Sony Ericsson Xperia X1: our impressions

It may seem that I have become a little grumpy, but a few of the impressions that we have published of the mobiles that we have been testing are somewhat negative. Now, not without reason. And is that when you test models that work fluently, respond quickly and are comfortable, going to the other extreme is disappointing.

And it is what has happened to us with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 that Microsoft had on display. This model was presented in the MWC last year but we soon learned that it would be delayed until 2009. In fact, it has arrived in Spain this month.

That has made the benefits that it offered in the beginning and that, originally, seemed impressive to us, have remained not among the bunch, but if equaled by many other manufacturers. Thus, the resolution of 800 × 480 pixels is already offered by many models, as well as the screen size.

The sliding keyboard is also something we have seen a lot this year, although it must be admitted that we liked the use of the Xperia X1 in this regard. Exterior design is one of the best facets of this phone.

If you look at the software, the highlight is, obviously, the panel system that it incorporates, which allows us to select between different views. For this it incorporates a special button that shows us a panoramic view of all of them, allowing them to be selected by pressing them with the finger.

The fact that new panels appear, such as those announced for Skype, of the CNN or one to handle when we are in the car, further enhances this functionality. But once tested, we did not see its improvement over other systems such as an application launcher too clearly.

And it is that the panel system is still very different from a launcher, with the drawback that we can only have nine panels at the same time and that to develop one it is necessary to use the SDK by Sony Ericsson, so it will not be usable on other phones.

Even worse, the performance of the panels is appalling. Although I was tempted to blame it on not being a final model (which would surprise me at this point), seeing other reviews I verify that it is the normal operation of the phone.

It does not seem to me that we take so long to change from one panel to another, both when we press the panel key to show a preview of all of them and when we select one to access it. On average between 5 and 7 seconds to change panels, on a phone with these characteristics and this price, it seemed too long.

On the other hand, the different panels work reasonably well and many of them offer quite useful options, but the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 leaves us with the feeling of being a phone that has been half done and with the feeling that there will be no more models of this range equipped with Windows Mobile.

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