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Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 Reviewed - Not Really Worth The Money
Very recently, we took a look at an interesting phone based on the Android 1.6 OS, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini / Mini Pro . A little while ago, the guys at Sony Ericsson released the Xperia X8, the next installment of the Xperia series. Although the phone is still based on the Android 1.6 (we were really hoping this one shipped with 2.1, but sigh…). Here's a closer look.
With the X8, the folks at Sony Ericsson have not included a pull out keyboard, instead this one’s a plain old touchscreen. It's like the transition phone between the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and the X10 Mini. At 99 x 54 x 15 mm the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 is a compact phone, however, not as compact as the X10 mini obviously. The display is a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels (HVGA).
The X8 is of course larger than the X10 Mini but placement of plug-in ports has been modified, with the USB and headphone jack, placed on top alongside the power button. This arrangement works extremely well. Getting the rear panel off can be troublesome at first, but becomes a breeze once you learn how. A microSD hot swap slot is just under the rear panel. Incidentally, Sony Ericsson has included quite a few additional rear panels in a variety of colors to funk up the handset.
Features and Performance
The X8 comes equipped with a Qualcomm 600MHz processor, runs on Android 1.6 and uses Sony Ericsson’s Four corner UI with Timescape for social working. Now most of the features in this space are the same as the X10 Mini/ Mini Pro, however, the UI is noticeably smoother and faster. This is a big up for the Xperia X8, considering the X10 mini/ mini pro had many sluggish moments.
The audio quality is something I had a problem with. Sony Ericsson has always complied with the norms for portable audio volume, however, the normalization on this device was very irritating and music is more or less inaudible when used in traffic. The display, although small, is still comfortable enough to watch YouTube clips or short TV serials in 3GP or MPEG4 formats. TrackID for music recognition is also present and accounted for. The FM radio had slight improvements over the previous releases.
The phone also comes bundled with applications like Creatouch (a drawing app, to showcase the touch capabilities), geotags, Roller coaster, Peggle and CA Gold Rush. There are many applications that can be used well with this phone, which somewhat takes your mind away from the ones that you cannot use such as Robo Defense, WeatherBug, PdaNet, Tumblroid, etc.
Packed with 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, EDGE/GPRS, this phone has enough to connect to anything. In fact I was able to log into a few open Wi-Fi networks that even my Macbook could not detect. With the X10 Mini pro, there was an issue with regards to drops in Wifi signal, however, this time we’ve been lucky and seen very stable Wi-Fi connectivity. One rather major issue we came across was that the Wi-Fi connectivity kept dropping. The X8 features a GPS, to provide location based information, and also features an application called WisePilot for turn by turn navigation. Another useful feature here is RoadSync, which allows you to seamlessly receive your corporate mail on your device.
Compared to the X10 mini pro, the camera on the X8 is only 3 megapixels and fixed-focus which is just ridiculous considering the X8's smaller counter parts actually have higher resolution autofocus cameras. What's even worse is that Sony Ericsson hasn't even bothered to add more settings to the camera leaving you with just a 4 scene modes. Thankfully the image quality is not bad at all for a 3MP camera phone.
The Battery Life was quite average with the need to recharge coming through once in a day and a half. My usage included Wi-Fi, browsing, a bit of social networking with a few calls and messages thrown in. On an average, the X8 dished out over 3 hours and 30 minutes of talk time. Like I said, average.
The Bottom Line
All in all, the purpose of this phone's existence is somewhat tricky to figure out. The Xperia X10 Mini/ Mini Pro, ship for almost the same price. Sure they both have smaller screens, but its 2.5-inch vs 3-inch, which is more of a personal choice. We feel that this phone would have been a great buy if it was priced in around the Rs. 10,000 - Rs. 12,000 bracket, however, Sony Ericsson doesn't seem to have that philosophy intact. The price tag on the X8 is approximately Rs. 15,990 (MOP - Rs. 14,800), which makes it a little too expensive in my book and the phone's not really worth that high a price.