If you are looking for a smart phone, there are plenty of great products to chose from, but in our opinion, one of the best is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 with the Google Android operating system. Read this review to learn more.
It seems that the benchmark for smart phones has been set by the Apple iPhone 4, however in our opinion there are quite a few new phones that match, or even better the iPhone and also cost less to buy and play on a monthly contract basis.
Whilst it is undeniable that the iPhone is very desirable, phones like the Xperia X10 should be considered as a viable alternative, even if they lack the cachet of the Apple brand. Lets see what makes the X10 so good.
Size and power
The Xperia X10 packs a lot of features, power and usability into its 119 x 63mm size. It is easy to hold, being only 13mm thick and the 4″ touchscreen is both larger than most smart phones and clear and bright.
Text is easy to read and images are crisp. OK, the screen quality is not as good as the iPhone 4, however the larger image area does compensate for this.
The X10 comes with a built in 8 Mb camera which produced lovely detailed and sharp images when we tested it. You can also record video up to WVGA resolutions and with 24 frames per second too. Video quality is reasonably good without being spectacular though.
The Xperia X10 is powered by a 1GHz processor that makes it performance snappy, particularly when browsing web pages over its 3G connection.
To our mind, the Android operating system is almost as good as the Apple iOS 4 operating system in the iPhone. The intuitive interface is quick to master and you’ll be zipping around from App to contact list in no time. That processor brings a snap to the performance and makes the phone that bit better to use than a lot of other Android based phone.
There is one major plus for the Xperia X10, though. The virtual keyboard is large without taking up too much of the screen real estate and the keys are nicely spaced so that you don’t suffer to much from that dreaded “fat finger” syndrome. There is a very useful physical movement, like a tremor, when each key is pressed, giving you tactile feedback that is surprisingly good.
It’s when typing those emails or composing a longish text message that you realise how good the keyboard and that tactile feedback is.
There have been some negative comments that synchronising social network profiles to people in your contact list can be a bit clunky, however once done, you will find it easy to keep in touch whether by phone, text or via social networking.
Email synching and connectivity is generally very good. Listening to music and watching videos with that WVGA screen is generally excellent for a smart phone.
Connectivity and Apps
The Android operating system opens up the world of more than 50,000 apps. OK there are more iPhone apps available, however the success of the Android operating system means that developers are flocking into this growing market. Unless you have very specific requirements, you will almost certainly find an Android based app that meets your needs.
What about connectivity, though? The Xperia X10 will connect to the Internet through via 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, by WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1. There is also good connectivity with your PC and a mini USB connection adds more interaction with external devices.
In our opinion, the Xperia X10 is an excellent smart phone that does a lot of things well and is easy and enjoyable to use. There are two gripes with it, though, that may deter buyers. The first is battery life that lasts for only 8 hours at best so that means a charge during the day, which is not good. The volume from the speaker is also too quiet so that hearing a phone call in a noisy environment is not as good as it should be.
It is better and cheaper than an iPhone 4 in some ways, but not others, but that battery life does need to be improved.