Delayed until January? Well, Russian website SMAPE wasn’t going to let a little thing like that stop them from putting out a very detailed review of Sony’s first WinMo handset, the Xperia X1.
The review goes into some exhaustive detail, answering the big three questions of build quality, keyboard and image quality of the epic 3 inch TFT touchscreen. Well, they’re my big three…
The user interface is the big allure, and they explain how the Xperia can run nine dynamic thumbnails of active programs, which can then be arranged and manipulated in almost any concievable manner. Fan them out like a deck of cards, rotate and flip them, all in real time with a minimum of lag.
Despite sounding gimmicky in theory, it turns out to be a gorgeous yet rather practical user interface, and the only serious contender to the TouchFLO of the Touch Pro and Touch Diamond (apart from the iPhone, naturally). As both the Xperia and the HTC duo are pretty much equals on specs, to work this magic with the same 256 MB of ram is a mircale for the Xperia. However, they do report that TouchFLO consumes more computing power than the lovely panels, so go figure…
Downsides? A 3.2 megapixel camera? What is this, 2006? Yeah, camera technology has moved at a breakneck pace of late, and with the i8510 showing off an 8 megapixel snapper, the Xperia’s doesn’t cut it. Also, the keyboard. As soon as we saw that curved sliding mechanism, the first thought was ‘those keys are going to get scratched!’ Sure enough, these fears were realised as the demo handsets were shown, and now to add insult to injury the keyboard buttons are said to feel loose and indistinct.
The Touch Pro’s keyboard is a joy to use, so the Xperia had better fix up on this front otherwise it could be a real minus point for many. Smartphone lovers are militant when it comes to keyboards.
All in all it is a largely positive review, full of plus points like the sturdy metal frame of the phone and its relatively compact nature. Let’s hope those extra few months to tweak it up make the Xperia the first big phone of 2009!