Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Android Phone Bar Review

by Michael Martin on April 5, 2010 · 15 comments

in Mobile

sony ericsson xperia x10 review

The way to truly test and review a phone is going beyond the tech specs and cursory use at home by exposing it to real use scenarios such as at a loud drunk filled bar during the Final Four NCAA basketball tournament.

Last week on GoogleAndBlog I posted my initial thoughts on the Sony XPERIA X10 especially in comparison to my previous Android phones, the G1 & Google Ion.

Now I want to present a deeper review on its specs and its real world use since it survived the San Diego earthquake on Easter.

Initializing the phone was speedy as it took less than 30 seconds in booting up, compared to about 2 minutes on my previous Android phones, also it doesn’t REQUIRE you to have a Google account unlike said previous Android devices.

You do have the option to sync with your Google account or with Sony Ericcson’s sync service as well the option to not have any cloud account associated with the phone – the XPERIA X10 also has an inherent sync service for Facebook, Twitter, Picaso, & MySpace.

The X10 tech info:
Model Number: X10a
Firmware Version: 1.6
Baseband Version: 1.0.06
Kernel Version: 2.6.29-rel semc-android@SEMC #2
Build Number: R1EA013
Network: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 (3G only works on AT&T)
Weight: 4.7 ounces
Size: 4.7 x 2.5 x .5 inches
Screen: 4 inches WVGA 480×864 capactitive touchscreen
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1GHz
Memory: 1GB internal with 8GB SD card
Battery: 1500 mA providing 10 hours of talk & 415 hours of standby time
Connection: Micro USB
Camera: 8.1 MP with Flash

I spared the video review as Michael Oryl at Android Authority did them for MobileBurn last week as he glowingly called it a “lousy phone” and it being the preproduction model that we both got, felt it was “a waste of my (his) time“.

To make the review worth your time I took the X10 out to a bar in San Diego during the Final Four called McGregor’s Grill & Ale House, a popular Chargers football tailgating spot that is close by to Qualcomm Stadium.

I was able to hear calls easily over the crowd noise and taking pictures with the camera and flash was actually phenomenal indoors.

Also surprising to me was that a lot of people at the bar, especially women, had the Droid as their phone preferring its keyboard but liked the camera and screensize of the X10.

The X10 has been long awaited, especially by Andrew Kameka of Androinica & I, as it was originally scheduled to be released late in 2009 – well before the Nexus One appeared – which would have presented it the opportunity of being THE cutting edge Android phone.

After long last it now available today for preorder on Rogers in Canada as it will be first publicly released on April 15th.

There is no US release date yet but AT&T would be the likely service provider as its the only US mobile service to support the X10 3G band.

The XPERIA X10 now is still an improvement over the Droid, but with its chronic delays, is only a sidekick to the Nexus One which will then be easily trumped by the upcoming Android phones such at the HTC Evo 4G & Samsung Galaxy S.

On Friday I will go over the applications & the Sony Android UI UX (formerly known as Nexus & then Rachael) which is very PS3-like along with its high resolution camera that still makes it an attractive Android phone for those that put image quality & picture taking at the forefront of their smartphone priorities.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

victor April 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm

FYI, Please note that there two Xperia X10 models available.

The Xperia X10a (US/Australia model) which you have only supports AT&T 3G.

The Xperia X10i (international model) has the necessary 1700MHz UTMS frequency support that’s compatible with T-Mobile 3G in the US. I have this model and am quite happy with the speeds.

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Michael Martin April 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Victor,

Understood as I was supplied with the X10a which just had the AT&T 3G band support.

You are correct that Sony does have versions that do support T-Mobile 3G bands but not in what I was provided.

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Gian April 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I bought the xperia x10. In my box and phone says x10i but the frequencies on the box read 850/900/1800/1900. Now I thought the x10i had different frequencies. Im at the moment with att which according to those frequencies should support 3g but i don’t have it. Of course neither att or t-mobile knew anything or helped me. So Im kind of lost. Any help, please.

