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Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

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The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is an interesting monster. It's ahead of the curve in some areas, while it lags badly in others. I have no complaints with the hardware. It's hardly the sexiest Android device ever made, but it's far from the worst. The large screen size and good display make for a compelling Android experience, no doubt.

Rather than make the hardware unique, Sony Ericsson has taken pains to develop a new Android skin that merges contact and media functions. TimeScape and MediaScape are at once elegant, feature-rich, and potentially over-powering. While the option always exists to check individual accounts, TimeScape lumps them all together in a way that is more visually appealing and fun to use than any other Android skin that I've encountered so far.

The media capabilities of the X10 are boggling. While the visual flair and appearance is highly customized and good to use, Sony Ericsson fell short when it comes to new features. In the music department, the media player lacks any advanced features — hell, the X10 doesn't even have a music store on board. The camera is fantastic, and the controls are nearly limitless when it comes to fine-tuning settings. it focuses well, behaves quickly, and is more finger-friendly than many other mobile cameras out there. But the gallery offers only the most basic of features and is boring to work with.

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The X10 offers only average performance when it comes to call quality, battery life, and other basics. The real appeal of this device, then, is the software being offered by Sony Ericsson. I would recommend anyone interested in this phone go to an AT&T store and play with TimeScape and MediaScape. They are vitally important aspects of how users interact with the X10.

The biggest failing of the X10 is perhaps the Android 1.6 software and the serious competition coming from Samsung's Android 2.1-toting Captivate. Between the two, the choice is tough, and boils down to software.

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