Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 preview: First look
Messaging left where Windows Mobile 6 started
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA 2 supports SMS, MMS and email. SMS and MMS share an inbox and a message editor. Threaded SMS is also available just as it is across Windows 6.1 devices.
Setting up your email is easy as it gets. You type your email and password and all the other fiddly options are configured automatically.
Sony Ericsson have equipped the device with a new virtual keyboard as compared to the XPERIA X1 hwere they used the plain old WinMo one. The new keyboard is a commendable feature since the default Windows Mobile keyboards are fit for stylus use only. We played around with it and both the portrait and landscape modes are comfortable to use.
But hey, we are pretty sure you'll use these virtual solutions extremely rarely because of the hardware full QWERTY keyboard.
Internet Explorer Mobile
Now this is the really interesting part - the new version of the Internet Explorer Mobile web browser has received a nicer touch-optimized interface and a cooler design. It has even adopted some of the treats of Opera Mobile, including kinetic scrolling and Flash support.
There are five available font sizes and there is an optional mobile view mode. Still with the high-res screen we are far more comfortable using the desktop mode as web pages look much more natural that way.
Zooming in is best done with a double tap on the text. Your other option is to go through the menu or hold you finger over the screen and go through the context menu to make a slider appear. You can then use it for controlling the zoom but there is no Fit-to-screen mode.
A flaw of the IE browser is the fact that it doesn't automatically rotate the pages with the built-in accelerometer. One would think that this is the easiest thing for the developers to do but they obviously saved themselves the effort here.
Still if you slide the keyboard you'll get there. There isn't a setting for manually switching to landscape mode either so like it or not - portrait is all you get until sliding the hardware QWERTY keyboard out.
We guess that and the handicapped zooming is exactly what dooms the Internet Explorer Mobile of remaining second best to the Opera Mobile even after the major overhaul it has received.
WinMo gaming has future
There are four games onboard the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2. The first two are the all too familiar Windows Mobile Solitare and Bubble Breaker, while the other two are quite more interesting.
The Xtrakt is a very nice 3D racer with some chick riding a motor bike on tracks though some nice sci-fi cityscapes. You can collect items for points and shoot some flying enemies.
Xtrakt is an accelerometer based game and it's really responsive to the hand movements. Targets are touch optimized, so don't bother taking out the stylus. Finally, you can make impressive 3D stunts with the bike again using the accelerometer at the appropriate spots in the game.
The second preinstalled game on the X2 is Experiment 13 a 3D logical puzzle. You play a professor who needs to collect shining spheres to activate the teleport for the next level. Unfortunately, the accelerometer control is not available here.
Both games run smoothly and feature very nice graphics. We are sure there will be a lot more to come with the new Marketplace and the Windows Mobile game scene has a bright future.