Sony Ericsson X8 review: XPERIA in the middle
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 is likely to outsell the rest of the XPERIA droids. Itís neither the best phone in the line-up, nor itís a phone to excite and inspire but itís the common denominator. It is right in the middle. Itís an XPERIA for everyone Ė both size-wise and price-wise.
The X8 bridges the gap between two extremes. And it manages to find itself a niche in the process - a niche where it can breathe freely. Itís a place with healthy competition but no big egos around. The X8 is selling for as low as 175 euro and that makes it one of the least expensive Android smartphones on the market.
For a reasonable price, the phone offers the feature pack most of its rivals would give you. It has diverse connectivity options, a good music player, neat user interface, a built-in camera and access to social networks and the Android Market.
Average size and realistic price, the X8 fits snugly in the Android midrange and sets itself apart from its XPERIA siblings. Thatís more than evident without digging too deep into the spec sheet.
- Quad-band GSM/EDGE, HSDPA 900/2100 / HSDPA 850/1900/2100
- 3.0" capacitive TFT touchscreen of HVGA resolution, 16M colors
- Scratch-resistant screen coating
- Android OS v1.6 Donut with custom Sony Ericsson UI, featuring Timescape
- Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz processor
- 128 MB onboard storage, microSD card slot (up to 16GB), 2GB card included
- 3 megapixel fixed-focus camera with geotagging, VGA video @ 30fps
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- Built-in GPS receiver, digital compass
- microUSB port, charging enabled
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Excellent audio
- FM radio with RDS
- Accelerometer for UI auto-rotate
- Social networking integration
- Limited storage for installing third-party apps
- Outdated Android OS version
- No multi-touch support
- Camera lacks autofocus
- No DivX video support out of the box
- microSD slot under the battery cover
- No secondary video-call camera
Imaging is certainly middling: no autofocus and measly 3 megapixels. The screen on the other hand has grown to a healthy 3 inches and standard HVGA resolution.
What is still missing though is a more recent Android OS version. Like the rest of the Android-based XPERIAs, the X8 is running Android v1.6 (Donut). An update to Android 2.1 Eclair is due but there is still no word of Froyo ever coming the XPERIA way.
This is obviously a concern, but the Sony Ericsson X8 is still worth a look as a possible purchase. After all, it offers a well balanced feature set and itís fairly priced. But thatís something to talk about at the end of our review.
Not before weíve looked inside the box and had design and handling duly covered. Thatís what weíre up to after the break.