With Sony Ericsson mostly finished with its 2.1 update roll-out for the Xperia X10, they asked me if I’d like one to quickly check out to see what I thought in comparison to the older version, 1.6. Personally, I hated 1.6 on the Xperia X10 (as you may already know) and have expressed this anger one too many times on this site before, so we’ll let that slide for now. I see the Xperia X10 as Sony Ericsson’s equivalent to Windows Vista, a lot of hype, but didn’t really have the kick it needed to hit a massive audience. I was hoping Android 2.1 would be able to bring the extra kick to the Xperia X10, keep reading for my thoughts
What I liked..
Speed: It’s definitely faster than Android 1.6, thank goodness. It certainly has nothing on anything of the other devices in its category currently on the market, but it’s a massive improvement from 1.6.
Features: Sony Ericsson have added a few more cool features, such as the backup & restore application and any other cool little tidbits throughout the UI.
Camera: SE pride themselves on really being into multimedia and gaming (through the Sony brand), and they really kick butt with the Xperia X10’s camera. The 8MP is one of the best I’ve used, and the addition of 720p shooting with continually autofocus is a real plus!
UI: The Xperia X10 does have quite a large screen, measuring in at 4″, and the original UI didn’t take full advantage of all this screen real estate. With 2.1 SE have added more home screens as well as 5 rows of icons on the home screens, allowing you to fill it with more icons and widgets.
What I didn’t like..
Lockscreen: The original lockscreen on the Xperia X10 was great, it was original and hard to accidentally trigger opening. The new lockscreen is a massive icon clone and a real fail to Sony Ericsson for that. They shouldn’t have to copy something as simple as the lockscreen from the iPhone.
Screen: The screen responsiveness on the Xperia X10 is by far the worst I’ve used. Android 2.1 has fixed that, as both Chris and I did get missed touches being registered as touched instead of swipes, but nothing as bad as we had in Android 1.6.
MediaScape / TimeScape: These are the main applications that Sony Ericsson pushed since the device launched, and as I said to James from SE (Product Marketing Manager) when we met in Sydney the other week, they’re too pretty and very useless. I ended up replacing MediaScape with a simpler Music Player, as I didn’t need all the added bits and pieces that MediaScape can bring, though we do love the infinity button. TimeScape looks nice, but it’s not all that great. It presents all your social interactions, but not in a simple and easy way that you can get straight in and out of. We have been told there is an update coming for these two applications in the new year, so we hope that fixes most of these problems.
Android 2.1 speeds up the Xperia X10, but it still doesn’t compete with the other phones in its class (HTC Desire, Galaxy S, etc..). I don’t think any update will bring the Xperia X10 up to standard with those other devices, but I think Sony Ericsson has learnt from the Xperia X10 and will bring out some really amazing devices at CES.
If you currently own an Xperia X10, these updates will add the features you need to get the most out of your device. Sony Ericsson will be adding a chopped up version of multi touch (dual touch) to the device soon enough, which almost cover all of the device’s major flaws. The Xperia X10 might be SE’s ‘Vista’ but they’re working on it 🙂