Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Posted by Don Tolson in "Android Articles, Resources & Developer" @ 08:00 AM
Taking a quick look around the exterior of the phone, the design has definitely focused on keeping things lean and mean -- taking maximum advantage of the space provided by the extra screen landscape.
Figure 3: Here's a shot of the front of the X10. At the top, just over the S/E logo is the earpiece/speaker. Sorry, no front-facing camera for video calling, but that's fairly standard for North American phones. At the bottom are three hardware buttons which activate (from left to right) an application-specific menu, home, and go back one screen. When any of the buttons is pushed, white LEDs light up in the two slots between the buttons. They're pretty helpful in the dark.
Figure 4: A shot of the back of the unit. Not much here except the lens for the 8Mp camera (near the top) with the LED photo 'light' just below it. Note, activation of the photo light is an on-off affair from the menus in the camera app. It simply comes on and stays on until you turn it off. It doesn't 'flash' when you take a picture.
Figure 5: Not much to see on the left side of the unit. There definitely seems to be a move to a minimalist approach in phone design recently. The chrome accent is a nice touch though.
Figure 6: On the right side of the unit, you see the Camera button on the left of the picture, and the Volume Down/Up rocker button at the right. The Volume buttons also affect zoom on the display in applications like the camera and the browser.
Figure 7: On the top of the unit, you see the microUSB jack on the left side of the picture (with a plastic cover, attached via a small, flimsy plastic hinge), followed by the 3.5mm phone jack for audio and microphone in the centre, and the power/sleep button on the right side. There's nothing on the bottom except the microphone and what looks like a hook for a lanyard.
Figure 8: A shot of the X10 with the back removed. At the top left you can see the SIM card slot. On the right (under the green arrow) is where the microSD card slides in. While most of the sales information I've seen talks about 8GB being provided, Rogers supplied a 16GB microSD card. Sweet!
You know, after re-reading the hardware specification requirements from Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 (3 buttons, capacitive screen, Snapdragon processor...), I'd almost be tempted to think Sony Ericsson had these in mind when they designed the X10. But, I wouldn't want to start any completely unfounded rumours...:-)
So how does the X10 compare physically to the other 'big screen' phones/multimedia devices available out there? To be fair, it would have been better (at least with respect to screen size) to compare this to an HTC HD, but I don't have one of those handy at the moment :-). So, instead, here are some comparison shots to an HTC TD2 (aka the ATT PURE) which was, at one point, thought to be an iPhone 'killer' :-)
Figure 9: A side-by-side shot comparing the X10 (left) with the TD2 (right). Just look at the amount of extra screen landscape available on the X10! Also notice that the X10 is following the latest trend of NOT having dedicated hardware buttons for call pickup and hangup.
Figure 10: A side-by-side comparison of the HTC Touch Diamond 2 (on top) and the XPeria X10 (on the bottom). As you can see, the X10 is considerably thinner and hence, much lighter.
Generally, the X10 feels a lot lighter and less bulky in the hand and in the pocket than the HTC unit. Although significantly wider, it doesn't feel uncomfortable to hold and can, for the most part, be operated with one hand. The only difficulty might be actuating the power/sleep button at the top left.