Revisited: Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

Down in the reviews bunker gadgets are poked, prodded, interrogated and tickled to within an inch of their lives so we can give you our defin

Down in the reviews bunker gadgets are poked, prodded, interrogated and tickled to within an inch of their lives so we can give you our definitive verdict and star rating.

But the shiny critters sometimes take time to reveal their true colours.  Foibles, hacks and hidden talents only surface after a couple of months in their company. Which is where you come in.

This regular slot will look back at an eminent piece of tech months after the fanfare of its launch using your user reviews, questions and experiences. It’s also a handy place for you to share your tips and wisdom with your fellow geeks.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

When we reviewed Sony Ericsson’s flagship smartphone back in October 2008, we admired its build quality, stunning widescreen display and excellent backlit QWERTY, but damned the Windows Mobile engine. You thought differently:

Your reviews

‘Better than the iPhone and HTC TyTn II’

Jah was at pains to point out the Xperia X1’s advantages over the iPhone – ‘better 3.2MP camera, records video at 30fps at a good resolution, supports stereo Bluetooth, allows sharing of contacts with car BT hands-free systems, user-replaceable battery’ – but, like us, ‘isn’t a fan of Windows Mobile 6’. 

‘Great QWERTY keyboard’

Selenalovoto praised the ‘great QWERTY keyboard and arch slider design’, but ColonelC81 complained that navigation ‘relies far too heavily on the stylus’.

‘Improved by third party software but prone to crashes’

ColonelC81 installed software from other HTC phones ‘to make the menu finger friendly and to make a T9 Alphanumeric keypad available’.

This software made the Xperia X1 better but, at the time of writing, it was 'still flawed with a lot of niggles – Bluetooth problems, weak signal strength, freezing'.

Stuff’s Commissioning Editor Will Findlater has lived with the Xperia X1 since October 2008 too. Here's his verdict:

‘To get the best from the X1 you need to find the best interface skins and downloadable goodies that’ll work with it. Nick the soft keyboard and TouchFLO interface from the Touch HD (see below), for example, and you increase the X1’s user-friendliness to the point that you can almost do away with the stylus.

However, I find that my X1 crashes regularly, perhaps because of the additional strain put on the system’s resources by the software I’ve stuffed it with. It’s a Windows Mobile idiosyncrasy you just have to get used to.’


Andreas Tatt e-mailed in with this question:

‘I’m thinking of buying an Xperia X1, but I don’t know if all the features will work on my MacBook. Also, what’s the e-mail like on the Xperia? Is it a match for the iPhone’s? Is it overly heavy? Others say that the buttons on the QWERTY keyboard are not responsive enough and the top row is too close to the edge of the screen. Is this true?’

We said:

'Right, Andreas, take a deep breath and calm down. You’ll need to download some additional software to enable an Xperia to sync properly with a Mac. Try SyncMate.

The Xperia’s e-mail functionality is excellent: easy to set up, quick in operation and very intuitive. It is quite heavy, but not so much that we find it a problem. It is rather thick, however, so look elsewhere if you like skinny phones.

The Xperia’s keyboard is excellent, rarely inducing any typing errors. The on-screen keypad is tiny, but you can fix that by downloading HTC’s larger one.'

If you have any more tips, opinions or questions about the Xperia X1, then get writing below.