Unboxed: Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

Chances are, you're already quite familiar with Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1. It was, after all, announced way back in March 2008. You probably know that

Chances are, you're already quite familiar with Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1. It was, after all, announced way back in March 2008. You probably know that it's Sony Ericsson's first Windows Mobile 6.1 device, with a slide-out QWERTY keypad, 3.2megapixel camera, and a nifty new 'panel' menu system designed to take on the HTC's TouchFlo skin.

So, rather than throw more specs at you, here are ten interesting facts about the Xperia X1 that we gleaned from some face time with a Sony Ericsson senior product manager and the device itself:

Interesting fact no.1: HTC was involved making the Xperia X1. How much Sony Ericsson wouldn't say, but it's more likely to be in the manufacturing than the design – the X1's keyboard and metal chassis feels much more premium than the Touch Pro.

Interesting fact no.2: The final version of the Xperia X1 will have 340MB RAM. It's been boosted since the early demo models to counter the lag that hobbles other smarties like the HTC Touch Diamond. And, apart from a lengthy wait when the 'panels' skin starts up, it seems to cope well under the strain.

Interesting fact no.3: The Xperia X1's 'panels' menu system, which allows up to nine applications (e.g e-mail, video) to be open simultaneously, is 100% proprietary and won't, as has been rumoured, be licensed to other smartphones.

Interesting fact no.4: The panels that you'll find on the X1 fresh out of the box will be: Sony Ericsson panel (for news, weather etc), Media panel (viewing and playing media files), Slideshow (for flicking through photos and videos), 3D fish panel (a strange 3D fish bowl that doesn't seem to do anything), FM radio panel, Microsoft Today panel and Google panel.

Interesting fact no.5: Unlike other Sony Ericsson phones, the Xperia X1 has a 3.5mm headphone jack for your standard headphones. About time they were fitted on Walkman phones then, eh?

Interesting fact no.6: The Xperia X1 has the latest Opera browser and supports both Java and flash, so you can watch videos on sites like Stuff.tv. Take that, iPhone.

Interesting fact no.7: The Xperia family, of which the X1 is the first member, isn't just tied to Windows Mobile. So the 'panels' tech and premium build could soon be put into a non-Windows phone.

Interesting fact no.8: The X1's 3.2megapixel camera doesn't have a Xenon flash, but does feature touch autofocus – you prod the screen to tell it which face to lock onto – which worked well in our brief play.

Interesting fact no.9: You'll get the choice of two finishes – solid black and steel silver (see below). Steel silver is the best.

Interesting fact no.10: Despite rumours of a delay, the Xperia X1 will launch in the UK on 30th September, though prices are yet to be confirmed (poor old North America will get an announcement on 3rd November about its release dates).

Enough of the interesting facts – time for some interesting photos. If you want to see the Xperia X1 in action, check out our hands-on video.

HTC Touch Pro versus Sony Ericsson Xperia X1:

Steel silver X1 versus Black X1: