Sony Ericsson X8 review: XPERIA in the middle

GSMArena team, 18 October 2010.
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Gallery with one-finger zoom

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 gallery automatically locates the images, no matter where they are stored. There is none of the cool new look of Android 2.1 Eclair Ė you just get a plain grid with your images sorted by date.

The gallery supports finger scrolling or panning so you can skip images without having to return to the default view. Just sweep to the left or right when looking at a photo fullscreen, and the previous/next image will appear.

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The image gallery is decent but hardly the best weíve seen

Pinch-zooming isnít available but Sony Ericsson have come up with their own version of one-finger zoom that actually works great. You just hold your finger down and than sweep upwards for zooming in or downwards for zooming out. Thereís also the double-tap zoom if thatís how you roll.

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The one-finger zooming is quick and responsive

Unfortunately, there is no Bluetooth file transfer in the gallery or any other fancy functionality that more demanding users might expect. The X8 is a simple tool for previewing your images and it wonít do much more than that.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8
Bluetooth file transfers from the gallery are not an option

A basic video player on board

The video player is simple in looks and functionality. You get a list of all videos available on the phone and play/pause, skip controls, as well as a draggable progress bar.

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The video player is as simple as it gets

MP4 files are as good as it gets. The XPERIA midi cannot play DivX/XviD videos but you could look for a more versatile video player over at the Android Market.

The music player does the job

The music player on the XPERIA X8 didnít get much in terms of new features. It manages your audio files decently but there is very little extra functionality beyond that.

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The music player is decent looking and snappy

The best bit is the Infinite key that allows you to quickly look up a song or album on YouTube or Sony Ericssonís own Play Now arena.

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Pressing the Infinite button letís you look up tracks on YouTube and Play Now arena

There isnít even gradual typing for searching a specific song with the virtual QWERTY, so you will have to use the kinetic scrolling or opt for artist sorting. At least there are three smart playlists that automatically gather your Newly added, Most played and Never played tracks.

There are still a lot of shortcomings of the music player that need addressing, though. For example there are still no equalizer presets, nor any alternative skins.

Decently clean and pleasingly loud audio output

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 did decently in our traditional audio quality test. The best part of its performance is probably the high volume, but the spot-on frequency response and the low distortion levels are not to be neglected either.

The stereo crosstalk, dynamic range and noise level readings are hardly impressive, but they aren't too bad either.

Interestingly enough, when headphones come into play the stereo crosstalk doesn't increase as much as with some other handsets and is in fact better than we are used to seeing. The intermodulation distortion increases a bit but is still hardly something to worry about, while the rest of the readings remain decent, if unspectacular.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8+0.12, -0.55-75.676.50.0240.093-70.7
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 (headphones attached)+0.31, -0.20-74.975.60.0930.341-60.4
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro+0.12 -0.53-86.889.20.030 0.101-83.6
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini+0.18 -1.64-86.588.90.028 0.409-83.8
Samsung I5500 Galaxy 5+0.11, -0.45-79.781.30.2250.112-75.1
Samsung I5500 Galaxy 5 (headphones attached)+0.61, -0.21-79.481.50.0240.633-39.7
HTC Aria+0.12, -0.58-84.586.90.0220.172-85.4
HTC Aria (headphones attached)+0.37, -0.15-87.090.40.0260.400-52.3
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S+0.03 -0.04-90.790.60.014 0.019-90.6
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S (headphones attached)+0.40 -0.12-90.790.60.018 0.329-43.3
Apple iPhone 4+0.01, -0.07-90.190.00.00680.012-89.6
Apple iPhone 4 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.07-90.490.40.00360.092-68.4

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 frequency response
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

A good FM radio

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 is also equipped with an FM radio, which has a really neat and simple interface. It automatically scans the area for the available stations and places ďnotchesĒ on the frequency dial for easier scrolling to the next station. Or you can mark some of them as favorite for easier scrolling.

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The neat FM radio app

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