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Sony Ericsson X10 next to Nokia N71 Photo: Michael Kwan
Sony Ericsson X10 next to Nokia N71 Photo: Michael Kwan

Hands on: Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Android smartphone

Sony Ericsson X10 next to Nokia e71 Photo: Michael Kwan

I was able to enjoy some brief hands-on time with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 during CES in January.  At first glance, it’s quite clear that the X10 is in direct competition with devices like the Apple iPhone 3GS, it’s big touchscreen display and lack of physical keyboard screams “touch me.”  While it does make use of a rather vanilla build of Google Android (1.6) for its core operating system, it’s equipped with two additional user interface features: Mediascape and Timescape. The former is used to manage your pictures, music, and so on, whereas the latter gathers up your social networking and messaging things.

The hardware itself feels really classy in your hands, but the extra smooth surface on the back makes for quite the slippery phone. It’s also a little larger than you may expect, but this does give you access to a bigger 4.0-inch (480 x 854 pixel) touchscreen. Unfortunately, it’s not multitouch and, when web browsing, you can’t scroll horizontally and vertically at the same time. Watch the video below to see what I mean.

It’s also unfortunate that, despite being powered by the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor the interface is slower than expected. This is especially true with the bloated Timescape interface. I appreciate its functionality, but something needs to be done to make it peppier.

In the end, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is a pretty decent Android smartphone, but it’s anything but perfect. It needs an OS update (Android 2.2 Froyo would be nice), it needs multitouch, and it needs a more efficient use of resources. Find it at Rogers for only $150 with a three-year plan.

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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