Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1
10th February 2008
is something we thought that we would never see - a
Sony Ericsson smartphone running the Windows Mobile
operating system. What's more, this first attempt at
a Windows smartphone looks good enough to be a class
This is a feature packed device, and
it's a little hard to know where to start - so we will
begin with the XPERIA X1's obvious physical characteristics
first. The XPERIA X1 is dominated by a large 3 inch
touchscreen, Sony Ericsson say that is has "wide
VGA resolution" which is a little confusing, as
it is actually a 480 x 800 pixel panel. 800 pixels is
an ideal resolution for web surfing, pitching the XPERIA
X1 directly against the Nokia
E90.. but the XPERIA has the advantage of a touch
There's a slide-out QWERTY keyboard
on the X1, but unlike many rival devices, this is an
ergonomic "Arc slider". What this means is
that the XPERIA curves when it opens, giving a better
typing position than a "flat" slider. On the
back is a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash.
Sony Ericsson do state that the XPERIA is capable of
video calling too, although it is difficult to see where
the secondary camera is hidden. The X1 can also capture
VGA resolution video at up to 30 frames per second.
Inside, this is a quad-band GSM phone
with tri-band UMTS (there are two variants), plus GPRS,
EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA and WiFi connectivity. In case
you're not familiar with HSUPA, it is basically a variant
of HSDPA with much faster upload speeds of up to 5.7
Mbps. And if you're not familiar with this alphabet
soup at all.. don't worry: the XPERIA X1 has fast access
to the internet, either through your cellular phone
provider or a wireless hotspot. The X1 also support
Also bundled into the Sony Ericsson
XPERIA X1 is aGPS (advanced GPS), so the handset can
be used with a compatible satellite navigation application.
It's not clear if any satnav application will come bundled
with the XPERIA, but there are plenty of commercial
applications that will work on Windows Mobile.
As we have already mentioned, this is
a Windows Mobile device. But Sony Ericsson haven't just
gone for the standard (and fairly unexciting) Windows
look and feel, as the XPERIA has a customisable "panel"
interface designed for fingertip navigation. Presumably
this enhancement is designed to make the XPERIA more
competitive with the Apple
Windows Mobile comes with pretty good
media support, and the XPERIA X1 also has an FM radio.
Windows Mobile also has pocket versions of Word, Outlook,
Excel and PowerPoint plus Internet Explorer for web
browsing. In addition, it supports push email and has
an RSS newsreader.
On paper there is very little missing
from the XPERIA X1. If we're being picky, then we could
mention that the camera is only 3.2 megapixels and not
5 megapixels, and the handset lacks an FM transmitter.
But then those aren't very common in any case. The display
is only 65,000 colours rather than the 262,000 colours
or even 16 million colours that we tend to see, although
we suspect that you would be hard pushed to tell much
of a difference.
Another surprising feature is that the
XPERIA takes microSD cards, in addition to the maximum
400MB of internal memory. Almost all Sony Ericsson phones
use the proprietary Memory Stick format, so the fact
that the XPERIA has a microSD slot instead raises an
interesting question - who actually built the
The biggest problem is that you won't
be able to buy one of these until the second half of
2008. We strongly suspect that the XPERIA won't be available
until quite late in the year, and by that time there
will be a number of competing products from other manufacturers.
But one fact remains is that this is a Sony Ericsson
phone, so it is quite likely that the XPERIA X1 will
be picked up by several different carriers after launch.
You can find more information on the
Sony Ericsson X1 microsite.
Ericsson XPERIA X1 at a
850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
UMTS 850 / 1700 /
1900 / 2100
+ EDGE + UMTS +
+ HSUPA + WiFi
x 800 pixels, 65k colours
110 x 53 x 17mm
/ 145 grams