Sony Ericsson's New Android Phone Is Sleek, But Has a Hole

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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