Sony Ericsson X10 hands on at CES

John Walton
Cell Phone Editor
| January 10, 2010

It's a virtually indisputable fact: Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X10 is as visually stunning an Android as we've seen thus far and is quite possibly - in my mind - the sexiest phone on deck for 2010. With a 4" capacitive touchscreen, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8 MP cam, great Android theming, some sleek custom apps that change the user experience, and incredibly slick lines, this phone has been an object of desire for me for some time. It has shared, perhaps, the top position on the list of phones I would like to personally own this year, along with Google's Nexus One. However, after getting to spend a little time with the gadget at CES in Las Vegas, it may have fallen down a rung or two.

I still can't think of another phone I'd like more to be seen with, but a little bit bit of touch screen poking and dabbling has me thinking that Nexus One stands head and shoulders above the X10 when it comes to interaction. I should point out that the X10s I held were running Android 1.6 and that the custom SE software sitting on top of it was not ready for the masses. Some delayed response - and a bit of non-responsiveness - was expected. What I wasn't expecting was how dramatically that affected my experience with the X10. I found myself wondering if it was due solely to the stage of development that the software was in or if that somewhat cheap feeling touch screen had something to do with it. Knowing Sony Ericsson, the screen probably wasn't cheap at all and I don't expect the product to be the most affordable Android on the Market.

In terms of software, SE is onto something great...and beautiful. What we once knew as Rachael, and what they refer to as the Nexus UX (user experience) is gorgeous. I've heard concerns from a few people that thought all that blue might get tiring eventually, and while I can see the possibility, it certainly wouldn't prevent me from grabbing one had I the spare means. Where SE's hand really stands out is in two applications that effectively change the way a user accesses two of what are quickly becoming the most important and frequently used data on cell phones: media and social information.

Timescape and Mediascape offer the user a deck of cards, each card representing - in the case of Timescape - a single instance of social interaction from a given individual. Within the deck of cards, you can swipe through a timeline of entires and filter via social network, calls, SMS, email, etc. It's the same kind of data aggregation you'll find in Sense or Motoblur, with an original presentation and uber-drool-worthy design. I have no complaints about the Nexus UX and am glad to know SE will be releasing it on other devices

Another aspect of the phone that just jumped out as me as super sexy was the white color option. It was even better in person. The lines of the phone, minima hardware buttons, size and shape become even more luxurious in that stunning lusterous white finish.And the blue theming throughout the UI takes on a icy, cool vibe that I think is missing from the black version. It's truly a sight to behold, and looking at one resting in the palm of your hand is definitely enough to cause a few butterflies. If you're into awesome tech design, that is.

We don't currently have a street date or price on the X10, though it's expected to hit Rogers Wireless in Canada this Spring. I'm interested to see what kind of pricepoint they can deliver this stylish chunk of kit at. Maybe that light, smudgy screen will bring it into the realm of reason. Sony Ericsson will be seeling apps via their PlayNow store. Until there's more news on the X10, expect to be hearing a lot of buzz regarding it's *little* sister, currently referred to as Robyn.



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