Android Thoughts: Xperiencing the SonyEricsson Xperia X10

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Xperiencing the SonyEricsson Xperia X10

Posted by Don Tolson in "Android Articles, Resources & Developer" @ 08:00 AM

Audio

From working with the phone, there seem to be four different volume settings available: ringer volume, media volume, notifications/alarm volume and in-call volume. All are controlled by the volume rocker/buttons on the right side of the phone and adjust the appropriate setting contextually -- based on what you are doing at the time. For instance, selecting the Silent mode from either the Communications widget (see Figure 12) or by holding the Down Volume button doesn't turn off the media volume. To do that, you have to be playing music or a video and then turn down the volume.

The ringer volume is good, depending upon the ringtone selected. The default one provided by Rogers is clearly audible outside, and from a distance. The media and in-call volumes are adequate, but only with the volume turned up almost to maximum. There's not a lot of extra 'range' available if you are hard of hearing or in a noisy environment. The notifications sound (for upcoming appointments, missed calls, etc.) is likewise very subtle and too quiet to be useful. I've missed many an appointment while having the X10 in my pocket for not hearing the reminder.

Video

To test the video playback capabilities of the X10, I made use of a number of video clips Jason provided in various formats and sample rates which we use as our test 'benchmark'. These include:

  • DiVx @ 500, 1000 and 1500 kbps, 320x180 and 640x360;
  • h.264 @ 500, 1000 and 1500 kbps, 320x180 and 640x360; and
  • WMV @ 500, 1000 and 1500 kbps, 320x180 and 640x360.

It played all of these easily except the DivX files, which weren't supported by Mediascape. However, I found a free trial of Rockplayer which played them just fine. There was some pixelation visible at the lower resolutions, and slight stutters as well at the lower bit rates/lower resolutions. Perhaps this was due to Mediascape attempting to 'upscale' them to the screen resolution. Since they were all the same clip of the movie, I was also able to check the audio synchronization and in all cases, the audio matched up perfectly to the video.

The included YouTube client is very easy to use and all the videos I've selected have played very smoothly in high(er) definition.

Conclusions

So, how was the XPerience? Was there a huge difference between Android and Windows Mobile? I have to admit that after almost a month of carrying the X10 around as my primary access device, I didn't find a lot of difference between Android 1.6 with S/E's UXP and Windows Mobile with HTC's Sense interface and any of the home screen enhancements. Maybe the Android O/S came up with widgets and multiple home screens first, but these are now fairly commonplace. And to be honest, all three of the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile interfaces are looking very similar these days. The X10 itself is a good smartphone and the screen is beautiful, but the only real 'wow' factors for me were the greatly enhanced WiFi and GPS receivers. I'm anxiously looking forward to seeing the Android 2.1 upgrade.

Don is a Solution Architect with Fujitsu Consulting, specializing in Security and Project Value Management. He's been working with PDAs and Smartphones since the early days of the Sharp Wizard, iPAQ and Jornadas. As the Enterprise Mobility lead for North America, he works with clients who want to take their applications that one step further into 'mobility' by putting them right on the corporate phones.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


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