Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Android Xperience

Xperia X10 shows Android is not a flash in the pan and is here to stay

The Androids are invading our planet, and they seem to be gradually getting the upper hand. As more and more humans become aware of the qualities of this new race of mobile devices, they are expected to deviate from the oft-taken path for a new way of life.
The new Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10 will only help convince people that there is a future for the new breed of mobile phones which have simplicity as their greatest ally. While others keep adding new features to their phones, Android seems to be cutting the clutter and making phones simpler. Swipe up the menu of the X10 and there is hardly anything there you don’t recognise or know the use of.
And you don’t have to get used to the Android OS, because what you will do naturally is what this system is made for. The X10 uses the Android Donut version 1.6 OS with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, so things are only getting better. 

The biggest plus for the X10 is its 4-inch 480 x 854 pixels WVGA scratch-resistant touchscreen which I’m sure is among the largest, and clearest, out there. Another thing that you can’t miss is the swipe action that unlocks the screen so that you can get started. The X10 comes preloaded with a host of Google and Sony-Ericsson applications like Gtalk, Gmail and S-E Sync. But nothing caught my attention more than Timescape and Mediascape — the former shows a timeline of all conversations, while the latter does the same with video and photos that you have clicked with the phone. If these don’t satisfy you, there is the ever-expanding Android Marketplace to turn to for apps.
The other strong point of the X10 is its 8.1 megapixel camera with 16x digital zoom, auto focus, intelligent face recognition, smile detection and image stabiliser, all features usually associated with a standalone camera. The phone also harnesses the power of the new UX platform to tell the world about its picture taking capabilities by seamlessly integrating geotagging and send-to-web utilities. The camera also has a touch focus mode where all you have to do is touch the screen for the camera to lock on the subject and click. The recently shot pictures and videos conveniently appear in a tray below the screen for you to decide what to do with them. Plus, in the video mode, you can zoom in and out even when the camera is rolling.
Thanks to the extra-large screen, the X10 can double up as an entertainment console too. While Sony-Ericsson has always prided itself for its music playback capabilities, this one does wonders with video as well. Plug in the headphones and you will have no trouble watching a movie on this one.
If you don’t have movies loaded in the memory card, there is the YouTube app to directly access videos on the Net. You can switch on the 3D games if you are stuck in a blind spot with no Net access or Wi-Fi.
The touchscreen is responsive and you can easily type a message despite your large fingers and without fingernails that work like stylus. The predictive text input which is supposed to make life easier can be a bit irritating at times and is better switched off.
There is auto rotate, but I found that this makes the screen go blur for a few seconds before it regains its composure. I also felt that the touchscreen was a bit stubborn at times, but this is one thing we will have to get used to in India with all the oil and grime that tends to accumulate on things. I suggest you get yourself a screen protector with the phone.

The Xperia X10 weighs 135 grams and has a phone memory of 1 GB, but that doesn't matter much as Sony-Ericsson is throwing in an 8GB SD card in the kit. The battery seems cool as it lasted a whole day with lots of browsing and not many long calls. The X10 costs a princely Rs 35,795.

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