Priced at Rs 44,500 the Xperia is expensive. Sure you get WM 6.1 device with a decently fast processor and RAM. Yes this device is unique, and definitely offers amazing flaunt value; it’s also true that you get a really nice PDA / Smart phone with an impressive screen but a Netbook and a good phone would probably be much better as solutions for those who need to work on the move, and they’d be cheaper too! If it’s available for around the Rs 30K mark, it’s something you really should own.
Was It Worth The Wait?
Few items generate interest like the SE Xperia X1 did. This was also to be our first look at Windows Mobile (WM) 6.1. Our first reaction on un-boxing it was “Wow, it’s a lot smaller than we imagined.” It’s very compact for a side-slider phone with a QWERTY keyboard and a 3-inch, 800x480 pixel screen.
The X1 feels solid. The brushed metal finish (black in this model, but silver is also available) resists smudges; the screen, however, doesn’t.
After a slow boot-up, we noticed that although most of the body is metallic, the front buttons are plastic. The stylus fits in perfectly with the body — no chance of pulling this out of your pocket and losing a stylus.
The high-resolution screen is one of the best we’ve seen. It’s crisp, crystal clear and no complaints even in direct sunlight. Our first complaint — you have to tap a lot harder than normal.
The phone was quite responsive when going to settings and menus — not Symbian fast, but fast compared to other WM devices. No Walkman software here; WM player handles media and some files would hang the player for a few seconds; we suspect a software bug. Wide-screen format videos play flawlessly, and look really good on the X1.
Opera is the default browser; IE is still available but you have to select it from the menu. The 5-way navigation button on the X1 acts like a touch control, with four actual clicks on either side. The centre button is like a trackpad, but without a mouse cursor. Although the centre button is meant to scroll through long pages and links, we found the stylus and the click buttons just offer more control.
The slider is ultra slick and the QWERTY keypad is quite impressive to look at, and since each button has a triangular-shaped raised part, it’s also quite easy to find the right keys. Key feedback is lacking, so again, there’s a little bit of a learning curve involved.
The X1 allows you to choose different looks and layouts for the WM Today screen, and they call this feature X-panels.
The first time we inserted the SIM card and started it up, the X1 claimed there was no SIM. When trying to remove the SIM, it ended up dislodging the chip from the plastic that holds it; SIM retention is not ideal.
Connectivity is the X1’s forte, with all the options you can think of — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, Edge, GPS, etc. Thanks to WM 6.1, and its new Connection manager, it’s really easy to switch off or on different connections. We tested the X1’s Wi-Fi and GPRS connectivity, and found that it all worked flawlessly.
Once we got it working, the network reception was good; not as good as Nokia’s N-series, but still commendable. Voice clarity was exceptional when on a call, and people at both ends could hear each other clearly. The ear piece volume and clarityss of the X1 are also impressive.
Running WM means that mobile MS Office is available, and you have a very long list of office related apps to choose from.
It’s actually the quality of the screen that makes this the perfect PDA-phone. Working with documents and e-mail are a joy. You will enjoy the clarity that the screen offers at even miniscule font sizes.
The 3.2 MP main camera is nowhere close to as good as the cameras we’ve become used to. The 3.5 mm headset jack on the top of the device is something we’ve been waiting for from SE, and is good to have for those who want to connect a better set of headphones than the bundled ones. The provided headset offers decent quality, but the audio quality improves drastically a set of EP630s.
The light sensor works so well that you never notice any drastic changes in screen brightness and the screen clearly visible at all times. Speaking of lighting, multi-colour LEDs at each of the four corners of the sides of the phone look cool and illuminate when starting up or when you are notified of an event such as a message or a missed call.
Memory expansion is needed, because the device only features 512 MB ROM, and this is taken care of by a Micro SD slot that’s below the battery cover, but not below the battery — so no need to power down the device to insert / remove the memory.