Apr 242010
 

Around June of 2009 I purchased a (Silver) Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 Windows Mobile phone (unlocked directly from Sony). I’ve always been a die-hard enthusiast of Windows Mobile based devices and try to keep up to date with the latest and greatest phones coming out. As of April 2010 I recently signed up on a Rogers Corporate plan and received a bunch of new black Xperia X1s for me and my employees, I decided to keep my old silver one in case of an emergency.

In the past I’ve had:

-Red-E Microsoft Developer Smartphone

-Motorola MPX220

-HP iPaq hw6955 (My Review available here)

-I Mate SP3i

-I Mate SP5

-HTC TyTN II

And it’s only fair that the Xperia X1 get’s added to the list as the latest and greatest!

Keep in mind this review is coming from a professional user, and not a media junky. I use e-mail, open word documents, call people, text, view sites, Google maps, etc… I do not use my phone to watch movies, buy pointless apps, etc… But I do send out a hundred e-mails daily.

Upon un-boxing, you’ll get all excited. This is an extremely sexy phone and as I mentioned before it is extremely small for the punch it packs! The device itself comes with a headset which sounds pretty good, also a FM radio antenna dongle which connects between the phone and the headset (it’s optional only if you want to use the FM tuner).

The device runs the standard Windows Mobile 6.1 professional operating system. Configuring Exchange push with your SSL certificates is the same as any other device. One thing I have noticed is that this phone can handle large amounts of e-mail, calendars, and contacts way faster than any of the previous devices I have had. During the first sync, the phone chews through all the information no problem, where with previous phones the phone would sort of freeze because of all the information coming in. This phone has WAY more memory then any Windows Mobile device I have used in the past, which is great considering my old phones hated me for the amounts of e-mail I wanted to ActiveSync…

The screen is beautiful and vibrant. I believe that the resolution is higher than most standard devices so you have to keep in mind that some of your media application might not function properly. However you can always use Windows Media Mobile, or use the Xperia Media panel to view content.

Panels are something new from Sony. At first I thought I was going to hate panels and never use them, but after owning the phone for some time, I have to say I love them. A panel essentially changes your Windows Mobile Today screen with a different application (if that makes sense). You can change your today screen to Face book, Twitter (currently beta), Media viewer, Google Search, Windows Live, etc…  (As of today’s date there are 21+ panels available on Sony’s site). When hitting the panel button you are showed 9 panels which you select to show up, unfortunately you can’t increase or decrease this.

Calling on this phone is very slick. Unlock other touch screens I have had no problems using my finger to dial on the big phone pad via Touch Screen (and I have big fingers). The phone volume allows you to crank the volume up pretty high. Call quality is also amazing (as long as the person you’re talking to doesn’t have a crappy phone). Video calling on this phone rocks. For the most part it’s clear, and the camera quality is great for cell phone video calling. Just make sure you don’t rack up huge costs by video calling all your friends.

One of my biggest pet peeves about this phone is the fact you cannot record 30fps video at high quality. This is because of some patent or copyright issue between one of the chip manufactures and a patent or something inside of North America. Only the North American versions of this phone have this problem.

The phone is a small little device, perfect for carrying around in your suit pocket. You can pop in and pull it out of your favorite pair of jeans as well. The keyboard is a tad bit small, but after a few months of frustration you’ll get used to typing on it and will be able to pump out messages pretty fast.

With phone’s that look as fragile as these I often get concerned that with heavy use the phone will become damaged just from general use, but this is not the case. Please note that if you purchase the Silver version, you will have to be a little bit more gentle as the case is made with crappy plastic that can crack easily, the black version of the phone feels a little better as the back portion of the case feels like it is made from a plastic/rubber mix.

I’d recommend this phone to any professional who needs to stay connected. DO NOT get this phone if you have bad eyes (you won’t be able to read the screen).

Pros:

-One of the most responsive Windows Mobile phones I have used/owned.

-Keyboard open/close screen swap (portrait/landscape) changes very quickly.

-3 words: SONY PANELS ROCK!

-Great Picture Quality

-Super high resolution (good for those of you with good eyes)

-Optic touchpad is great for scrolling

-Great call quality

-GPS works great, get’s a fix on your location very fast after your first fix.

-Skype calls actually use the earpiece and mic on the phone as if you were making a normal phone call.

Cons:

-Horrible video frame rate on high resolution videos (this is due to some copyright or patent issue a chip manufacturer had in North America). This issue only affects North American versions of the phone.

-The Silver edition cracks very easily, after receiving the black version from Rogers, the case feels slightly rubber now instead of cheap fake chrome.

-Camera button, and up button on front controls are both annoying.

-There is no “Start” hard-button on the phone, you must use the touch screen, or pop out keyboard.

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