Many reviewers test a product over a period of 1 week and feel they can adequately give someone advice on whether or not to buy a certain product. I’ve lived with the Xperia X10 for almost a year now so my review is very personal and will touch on all the –ve’s and positives for the phone.
The camera on the phone is great and it was one of the key buying points when I got the phone. I have however realised that I don’t use the camera nearly as often as I thought I would. The camera is good compared to other phones, but no where near as good as a good 5 megapixel camera – such as Canon IXUS range.
The dedicated camera button can take 4-10 seconds to launch camera app – that is annoying. I have not found a fix for that yet.
TimeScape and MediaScape
Those 2 apps were another reason I bought the phone. They were great for about 2-3 weeks, after which I wanted toknow how to get rid of them. The problem with those 2 apps is that you can get many apps on the market that can do a better job. For example, I don’t use MediaScape for music or video – instead I use PowerAmp and RockPlayer. Not X10 users I know use MediaScape. As for TimeScape – I used it for 1 week and never touched it again. It’s a shame that these are the 2 apps that hold back quick Android updates on the X10 – one has to wonder just how important they are to Sony Ericsson (yes no user would mind if you got rid of them)?
Perhaps Sony Ericsson would do well to offer a customised version of X10 and a non customised version. If there was ever a phone that could have toppled the iPhone it was this phone. Sony Ericsson needs to be very careful not to fall in the Microsoft trap – for 10 years Microsoft thought it had the formula for Smartphones figured out. Users view their Smartphones like Computers. When a new OS comes out – give me the ability to update. If Sony Ericsson employees have computers, they will understand how important it is to be able to remove manufacturer add-ons – like MediaScape and TimeScape. Instead of wasting money on MediaScape why not just buy PowerAmp????
On the Move Music Player Test
You cannot select music using MediaScape if you’re walking. IMPOSSIBLE! The buttons are too small and the swipe bar at the bottom is just too thin. iPhone music player buttons are bigger and easy to select music as you walk. Blackberry Bold is also easy, albeit not touch screen. Sony Ericsson – maybe it’s time you fired you UX team! Seriously, pick uo one of the phones and walk at a moderate pace and try and select Album – Scroll to one in the middle of the list – select a song in the middle of the album! IMPOSSIBLE! Yet, this is an afterthought for iPhone or people who download a 3rd party app!
Fixing Headset Volume on Xperia X10
A quick look around on any train ride and ½ the people have headphones on. Music player functionality just has to be spot-on in this day and age where the iPod/iPhone set the benchmark over 3-4 years ago.
The headset volume of Xperia X10 running Android 1.6 is just terrible. Many of you will say that the X10 is now on Android 2.1 Éclair. Great – so I retested and decided that the 2.1 results would be the best and most up to date. I compared it to 2 of my old phones – the iPhone 3G the Blackberry Bold (9000) and my wife’s iPhone 4. I conducted the test with a pair of in-ear JVC-FXC80 headphones and over-ear AKG 701. The X10 volume is still terrible. It is about ½ as loud as the iPhone 3G. The Blackberry Bold is very loud and clear – the iPhone 4 has no reception but sounds great all the same.
I downloaded PowerAmp and tried to boost the volume that way. DISTORTION! That’s right, when it’s loud the music is simply too distorted. This is obviously not the fix for the volume. PowerAmp is a great music player, but it is definitely not going to sort out your music playing experience on the X10.
I did a quick search using Google and there were suggestions that the Nordic ROM would fix the headphone problem. So at last after almost 10 months I decided to download a custom ROM and root my phone whilst I was at it.
So I went here - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=835308 and downloaded the custom ROM, loaded it on the X10 and fired up the music player.
Yes, the music is now louder. Shame on you Sony Ericsson!
Here is the best tip anyone can give you. Download a plain black background and use it as your wallpaper. Turn down your screen brightness (contrast is better with the black wall paper) and there you have it. 20-30% better battery!
Does anyone actually use the Default X10 keyboard? I use SwiftKey.
Making Phone calls
The buttons are now bigger and pressing the call button does not tale you to another menu item like in 1.6 but makes the call! Good job. I think the calling functionality is good. Just make the letters a little bigger on the contacts menu.
In hindsight I probably should have gone for the Google Nexus One. The fact that it receives updates before any other phone is justification enough. I have lived on Android 1.6 for almost 12 months and my contract ends in 6 months time. Logic would suggest – once bitten twice shy. The other reason is the volume on the Nexus One. I could play my music properly.
My next phone will run be an HTC or Vanilla Android. I’m not interested in silly customisations that delay software upgrades – HTC somehow has their upgrades figured out.
In 6 months time I’ll upgrade to a phone with better than 640 x 960 resolution. If Samsung can get AMOLED screens to 640 X 960 then they have a winner. But it would be silly to play catch up with the iPhone. I would suggest 640 X 1024.