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Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap-Up Comments  34  

Music Camera Photos/Video Browse/Customize Extras  

The X10 has an 8.1 megapixel camera with an LED flash. To open it, the camera button needs to be pressed and held for about one second. Sony Ericsson forgoes the stock Android shooter for its own software, and that's something for which I was grateful.

The finer controls are all placed on the left side of the display. The first allows users to adjust the capturing mode: Normal, Scene Recognition, Smile Detection, or Touch Capture. What I like about these menus is that rather than non-finger-friendly lists of text, the options are all placed on huge buttons. This makes selecting between the different modes much easier.

As far as resolution goes, the 8.1 megapixel setting takes photos in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The camera can be dialed down to 6 megapixels with 16:9 aspect ratio, or 2 megapixels with both 4:3 and 16:9.

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There are nine shooting scenes to choose from: Normal, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Beach and Snow, Sports, Party and Document. Selecting any of these changes the way the camera uses the ambient light and flash to get the best shot. They are all pretty much self explanatory. The odd-man-out in the bunch is Document. The Document setting assumes you're going to be taking a picture of something white in an inside environment at close range.

The X10 lets users alter focus settings, as well. Choices range from single autofocus, to macro, face detection and infinity.

The main shooting page lets users easily switch between the camera and video camera, and there's a neat "roll" of miniature thumbnails of the last five shots stretching across the bottom of the viewfinder.

The X10 focuses quickly, and lets you get right back to shooting when done. It can save images to the microSD card in the background while you're focusing on the next shot. That speeds up the process.

 

The video camera offers nearly all of the same controls and functions that the camera does. Disappointingly, the resolution options are limited to WVGA, VGA, QVGA and MMS-optimized. There's no 720p HD video capture here.

Gallery

The gallery is boring. It offers only a grid for the main view. The stock Android gallery is far more interactive. Tap a photo, and the X10 actually uses the same interface as the media player to showcase images. Press Play, and it automatically starts a slide show.

As far as options go, images can be easily attached to emails or MMS messages and set as contact profile images. Editing is limited to cropping and rotating. Really, Sony Ericsson? On your flagship multimedia Android device, all you offer is crop and rotate? That's weak sauce, big time.

 

The gallery application offers an infinity button, too. Pressing it only brings up a different way to sort through photo albums, based on date, location, etc. Sorting by date lets you quickly find the pictures shot on Day X (such as some one's birthday) and location sorting is great for mapping out vacation shots.

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