Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 review: Another one in

GSMArena team, 29 January 2010.
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Unboxing the XPERIA X2

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 comes in a smallish box full of accessories. Along with the smartphone itself you get all the standard paperwork, a TV out cable and a universal USB charger.

The enclosed USB cable is used for both data connections and charging. In the retail box we also found a headset and a 4GB microSD card. The only thing that seems to be missing is a carrying case.

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The XPERIA X2 unboxed

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 360-degree spin

The XPERIA X2 measures 110 x 54 x 16 mm and weighs 155 g. The size and weight are almost the same as the original XPERIA, though the X2 is a tad wider due to its slightly larger 3.2" display.

Design and construction

Unlike the XPERIA X1 there's less metal on the new XPERIA X2 and for some of us that's actually a step back. The glossy black surface of the Elegant Black unit we based our preview on was a fingerprint nightmare. Having said that, fingerprints don't seem to be an issue for the Modern Silver X2 we're currently reviewing.

However, the plastic feels as cheap as before. We understand our feelings about design are pretty subjective so we'll put that down as one of our own personal prejudices against the device.

Most of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 front is taken up by the large 3.2" resistive touchscreen. Unlike the front plastic frame, the back of the X2 is made of stainless steel and is completely immune to fingerprints.

Above the screen there we find the earpiece, proximity and ambient light sensor and secondary videocall camera.

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Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 views

Beneath the screen, the navigation deck doesn't have the trademark X-pattern this time, opting instead for a simpler layout incorporating the available buttons in a regular grid. The redesigned, larger, optical trackpad is dead center and does well to make up for the X2's missing D-pad.

The next level of XPERIA's evolution has no dedicated X-panel shortcut, the bottom left key this time opens the Sony Ericsson Media center, which now has new items such as Call history, Messages, Calendar, and Panels setup.

The navigation deck is neat and simple - absolutely minimalist compared to the original XPERIA and its X-patterned controls. The new layout works fine, our only gripe the poor press feedback of the buttons around the trackpad.

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The XPERIA X2 navigation deck

The 4-row slide-and-tilt QWERTY keyboard of the X2 is quite distinct from the X1's in terms of shape and design, but the controls and key layout are almost the same. Though the shape of the keys is very comfortable and the arrow keys also add to the usability, the cheap-looking plastic material fails to impress.

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The QWERTY keyboard is quite good, though it looks cheap

Here's the XPERIA X2 compared to the Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO. Though the OmniaPRO is somewhat bigger, it's actually about the same weight. The secondary symbols on the OmniaPRO keyboard are more prominent but the XPERIA X2 has the benefit of the slide-and-tilt form factor (arc slider, as Sony Ericsson call it). Plus, the actual sliding action is smoother than the OmniaPRO.

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Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 has some advantages over the Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO

On the right side of the XPERIA X2 we find the volume rocker at the top and the camera shutter key. The controls are quite comfortable and well integrated into the overall design. Though quite thin, the camera key is responsive enough with a distinct half press.

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XPERIA X2 volume and camera controls

The X2 left side hosts the battery cover release knob. The standard microUSB port is located in the upper left corner of the phone and the uncovered slot will be easily visible while you're on the phone. We feel that spoils the looks a bit and we'd rather have a lid on top of it.

The microSD card slot is accessible from the left side of the X2 but only after you remove the battery cover - much like it is on the XPERIA X1 actually. The important thing though is you don't need to switch off the device. The XPERIA X2 worked trouble-free with our reasonably full 16GB microSD card in it.

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microUSB port, battery cover latch and microSD card slot (under the cover)

The bottom of the XPERIA X2 is free of any controls, but we kinda dig the mesh-like pattern of the plastic surface here - kind of reminds us of an electric shaver, but in the good, gadgety sense.

The 3.5mm audio jack on the top of X2 also doubles as a TV-out port. Luckily, we found a TV out cable in the X2's retail box. The other thing on top is the power key - tiny as on the previous X1 - and the stylus compartment.

Both top and bottom there are some color LEDs hidden under the surface.

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Bottom is pretty bare The top side hosts the 3.5 audio jack, the on/off key and the stylus compartment

Turning the phone over reveals the sleek aluminum back with the 8.1 megapixel autofocus camera lens and LED flash. The lanyard eyelet, as well as the two stereo loudspeakers, are also placed here.

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The slightly curved back panel looks hot

Removing the battery cover of the XPERIA X2 reveals the 1500mAh Li-Po battery, which is the same as the one found in the X1. The official stand-by and talk times are almost the same as the original X1 battery stats, and we can confirm 2 days of stand-by under moderate usage.

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X2 uses the same battery as the X1

The ergonomics of the XPERIA X2 turned out pretty decent and typing on the QWERTY keyboard is a user-friendly experience as well. Generally, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 feels nice to hold in hand. When it comes to the X2 build quality, we only hope that this time there won't be any stylus compartment issues (after all, SE dropped HTC as a manufacturer in order to leave this problem behind).

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The X2 held in hand

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