Review: Sony Xperia X10 (AT&T) Android

SonyXperiaX10Android.jpgSony Xperia X10 Android Rated 3.5 by Wireless and Mobile News' Review of Reviews

Reviewers of the Sony Xperia X10 have highly rated many features, like the 4 inch touchscreen, camera and fast processor.  However, all reviewers panned the out-of-date, three-versions-behind Android 1.6 operating system.

The Sony Xperia X10 runs a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and comes loaded with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, 8 megapixel camera, 4 inch (854 x 480 pixel) touchscreen, 1 gigabyte of internal storage (up to 32 with microSD) and 384 of RAM.  The screen, when set at highest brightness, was great for photo and videos. Call quality was called decent and clear.  On top of the Android OS, Sony has added Timescape and Mediascape.

Timescape gathers contacts, calendar, social media updates in a deck of cards. Some reviewers thought Timescape worked well, while one thought it was too much and overwhelming.  Mediascape works with Media Go PC and was called better than other Android OS media programs.  One reviewer found music/media to be terrific, while another reviewer thought that the music quality was just so-so.  Microsoft Exchange will only work through a third party app that doesn't sync with the internal Google Calendar.

The Sony Xperia X10 is a mixed bag of new and old, fast and slow, easy and frustrating.  What then will determine whether the Sony Xperia X10 is the right Android smartphone on AT&T for you?

If photos, music and media are your style and you like the way Sony does their cameras, the Sony Xperia X10
may be the phone for you, if you don't mind waiting for 720p HD video
in a future update.  If you like a ton of social media flowing into one
stream, you may like the Timescape app.  If you are a heavy web surfer,
you won't like that there are only three buttons and the search button
is missing.

If you are an Android fanatic, you may better off with an Android smartphone with a newer OS such as the Samsung Captivate (a Galaxy S phone).  Sony style is often subjective; you may like the way the curved back feels in your hand.

Sony Xperia X10 is priced at $149 with a two year contract. A 2GB data
plan costs $25 per month or 200 megabytes for $15 a month. AT&T's Nation 450 w/Rollover Minutes plan
is $39.99 per month.  Don't forget to use the Wireless and Mobile News'
Coupon-Link $50 Off AT&T Wireless with Plan for new customers with a contract.

Update 10/31/10 -The Sony Xperia X10 is getting an update to Android 2.1.

The Sony Xperia X10 is now selling for one-cent for new and $29.99 for renewing contracts at Amazon Wireless Beta. While the Samsung Captivate is one-cent for new contracts and $29.99 for contract extensions.

The Samsung Captivate (read review)
is available from Wirefly
for $19.99 new AT&T and for renewing customers.  Wirefly
is selling the Sony Xperia X10 for free with a new contract and $4.99
for a renewing or upgraded contract.

Summaries of Reviews Reviewed

Kent German at CNET rated
the Sony Xperia X10 as 4 out 5. He liked the user-friendly design,
brilliant display, feature set, performance, call quality and data
quality.  He did not like that it uses the out-of-date Android 1.6 OS,
the faults of Timescape, and no syncing with Outlook calendar.  Although
it's big in pockets, the Sony Xperia X10 makes the 4 inch (854 x 480 pixel) touchscreen
great for typing.  It lacks a proximity sensor.  The virtual keyboard in
landscape mode was spacious and easy-to-use with auto-completion of
words. The Xperia will eventually be updated to Android 2.1.  The
Timescape app that is supposed to combine messages, contacts and social
media alerts was turned off because they didn't need to see what
everyone was doing.  The 8.1 megapixel camera has many features. Photo
quality was decent, but not sharp enough. The music player was an
improvement over other Android phones. 

Sasha Segan at PCMag rated
the Sony Xperia X10 as a fair 2.5 out of 5. He liked the great camera,
excellent video playback, and battery life.  He hated that it runs on the
"older" Android 1.6, its poor social-networking, and Bloatware. He thought
the fast hardware is dragged down by the old sluggish software.  He
found that it is best to turn off the auto-brightness so the phone doesn't
look dim.  As a phone for calls, it was just decent. He dialed with his
face sometimes because there is no proximity sensor. Speed tests using
Ookla showed it running slower than the iPhone 4. GPS and maps worked
well. Microsoft Exchange works via a third party app and doesn't
integrate with Android's built-in calendar software.  It lacks pinch to
zoom.  You can't delete the AT&T bloatware. The Timescape app
updating everything was clumsy and caused duplicate contacts. It does
shine in media. The Mediacape app, along with Media Go PC, make for
terrific music and video. Photo quality was sharp in good light. It was
sluggish compared to the Samsung Captivate and HTC Aria.

Neal at Laptopmag rated the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 as 2.5 out 5. He liked
the large 4 inch touchscreen, sharp 8 megapixel camera, fun Timescape
and how Mediascape organizes media. He didn't like that the it lacks
multitouch, its tendency to lag, the outdated Android 0S 1.6, and the absence of HD
video capture.  It's about the same size as an iPhone 4G. The back is easy to grip. It lacks a hard search button.  Videos, photos and websites looked good on the screen and were handy for the virtual keyboard. The keyboard worked fine in landscape but was cramped in portrait mode. Timescape syncing and the streaming of updates worked well, but was sluggish. The OS is three generations behind. Web browsing speed was as fast as the iPhone 4.  Photos were sharp and colorful. The video is not 720p HD yet, but will be with an upgrade. Although the inferface for Mediascape worked well, music quality was so-so. Call quality was clear. He suggested that buyer opt for the Samsung Captivate which is $50 more from AT&T and only $10 more when bought by a new customer from Amazon Wireless Beta.