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Summary:

Sony Ericsson today announced its Xperia X10 smartphone, based on Android, which features a customized software layer called UX built on top of the open-source operating system. It’s the first of a family of smartphones that the company plans to deliver in the first half of […]

Sony Ericsson today announced its Xperia X10 smartphone, based on Android, which features a customized software layer called UX built on top of the open-source operating system. It’s the first of a family of smartphones that the company plans to deliver in the first half of next year, and won’t be available until then. While it has some high-end features that could help it compete with the much-hyped Droid, unlike Motorola’s and Verizon’s handset, this phone has a surprising shortcoming.

The Xperia X10 — even though it won’t ship until next quarter — will run Android 1.6. The Droid runs Android 2.0, which has a slew of advanced features and is shipping this month. In fact, most of the Droid’s substantial marketing campaign is built around new features in Android 2.0.

The X10 also has a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, which many of the newer Android-based smartphones are moving to, and the iPhone runs. While the Droid phone has a 5-megapixel camera, the Xperia X10’s is 8.1 megapixels with video recording and 16x digital zoom. jkOnTheRun points out some of the other notable features:

  • 4-inch capacitive touchscreen at 854 x 480 resolution
  • Android 1.6
  • 1GB of internal memory, 8GB of included microSD storage
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth
  • Quad-band GSM and two flavors of HSPA support, depending on model (UMTS HSPA 900/1700/2100 or UMTS HSPA 800/1900/2100)

The Xperia X10 will run applications from both the Android Market and Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow Arena. There is no price available yet, but it already looks like this phone will have a tough time competing unless it sees an upgrade to Android 2.0 as it goes to market. You can check out a video of the Xperia X10 below.

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  1. The iPhone 3GS has a ARM Cortex A8 600 MHz chip not the 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip in the Droid or X10. These new phones should smoke the iPhone on pure computing power, not “keep up with it” as you say.

  2. This phone is really exciting, but I can’t wait any longer, so I’m getting a Droid. If only they could bring it to market sooner!
    By the way, the article says that the iPhone runs on a 1GHz Snapdragon, but it doesn’t. Unless you know something about a future iteration that we don’t.
    Android FTW!

  3. Irrelevant comment – just noting it’s great to see content from you, Sebastian.

    Enjoying your work as co-crank is insufficient display of your talents, bro’. Love what you’re doing at GigaOm.

  4. iPhone 3G uses a 412 MHz Samsung Processor and the 3GS uses a 600 MHz processor. Snapdragon is a 1000 MHz processor. So, may be X10 could be faster…

    The ad seems to target X10 to women. The 4″ screen may make it too bulky for men’s pockets!!!

    1. >> The ad seems to target X10 to women. The 4″ screen may make it too bulky for men’s pockets!!!

      But, 4″ is too bulky for comfortable holding in the palm of average woman, and, combined with its thickness, largely excludes possibility of single handed operation even in men’s hand. I would go so far as saying that any phone larger than iPhone is going to be somewhat annoying in daily usage.

      I know that you need to pack feature to knock iPhone down, but It’s really difficult to craft an optimum design in form factor for these ultra-high resolution display staffed in this wave of Android and WM 6.5 phones. In the end, it’s a phone, not a tablet.

  5. Sebastian Rupley Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    @Albert–thanks, that was corrected.

    @Eideard–Thanks, glad to see a CrankyGeeks viewer here!

    Sebastian

  6. “Android 2.0, which has a slew of advanced features” … yea, like what? 2.0 seems more about marketing than anything else, no technical substance. tell us otherwise …

  7. Sebastian Rupley Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    @Powel–Actually, Android 2.0 is a big upgrade…we covered some of the additions here: http://gigaom.com/2009/10/27/android-buzz-grows-as-droid-launch-nears/

    “a combined inbox for multiple email accounts, a virtual keyboard with an improved layout and word completion, email and contact sync from multiple accounts including Exchange, and “Quick Contact,” which enables a user to call, email or send an SMS simply by clicking on a contact photo. Android 2.0 also includes a host of camera improvements and browser upgrades including a tappable address bar and double-tap zooming.”

  8. Seems like Sony Ericssons UX,TimeScape, custom camera software, and mediascape plugs the user experience difference between 1.6 and 2.0. As a disclaimer i am impartial, i am an iPhone user and dont intend to switch until contract is out. But Lets go through the list of differences you listed:

    1.combined inbox. Timescape connects to fbook, twitter, SMS, and multiple emails. same or beyond 2.0
    2.UX has its own custom keyboard, with different spacing from what i can tell. Same or beyond as 2.0
    3.Quick Contact. Again Timescape creates a single thread for SMS, fbook, twitter, email call per contact.
    4.Host of Camera improvements. X10 has 8.1 megapixel cam w/ face recognition, smile recognition, zoom, flashlight, video etc. One thing i trust SE to do is nail their camera apps. Their cameras have been top notch for a long time.
    It seems like the layer of software SE has created anticipated the shortcomings in android 1.6 and created their own custom solution(s). Not having used SE’s solution but judging from the video/ x10 website, it seems like their solution has more design in it and is visually slicker. It has all of the advantages of 2.0 but in a better package that is unique vs. the vanilla 2.0 interface that everyone else will have as more 2.0 phones come online.

  9. They won’t need to rev the hardware to support Android 2.0. Expect an update following the initial release within 1-2 quarters.

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