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Michael Martin April 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Gian,

Those frequencies are for the Edge (2G) network not the 3G frequencies.

The x10i 3G bands are 900,1900,2100Mhz as AT&T moved their 3G from 1900Mhz to 850Mhz this year while T-Mobile uses the 2100Mhz your phone supports.

Ironically I have the x10a which DOES support AT&T 3G signals but I use T-Mobile.

Perhaps we should trade :)

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john May 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm

If I buy the Rogers version of the x10, will I be able to use it with att 3g right out of the box? Or do I have to debrand the phone?

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Michael Martin May 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

John,

I believe Rogers provides the X10a which is the same model as the phone I have which can accept AT&T 3G signals.

If its the X10i model, which Victor & Gian have above in the comments, then that supports 3G from T-Moblie 3G but not the 3G signal from AT&T.

So if this is a concern be sure to find out its an X10a versus an X10i.

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asim May 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm

can i ask something i bought it experia x10 already but i can’t use tomtom which version can be use for x10

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Michael Martin May 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

The XPERIA X10 does come with WisePoint as well Google Navigator for directions that should work well in the UK in lieu of TomTom

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Santiago Mercado June 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I have the x10i, but I have at&t, i need the x10a, il be willing to trade.

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Michael Martin July 12, 2010 at 3:40 am

Do you happen to live in the San Diego area :)

I will be speaking on mobile at conferences in NYC & San Francisco this August if in those areas for an exchange else I assuming its a long shot you are in Kauai for a conference I’m in after those.

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Mike July 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I have a brand new x10a, but use T-Mobile’s crappy network. I would be willing to trade for the x10i.

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Edwin July 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Mike,

I have the x10 but i use at&t. I would be willing to trade for your x10a.

Edwin

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loga July 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm

wow great phone, love my x10. favorite unlocked mobile phones this year. processor is fast, touch screen is really responsive, battery life lasts all day and i like the keys on the bottom, and i’m pretty dang picky. much better than my old unlocked android phones. they are practical, the email and web browser are great for my business and keeping in touch with my clients. gps helps me get around. the apps are great and it’s such a nice looking phone, i get a lot of compliments. love my new unlocked gsm phones. my wife loves hers for the facebook, camera, and recorder. daughter loves hers for the games and I like it so i can keep in touch with my fantasy team. x10 is my favorite so far. practical too. got my last couple unlocked 3g phones at gsmallover.com 2 thumbs way up

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DMG August 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I got a Xperia x10i this August and I admit it could compete at par with the Iphone.

I upgraded from a SE C902 and Nokia E66 .

I would like that SE address the ff short-comings:

1. provide standard phone pad interface for those that prefer using the T9 dictionary mode ( because they upgraded from a mobile phone w/o qwerty)

2. SE’s Pc companion program DOESNT SYNC contacts from MS Outlook office; the transferring and syncing of contacts and calendar is tedious to do 1 by 1. Google sync can be used to sync via online but you have to upload your all your contacts and calendars online; this is a privacy issue that many wont like to do.

3. the window for drafting sms is too small compared to the screen real estate. Make the font bigger. My eyes get tired :(

4. emulate the panning and zooming from the Iphone and Ipad; Its very cool and intuitive ( wish list)

5. WHY DIDNT SONY INSTALL SWYPE FOR TEXT INPUT ? IT WOULD’VE RESOLVED MY PROBLEMS WITH THE TYPING INTERFACE. THESE DROID PHONES USE IT AND ITS A SERIOUS OMISSION! http://www.swypeinc.com/
PLS SONY RESOLVE THIS SOON OR ELSE I WILL SELL MY XPERIA AND GET A LOWER-END PHONE!

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Michael Martin August 11, 2010 at 3:13 am

DMG,

I alleviated pretty much all of that with syncing to my Google account & installing SWYPE myself.

The hardware specs are still top tier but held back by Sony’s sluggishness with updating its UI to 2.X, that I say its better to root & upload stock Android 2.2.

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