Xperia Learns From Xperience

With the announcement of the Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10, one can’t help but wonder why there aren’t more devices like it on the market today. True, it lacks the latest version of Android (2.0); they also seem to have left out multi-touch browsing. But, the fact of the matter is, those things are all fixable via software updates. Plus, I’m sure they’re already hard at work on implement Android 2.0 with their super slick, outta control, Rachael UI.

So, aside from the software issues, which can be corrected, why can’t other phones be like the Xperia X10? Why is it so hard for a company to put out a quality piece of hardware? I just don’t get it! I understand it costs more money, but we see that phone companies are already charging customers a fortune for high end phones.

Let’s use our brains for second (I know I’m asking a lot)… Who in tarnations wants to pay $349.99 (after mail-in rebate) for an HTC Touch Pro2 running WinMo 6.1? Yeah, it’s a nice looking phone, but that’s pretty much it. The processor is awful (528MHz ARM11), it’s as glitchy as an 8086 running Windows Vista, and it’s fatter than Chris Farley in the movie Tommy Boy. Why not sell a high-end Android phone instead, or at least along-side it? Do phone makers think there’s no market for it?

Sony Ericsson has had the X10 in the pipes for a while now. We’ve been hearing rumors about it and seeing pictures of its interface for months. The company saw the phones that other manufacturers had in the pipes and realized that by the time those hit the market something more powerful would already be needed. Sony Ericsson took the initiative to think ahead of the competition. Instead of being first to the finish, they decided to make the best possible device they could. They customized the interface, they gave it an insanely awesome 8.1 MP camera, and they made sure it would be released with the latest and greatest processor on the market.

The X10 is the phone that the Android community wants. Yet, no other company has released an Android phone that can rival it.  I find this extremely sad considering the amount of time manufacturers have had to come up with their lines of Android based devices.

I beg phone makers to step up their game. No one wants to buy a phone that won’t be able to handle the next major version of Android. Android is all about the infinite customizability (wow, that’s an awesome word) and rapid development of an open, mobile, platform. Why is it that Sony Ericsson is the only company that seems to get this?

The X10 is the fastest, hottest, and most feature packed smartphone to date. Sony Ericsson was patient. Hopefully it’ll pay off. They say you learn from experience. Whoever “they” are, never said the experience had to be your own. The X10 is proof of that. Way to learn from the errors of your competition!

Let the hardware wars begin…

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  • chuksy

    Are you sure SE have learnt from experience?
    Don't get me wrong i love SE's products, but why keep releasing products months after its announcement.
    Satio was released atleast 4 months after announcement,by then everyone was bored to death of waiting.
    It gives their competetors ample time to get something similar or even better released and thereby take a big chunk of their market share.
    Motorola released their phone few weeks after it was announced,same with HTC,why can't SE do the same. Its not rocket science if others can, why can't they?

    I don't think i can wait 4 months. if HTC comes out with something as good,i guess i might go for it.

  • Bill

    "they gave it an insanely awesome 8.1 MP camera"

    8.1 is a big number, and I'm sure the SE's marketing team will be jumping up and down when they put 8.1 on all of their marketing material. However, from a photographers standpoint, this is horrible. The sensor size on these phones is extremely small. Much smaller than digicams. The small lens won't be able to resolve the detail to make 8.1 MP worth it, and the small photo receptors are going to be very noisy.

    Some camera manufacturers are ending the MP race. Canon's G10 was 14.7MP. The new G11? Only 10 MP. And, guess what? It takes better pictures.

    For a camera phone, a 3MP sensor that is stabalized and has good dynamic range and sensitivity would be amazing, and take much better pictures than some pack-in-the-MP sensor…

    Now, for the phone, it looks great. My biggest concern is the custom UI, and for two reasons. 1) the video from the press conference showed the Rachel UI running very slow. I'm sure they will speed it up, but it is still processor intensive and I could see this slowing other things down. 2) Software updates. X10 users are going to have to wait for SE to update the UI before they get an update. They are currently behind. When they come out with their 2.0 update, Google will probably have 2.5 out…


  • Bluepork

    That's one thing Apple have always got right – when they announce a product, it's in the shops that week. Why on earth do other manufacturers not have the same approach. Who do they think it serves to announce a product that is, to all intents and purposes, a fantasy?

    Anyway, back to the main topic, and I believe the reason that the manufacturers haven't embraced Android in the way that you wish, is because the whole thing is driven by business and profit. If a manufacturer is going to spend the money on high end hardware, they need to ensure a profit. If the handset is not differentiated through software (or OS) then sales are probably going to be lower.

    Most consumers won't root their devices, and rely on the network for updates etc. Personally, I would prefer to rely on the relatively progressive Google, than on SE or Vodafone or whoever for updates, but people like me don't represent the population that these manufacturers are targeting.

    • Bill

      "Why on earth do other manufacturers not have the same approach."

      Because there is nowhere else you can get an iPhone. With lots of Android competition, SE introduces early to hoping to stop people from buying Droids and Heros and wait for their product to come out…

  • Dave

    Wait, why on earth do we believe SE are hard at work implementing Android 2 for the X10? Did I miss an announcement?

    Given their track record I expect to see nothing but bug fixes for the X10 and it will be stuck at Android 1.6 or 1.5 (w/e) for an eternity.

  • anon

    The problem why SE couldn't, from what I understand, implement Android 2.0 just yet is due to the delayed support of Android 2.0 on the Snapdragon processor. But I too believe that an Android 2.0 must be in the pipeline.
    As for the annoucement, I think SE had no choice. There were so many leaks that it probably had to be done

  • toutratus

    I don't see the "search" button anymore… what happened to it? Is it on the side or did it disappear? If it disappeared, how do they serve the search?

  • Nedjo

    Ben, how much $ did you get from SE for this piece of propaganda?

    Did you actually bought this phone to ne able to judge about it and how it compares to other phones?

  • dave

    I realize this is an Op-Ed piece, put it seems to lean way too much to the opinion part of Op-Ed.

    Opinion number one – SE is ahead of the competition. Huh? Motorola Droid/Milestone is available. HTC HD2 (okay it’s WinMO 6.5 not Android) is available. SE’s UX does not look to be better than HTC Sense.

    Opinion number two – processor speed is all that counts. Once the hardware gets into the right places for real testing, the dual core processor in the Droid will probably be faster than the higher clock speed single processor in the X10 for the things that you do with the device.

    Opinion mumber three – see posts above on camera MP.

    Opinion number four – SE has “learned from Xperience” Only time will tell if SE has really learned or not. Track record on being slow with updates (like often never updating) is a major issue with some potential customers, especially first adapters.

  • Why are you praising a phone that has yet to see the light of day? You're making a lot of assumptions in your article, and we all know what that leads to. I just think it's premature to crown this phone the king/queen of Android when it's not going to be released for another 4 months (most likely). By that time, there's no telling how many new Android phones will be available, many probably with the Snap Dragon processor and slick interfaces.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm actually holding out for this phone instead of getting the Droid, but my expectations are a little more realistic than this article.

  • Seth

    Downright horrible opinion article. Sounds like a forum post by the uninformed or over assuming individual!

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