The MWC 2008 – Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

Considering Sony Ericsson’s history with Symbian, and the UIQ interface, it is sure they surprised us with the announcement of the new XPERIA X1. The X-series device is Windows Mobile 6 Professional smartphone with high-end functionality. It is the first of the brand to use this operating system, but will most probably the start of a line of such devices. Unlike Cyber-shot and Walkman series, the XPERIA is a name that is not coming from Sony, but is a brand of the phone manufacturer (Sony Ericsson) only. XPERIA stands for ‘ultimate user experience’ and will consists of PREMIUM converged devices, not ones targeted to only camera, music, etc.

The phone is scheduled for release in the second half of the year, and the units that were showcased are prototypes, which were kept away from the press. We were able only to take pictures and (don’t tell anyone) hold it only for a second. However, there were a few things that were shown: the design of the device itself, and a part of its personalization. Although its specifications are top-notch, the design is stylish: it will be available in two color variants, brushed aluminum and piano black. The few keys below the huge display are with triangular form, reminding of the PRISM Nokia phones and the Z555. The D-pad in the middle reacts to touch; called “Optical joystick” and can be used for scrolling – just sweep your finger from top to bottom or vice verse.

The operating system is Windows Mobile 6 (not 6.1) but it seems that Sony Ericsson will heavily personalized it. Unfortunately, at this stage only a few screens were shown, as the manufacturer is keeping the rest a secret. Once a shortcut is pressed, a menu with what is called ‘panels’ appears. It shows differently personalized environments, suitable for different tastes. The way the icons are scrolled and shown, reminds of the iPhone – everybody nowadays is inspired by the popular phone. These panels offer different interfaces as a whole, however, some menues will remain the standard Windows Mobile.

Similar to many high-end devices with this OS, the XPERIA is a side-opening slider, with QWERTY keyboard. However, it has ‘arc slider design’, which situates the display at a slight angle and according to Sony Ericsson leaves more space for the QWERTY keyboard.
As we said earlier, we were not really able to use the phone, so our impressions are limited. However, the features on paper look very nice: quad-band GSM and quad-band UMTS/HSDPA, 3-inch 480×800 pixels display, 3.2-megapixel camera, and all the bells and whistles of the WM6 Pro OS. Untypically for the manufacturer, the phone doesn’t use the proprietary connector (but miniUSB) and has standard microSD slot in the place of the M2 one.