Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 review: A new experience

GSMArena team, 23 December 2008.
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High-res display is spectacular

XPERIA X1 screen

Someone might ask how come Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 gets the better treatment than the Touch Pro in terms of screen size as they have one and the same manufacturer, but let's not forget HTC have the Touch HD already and can afford to show some generosity to the competition.

A 3-inch diagonal accommodating 800 x 480 pixels (yep, Touch HD again) is at this point the ultimate in full-QWERTY PocketPCs. The 2.8" VGA display of HTC Touch Pro should feel quite threatened as the XPERIA outdoes it in both size and resolution.

The image quality is great although someone would make a case of the XPERIA's 65K-color support "only". But really, there aren't that many cases when the difference between 65K and 16M colors is visible to the naked eye.

The XPERIA X1 is a pleasure to look at and handle in the dark, with its strong and even backlighting and bright display.

However, going outside on a bright sunny day you're in for a serious problem. The X1 has the same weakness as most other WinMo phones out there - poor sunlight legibility. The fingerprint smudges on the screen don't help things either.

XPERIA X1 display in the dark and against the light

The 3" display is sunk a millimeter from the surrounding surface and this solution has both its pros and cons. Not only does it offer some degree of protection, it also facilitates operating with the stylus around the edges - exiting applications, hitting the battery indicator, wireless network icon or the sideways scrolls.

However if you prefer to use your fingers you are in for quite a hard time. Icons, start menu and scroll bars are tiny and stylus skeptics (like us) will need either long nails or strong nerves to get to them.

This of course also has much to do with the high screen resolution. We've got to say, that HTC have done a far better job of scaling the UI of the Touch HD to make it thumb-friendly.

The touchscreen responsiveness is better than the Samsung Omnia's but nowhere near the iPhone standards.

XPERIA X1 over Touch Pro

  • 3-inch WVGA display
  • X Panels interface
  • Optical trackpad
  • 1500mAh battery
  • Notably lighter by 20g
Touch Pro over XPERIA X1

  • 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • TouchFLO 3D user interface
  • TV out
  • Active magnetic stylus
  • Accelerometer for auto-rotate
  • Proximity sensor for screen auto turn-off during calls
  • Better thumb optimization of the UI
  • Flash Lite 3 and full YouTube support in the web browser
  • More compact

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1, HTC Touch Diamond and Touch HD

While HTC will be getting well deserved credit for the XPERIA, the Sony Ericsson design team efforts at setting their PocketPC apart are commendable. The XPERIA is a definite looker and handling is on par with the solid elegance the handset projects.

Touchscreen size and resolution, the arc slider and the turn-head exterior are XPERIA's undoubted advantages over the subdued and to-the-point Touch Pro. The Touch Pro is keen to respond with a superior QWERTY keypad, accelerometer and active magnetic stylus. Plus, its market head start is definitely in the picture too.

Finally you also shouldn't forget that the price of the XPERIA X1 is currently about 40 euro (60 US dollars) higher.

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