Expert Review of Sony Ericsson Xperia X2
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 is the valuable upgraded successor of the Xperia X1 phone that debuted some 2 years back. Though it has come out so late, it has retained features like the aggressive styling and PocketPC skills of its forerunner. They also share many other similar features such as a similar CPU and similar RAM and ROM. Upgraded imaging is the greatest strength of the hardware of Xperia X2. It also boasts of a comfortable slide-and-tilt QWERTY keyboard, an autofocus camera, a 3.5mm audio jack and a nice redesigned trackpad on board. There aren't many inventive features in the Xperia X2 but it is definitely worth giving a thought. We miss the Snapdragon processor given speed and a capacitive touch-screen in the device and also an FM radio. Plus, the device boasting an 8 megapixels camera has no Xenon flash. Yet, it offers all the business benefits and some nice multimedia too. The ergonomics of the X2 are also pretty decent and typing on the QWERTY keyboard is a user-friendly experience as well.
User Interface and UI functionality
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 packs full range of features for enthusiastic professionals. First is the latest OS version, the Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional. Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 front measures 3.2 inches but just has the same 800 x 480 resolution. The front has a plastic frame and the back of the X2 is of stainless steel that is completely immune to fingerprints. The redesigned, larger, optical trackpad is dead center and does well to make up for the X2's missing D-pad.
The significant novelty lies in its revamped touch-optimized X-panels interface. This new panel system is designed to handle various animated and interactive home-screens. The Xperia X2 physical measurements are 110 x 54 x 16 mm and weighs 155 g.
The navigation deck doesn't have the trademark X-pattern this time, instead it has a nice and simpler layout incorporating the available buttons in a regular grid. It works fine, our only gripe the poor press feedback of the buttons around the trackpad. The bottom left key opens the Sony Ericsson Media center, which now has new items such as Call history, Messages, Calendar, and Panels setup.
X2 display isn't very sensitive and its sunlight legibility is not great. It has a mirror-like surface which does not let users see properly on it if the smartphone is tilted a few degrees. Both the display and keyboard backlighting are very good.The 4-row slide-and-tilt QWERTY keyboard looks cheap due to the plastic make but is good performance wise. Arrow keys have been added on it to add to the usability.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 runs Windows Mobile 6.5. Unfortunately, its hardware doesn’t meet its requirements. Nevertheless, visually the phone has a much prettier homescreen. There’s also ClearType font rendering and kinetic scrolling for context menus. Consequently, the graphics are also prettier.
The Start menu and Settings menu have received facelifts. Now, when we press the Start menu icon to call the new Windows Mobile "Main menu", icons arranged in a honeycomb pattern appear, which is a trademark feature of WinMo 6.5. Unfortunately, Windows Mobile 6.5 on the Xperia X2 is not very responsive and there are visible flaws though the interface has been optimized a lot. This combined with the relatively slow and unresponsive touchscreen gives the impression of a sluggish UI. The stylus is still needed for some buttons and items that are not fully touch-optimized. The task manager is, however, good at its job. There you can end all the unnecessary apps and programs that are running to free some RAM.
Image gallery of Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 looks cool but runs slow. It's well accessible through the main menu. There are perfect zooming and slideshow controls. One can also use sweeps to navigate the images. For the landscape view, screen auto-rotates, thanks to the built-in accelerometer. Sadly, all this is rather slow with noticeable lag. Audio quality is a bit disappointing. Also, Xperia X2 has FM radio receiver inside, which is not enabled and there is no software to control it.
There’s an 8.1 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash in this phone which is capable of WVGA video recording at 30fps.
There’s just a standard music player in the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 that can handle playlists, organize tracks by albums, support album art but lacks any equalizer presets and stereo enhancements. It looks pretty in the media menu but its functionality is pretty basic. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 sports stereo speakers and there’s also a Windows Media Player on board. Though, there’s full DivX/XviD support on Xperia X2 and it can play videos up to 720p resolution but the hardware of the phone is incapable of handling high resolution videos.
Pictures and Video quality
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 is equipped with an 8 megapixels autofocus camera with image resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. There is a LED flash in it to assist night photography and that also serves as video light when required. However, it is not adequate for clicking beyond 1-m distance. The camera interface is upgraded and optimized so as to help users. There are pop-up sub-menus that are enhanced with icons, touch focus, image stabilization and also there’s multi-menu packing settings. ISO setting is missing in X2 but it brings with it the scenes, focus, flash, exposure, and shoot mode. There are advanced options like the white balance, self-timer and geo-tagging also.
The image quality is awesome and we observed that clicked images have rich and accurate colors, perfect white balance and there’s no fringing or sharpening on the edges. However, disappointingly, the video recording is tad behind. The camcorder interface is copied from the camera interface. Users can capture videos at only 30fps and have to use the LED flash as a video light. Videos had no proper details and were hugely blurred and pixilated.
As expected, the web browser in Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 is Internet Explorer 6 Mobile. With an updated WinMo 6.5, it has also been well improved too. It has this touch-optimized interface and cool design and has also adopted Opera Mobile with add-ons like full Flash support and kinetic scrolling. Users can freely choose from five available font sizes or even opt for an optional mobile view mode. The desktop mode is still the best as web pages look natural on it.
On the downside, zooming in is best done with a double tap but is more or less handicapped. The IE browser doesn't automatically rotate the pages with the help of built-in accelerometer. Due to the haggard hardware of Xperia X2, the Flash and Flash video support is of no use and while running the YouTube videos, the browser becomes slow paced.
The X2 has quad-band GSM support for worldwide roaming and dual-band 900 and 2100 MHz bands over 3G are also supported.
Internal and External Memory
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 has a qualcomm MSM 7200 528 MHz CPU processor and 256 MB of RAM memory.
Applications and Gaming
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 has Windows Mobile 6.5 Operating system that is still evolving and does not yet support many innovative apps and games as of now. Only standard apps have been placed inside it for users.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 has the 1500mAh Li-Po battery with a confirmed 2 days of stand-by time under moderate usage.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 has all the connectivity options such as HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 2Mbps, Wi-Fi with DLNA support, stereo Bluetooth + EDR. USB 2.0 connections are supported via a microUSB port. There’s 3.5mm audio jack that also serves as the TV out function.
Motorola Milestone looks cool, has promising hardware, Android OS and the enormous capacitive touch-screen and all this is enough to make the competition tremble.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 is facing that threat despite few bright features in its spec sheet. The price of the smartphone is reasonable but Windows Mobiles are a bit different to use though this one is way more user-friendly. The X-panels are fun to use and are useful too. Yet, we think that X2 would've been made much better. It does not have Snapdragon processor, massive screen and its hardware is haggard.