Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 preview: First look
Sony Ericsson have added a second gallery to the rather plain and boring WinMo one and it's accessed through the main menu.
You use sweeping moves to navigate through the images. If you tap on screen you also get zooming and slideshow controls. Quite disappointingly however, the X2 doesn't offer screen auto rotation despite the fact there's an accelerometer there. The only way to view a photo in landscape mode with that limitation is to slide out the hardware keyboard, which automatically switches the screen orientation.
The embedded music player is very similar to the Walkman player in the Sony Ericsson's feature phones and can handle playlists, organize your tracks by albums, authors, etc. Album art is supported, but unfortunately there are no equalizer presets, stereo enhancements or visualizations.
Much like the gallery, Sony Ericssson have an alternative video player, which is better than the preinstalled Windows Media player.
Though its interface is simple and there's no advanced stuff such as subtitles support, but it manages to play XviD/DivX movies up to WVGA resolution. We tried a 720p video, but without luck.
Surprisingly good camera
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 is equipped with a 8 megapixel autofocus camera with a maximum image resolution of 3264x2448 pixels. It also has a LED flash that is supposed to assist night photography but as usually its power is inadequate for producing a decent photo on distances over a meter. On the positive side it can also be used as a video light unlike its xenon siblings.
The camera interface resembles those of the CyberShot series, this time upgraded and optimized for using with fingers. Its pop-up sub-menus enhanced with icons and the Multi Menu packing all the available settings are here to facilitate the user experience.
The camera toolbar gives access to shoot mode, scenes, focus, flash, shoot mode, exposure and settings Multi Menu. Sadly, an ISO setting is not available in our unit.
In the advanced setting you could find options for white balance, picture quality, picture size, effects, self-timer and geo-tagging.
The most notable camera features include touch focus, face detection, image stabilization and Smart Contrast. Unfortunately, most of those were not working properly on our unit, but that's understandable at this early stage.
The status bar at the bottom is a new addition and it displays at the top of the viewfinder all the options you have chosen - from the size, to the self-timer. It is very convenient and a nice move by Sony Ericsson to save us all the digging in the menus just to check if the geo-tagging is on for example.
The image quality is surprisingly good for a prototype - we are quite convinced that the XPERIA X2 will be equal or even better than the one of Sony Ericsson C905 Cyber-shot. All the colors are accurate, there's no over-sharpening or purple fringing, white balance is adequate, the resolved detail is pretty enough with foliage looking especially good. It's only that we believe the resolved detail could be somewhat better and we guess that Sony Ericsson will work a bit more on this until the release.
The camcorder interface copies the camera one. The XPERIA X2 is capable of capturing videos at WVGA (yes - 800x480 - you read it right) at 30 fps, but our unit had some problems with that part, so we could not provide you with a sample video. Still, that's the highest resolution video recording we've seen from a Windows Mobile handset (Samsung Omnia II records D1 resolution videos) and also a Sony Ericsson company record. Unfortunately, video recording still uses the less-than-stellar 3gp file format.