPS, WiFi, 3G data connection, and a 3.2 megapixel camera, the XPERIA X1 is chock full of the latest smartphone features that you’d expect from a high-end smartphone. And, the slide-out QWERTY keyboard ensures that this touchscreen smartphone isn’t limited to just touch-inputs.
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By HTC ($799.99)
Overall – 4.5/5 stars
- 3-inch touchscreen @ 800×400 WVGA resolution
- Resistive (pressure-sensitive) touchscreen
- 3G (HSPA)
- 3.2 megapixel camera (autofocus and flash)
- Bluetooth A2DP
- microSD card slot
- Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
- Gorgeous WVGA display – Crisp, clear, and just beautiful
- Slick, spring-loaded slide mechanism
- Full-HTML web browser (Opera)
- aGPS locks on quickly
- Panel UI
- Touch-focus camera
- microSD card slot
- Standard 3.5mm headphone jack
- Hefty build quality
- Squishy, pressure-sensitive touchscreen (resistive)
- Slightly cramped keyboard
- Windows Mobile
- “Interesting” design aesthetic – angles and buttons galore
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 is one of this year’s most anticipated smartphones. Since its announcement all those months ago, the XPERIA X1 has been under-going development in Sony Ericsson’s R&D labs to ensure that the inaugural XPERIA smartphone delivered on its promise to change the way smartphones are used.
The Sony Ericsson Panel UI makes it easy to go from office to home to gym with the press of the dedicated “Panel” button. Each panel is customizable to serve up data suited to a particular task, and it’s clear that Sony Ericsson spent some time (as if the launch-delay wasn’t enough to prove as much) on Panel UI development.
The QWERTY keyboard slides out on spring-loaded rails, making for a slick, high-quality feel. With a WiFi and 3G data connection, the XPERIA X1 is sure to pull down high-speed data wherever it goes. And, with an integrated aGPS receiver, position-locks have never been speedier.
Then, there’s the trick, touch-focus 3.2 megapixel camera. Sure, there’s a flash in there. Sure, the camera has an autofocus feature. But, the most interesting feature allows user to decide where to focus the camera. With a tap of the finger on the touchscreen, the camera focuses on your target of choice.
Of course, with the good, comes the bad. The Sony Ericsson Panel almost allows you to forget that Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional lies under the hood. The clunky smartphone underpinnings detract from the Panel UI. Thankfully, WinMo isn’t too intrusive on the Panel UI experience.
And, speaking of clunky, the XPERIA X1’s design aesthetic lacks smooth lines and curves in favor of broken angles and a squared-off look. It’s the counter-point to Apple’s minimalist design philosophy. Design is subjective, and some might find the angular and button-crazy XPERIA X1’s design as high-tech and geeky-chic. Others might find it, well, a bit awkward. We’re in the latter camp.
Detailed review after the jump.