Perhaps the most immediately apparent strength of the XPERIA X1 is that it has a beautiful screen. It could well be the best screen ever seen on a Windows Mobile device. The handset has an 800×480 VGA screen, which is an excellent starting point, but SE have managed to exceed expectations. The XPERIA’s screen has crystal clear resolution and is unfazed by sunlight, maintaining its clarity in all types of lighting.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 may not be the smallest handset around, but the build quality of the handset is second to none. The handset isn’t your standard slider phone, but the mechanism is incredibly smooth. Importantly, the quality of the handset extends to calling. Call quality is exceptionally good and is perhaps even of landline quality.
If connectivity is important to you then the XPERIA will not disappoint. It has HSDPA, WiFi and GPS. Web browsing is extremely fast. Early reports indicate that there is little difference in browsing speed when using both WiFi and HSDPA, which is unusual but extremely welcome.
Regarding usability, the XPERIA is a joy to use. With the keyboard hidden, the handset allows access to all the necessary shortcuts via buttons on the front. Slide the keyboard open and you reveal the highly functional keyboard. Some potential users have voiced concern over the XPERIA’s lack of directional keys on the keyboard. This shouldn’t be an issue though; the handset has a brilliant optical joystick. It’s easy to use and shouldn’t take much getting used to.
Now what of the downsides? The XPERIA has some issues with speaker volume, which could be off-putting if you plan to use the handset as a media device. Obviously this problem carries over to the speakerphone. Another problem is the keyboard; the keys are flush with the keyboard and don’t give great tactile feedback when pushed. Obviously there were restrictions when designing the keyboard because of the slider mechanism, but is this really the best SE can do? It’s a shame that the XPERIA is let down by its keyboard when the rest of the handset is so good.
So, keyboard aside, the initial feedback on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 sounds good. Will it be the best Windows Mobile device ever to be released? Early indications suggest that this could well be the case. For more information check out our Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 overview.