I was invited down to a Sony Ericsson launch event to have some hands on time with the new Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 in the company of a rugby player and a fashion model. The Rugby player and Model didn’t have much to say about the fragmentation of the Android OS but fortunately there were some very enthusiastic product experts on hand to answer most of my questions.
My first impression of the device was “my that is a big screen”. A 262,144 colour TFT touchscreen 4.0 inches , 480 x 854 pixels (WVGA), scratch-resistant screen to be exact. The camera isn’t bad either -8.1 megapixels, GEO tagging, smile detection (this didn’t work for me despite going ear to ear Cheshire cat style). Intelligent face recognition identifies up to five faces in any picture, automatically connecting them with your phonebook. This actually seemed like a pretty neat figure, although face recognition systems in Picasa and Aperture have left me a little jaded towards the technology (I was once shown a picture of an old white lady in her 50s and asked “Is this you?”) Everything else was what you’d expect from a high end smart phone – apps, connectivity, music etc.
The headline features for me (aside from the lovely screen) were the “streams” for media and communication. Timescape™ manages all your communication with one person in one place allowing you to browse through your conversations in Facebook, Twitter, photos, emails, and texts all in one go. It actually looked reasonably nifty and the employee I spoke to assured me it made sense as a means of keeping in touch with people you contact often across various social networks. The Mediascape was an interactive way to browse music, photos and videos and allows you to access local and online content (YouTube and something called PlayNow). It reminded me a little of the Cooliris plugin/extenstion for Firefox/Chrome
Fortunately the tech press has grown up a little over the past few years so we no longer have to scream “iPhone Killer???” at every touchscreen smartphone. Which is fortunate as this clearly isn’t. It is however a fairly decent smartphone with a rich featureset, great camera and fabulous screen. And the Android Mobile OS is clearly going to be the site of some interesting developments. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 is out now.