The folks at Sony Ericsson were pretty strict about letting us try out the interface of the new XPERIA X1, but we were still able to get close enough to have a few good impressions. (See more photos here.)
Sony Ericsson has always been pretty hot when it comes to handset design, and the X1 is no exception. Looking at it, you forget that this is a Windows Mobile PDA-phone because, very often, the products in that category are pretty clunky. The keypad slides out at an angle, and the keys look pretty well spaced-out for typing.
While the "Today" screen on its WVGA (800x480) display looks like the regular Windows Mobile Professional one, one press of a button will bring up a cool nine-panel interface. These look like shortcuts to other applications and are very attractive, though it looks like users still won't be able to fully avoid the regular WM6 interface when using the X1.
One of the most surprising things is the connectors. Along one side of the device, you can see there's a 3.5mm audio connector. This isn't common for Windows Mobile PDA-phones (2.5mm ones are the norm). More significantly, this isn't even seen on any of the company's Walkman phones, devices that are supposed to target music lovers. Along another edge, the X1 has a mini-USB connector. That's good news because you don't have to rely on the proprietary cables usually packaged with Sony Ericsson devices.
With a truckload of features including HSDPA/HSUPA, GPS and Wi-Fi, the X1 is poised to do battle with established names in this arena like HTC and HP. One worry is that the release date is set for the second-half of 2008, which is a long time from now. That gives competitors quite a bit of lead time to come up with even better-looking products. Let's just hope market availability is closer to the middle of the year than the end.
(Source: Crave Asia)