Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 is supposed to carry the torch from the X1. Normally, you'd expect the successor to bring some innovations along but those are almost non-existent on the X2, save for the slightly (ever so slightly) larger display and the better snapper. Those aside, when we pop open the hood we find the old hardware lurking underneath the revamped exterior.
So, what's the point in releasing the XPERIA X2? Its hardware, put next to the competition, seemed outdated even back in September 2009 when the phone first saw daylight. And now, a few months later, when it is hitting the shelves, things look even worse.
There are lots of nice ideas incorporated into the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 (the improved panels, Flash support in the web browser, DivX and XviD video support out of the box) but you may be unable to enjoy them because of the slow system. Yep, 528 MHz sounded great two years ago, but feel pretty underpowered today in comparison with Snapdragons.
We really liked some of the panels too (if not all of them) but the sluggish interface and the unresponsive touchscreen ruined the experience.
If you already own the XPERIA X1 you could safely skip the upgrade to the X2. If, on the other hand, you're contemplating the purchase of a QWERTY-enabled PocketPC, the XPERIA X2 is pretty much in the picture, but it's not without alternatives.
We can think of at least three: the Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO, the HTC Touch Pro2 and the Acer M900. All of them pack side-slide QWERTY keyboards just like the X2 but unlike the X2, their screens are really big (reaching up to 3.8"). The HTC and the Acer are almost a year old and their hardware is similar to the XPERIA X2's, while the more recent B7610 OmniaPRO packs a faster CPU.
Next up are the Nokia N97 and its light version, the N97 mini. Both run the Symbian OS but even if they have gone through a lot of software updates, their UI still feels immature. However, the Nokia N97 and Nokia N97 mini pack so many features and their prices have dropped so much you might be able to overlook this.
If you are sick of WinMo and want to taste something new, you could try the Maemo-powered Nokia N900. Nokia are working hard on improving Maemo, so its potential is growing by the hour. Another appetizing option is Motorola's great revival hope, the MILESTONE. Its cool looks, promising hardware, Android OS and the enormous capacitive touchscreen should be enough to make the competition tremble.
No doubt, the XPERIA X2 is facing some strong competition and the few bright spots on its spec sheet are not enough to make it the definitive upgrade. The current street price of the smartphone is around 470 euro. And considering what you get for the money, that is steep.
WinMo 6.5 has tried to change the way we think of Windows Mobile. It is way more user-friendly now, much more thumbable, and the X-panels are not only fun but also useful. But it's obvious the XPERIA X2 would've made a lot more sense with Windows Mobile 7.
We can understand the predicament Sony Ericsson were in. The original XPERIA X1 is not a device to give up on just like this. But at some point they realized they needed to bring out an update before it was too late. And as it was becoming obvious WinMo7 was going to take too long, they decided to proceed with the XPERIA X2 as we know it.
No Snapdragon, no massive screen, they used the only thing that was available and they're good at: an 8 megapixel shooter. Is this good enough? Alright, fine. This may not be the whole story but in the end the X2 is very much like WinMo 6.5. A stopgap, a reflection of what could've been and a promise about what will be.