Written on 2/08/2010 07:53:00 AM by poison_ivy
It seems that Vodafone will indeed carry the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 in the next couple of weeks. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 is the follow up to Sony Ericsson's first windows mobile phone, the X1. This time around, the Xperia X2 has an upgraded OS, slightly bigger screen, and a much bigger camera resolution. Let's see if X1 users would want to upgrade to this mobile phone.
In terms of design, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 seems to be a let down compared to the Xperia X1 mainly because Sony Ericsson decided to use more plastic on this mobile phone. There's a four row QWERTY keyboard which is much more tactile than the ones on the Motorola Milestone and even the Samsung B7610 OmniaPro. The Xperia X2 is also slightly thinner in terms of thickness and width compared with the B7610.
Overall, the sliding mechanism is much more solid too and the width is just right so that I don't feel like I'm carrying a huge handset. The Xperia X2 still retained a lot of metal especially in the back to make this mobile phone a sleek looking handset.
Sony Ericsson retained the optical directional pad which is great because it gives users the option of having arrow keys while in portrait mode, an option which is lacking on the B7610.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 runs Windows Mobile 6.5. Unlike the HTC Pro2 or the Samsung B7610 which did their best in hiding Windows Mobile, Sony Ericsson opted to make their panels sort of an icing. Meaning you can choose to use it or not and the UI doesn't really go deep so this can either be a blessing or a course depending on how much you like/hate WinMo. For me, it's okay though I still prefer HTC's TouchFlo 3D but those who miss the old Windows Mobile interface would definitely love the X2.
Screen responsiveness is okay though I don't know why for the life of me, is opening some applications more laggy compared with the Diamond2, which shares almost exactly the same hardware: 528MHz CPU and 256MB of RAM. The screen auto rotation doesn't even have any animation and SE did a lousy job of implementing the auto rotation on this device.
You can access the Xperia Panels interface by pressing the shortcut button right below the call button on the left side. The Xperia Panels is really pretty, I'll tell you that. Sony Ericsson incorporated their media library which can be found on all Sony Ericsson phones. I really don't know the useability of the Panels such as Pixel City, which basically is an animated city and displays status icons such as battery status, missed calls, etc all over the city. It's an eye candy alright but you have to make use of your stylus most of the time in order to press any of the notifications.
The Tilewave panel is another eye-candy panel. The tilewave panel is just a bunch of moving squares, also with notifications. The most useful panel is probably the SPB mobile shell. It's a whole new homescreen for your handset and is tons better than the standard WinMo 6.5 homescreen.
PHONEBOOK AND MESSAGING
I love the Xperia X2's phonebook compared with the Samsung B7610. Why? Because this is one of those instances where I miss the old Windows Mobile interface when inputting my contacts. SE's phonebook is also much more visually appealing compared with the B7610.
The Messaging application on SE Xperia X2 features the old windows mobile threaded messaging which is simpler to look at compared with Samsung's but isn't really that much finger friendly. There's also an onscreen keyboard in case you don't want to use the physical keyboard. The onscreen keyboard is pretty useable and doesn't give you a headache when typing. The added optical directional pad also makes it ideal for one hand texting.
MULTIMEDIA and WEB BROWSER
I really like Sony Ericsson's media gallery on this handset. The photo gallery is great and allows you to scroll through your photos via finger sweep. It would even allow you to rotate your photos even without turning your phone in landscape or portrait mode.
Audio quality through speakers is pretty loud but is average when compared with the audio quality on the iPhone. The audio player is quite nice, similar to the audio player on most Sony Ericsson Walkman phones. You can organize your music by playlists, albums, authors, etc. Unfortunately, Samsung's Touch player beats the audio player on this one as the latter has equalizer presets.
The Xperia X2 supports DivX playback with subtitle support and watching videos is nice although I'd advice against watching videos in direct sunlight because you'd probably wont' see anything.
Unfortunately, like most Windows Phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 doesn't have a lot to boast about in terms of web browsing capabilities. You have the regular internet explorer which seems much slower on this handset compared with IE on B7610. The good news is that IE supports flash, bad news is that it seems YouTube won't be supporting PocketIE even with flash in the future.
I wasn't able to download the sample shots I've taken with the Xperia X2 but the 8 megapixel camera seems pretty awesome. You can shoot picture by using the touchscreen focus or the dedicated camera button on the right side of this phone. There are also a lot of in camera options such as white balance, macro mode, geo tagging, etc. Like Samsung's camera phones, there's an option for shooting images with just text on it (useful for students who rely on copying their classmates' notes).
Design-wise I really love the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2. I've longed for a directional pad on newer Windows Mobile handsets and only the Xperia X2 has this feature. The Xperia Panels is also nice though I hope that in future updates, Sony Ericsson would do what HTC did and maybe try their hand at customizing the old Windows Mobile UI though not completely overdo it like what Samsung did. An 8 megapixel camera is also a first for a Windows Phone so those looking for a camera phone/smartphone might be interested in this handset. Sure, it's laggy at times but there've been rumors that Sony Ericsson would soon fix these bugs around March so hopefully, the batch of Xperia X2's coming to Vodafone wouldn't have these issues. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 is a promising phone except that knowing Sony, the price for this handset would probably have a premium and those looking for a better bang for their buck would be wise to look at the Motorola Milestone or if you're a WinMo fan, the Samsung B7610 is way cheaper and has a better CPU.