The keyboard is a full QWERTY, which is a step up from the numeric keypads offered in the Xperia X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro – with only a few minor customisations made to the bland stock Android keyboard by Sony Ericsson.
The X8 enables users to turn spelling correction on or off, automatically add words to the dictionary and even suggests the next word it thinks you may type – although this never actually happened at all during our time with the phone. It was definitely ticked in the options.
The keyboard really isn't up to much when compared to modern text input systems such as Swype and SwiftKey. Also, the Xperia X8's rather unresponsive touchscreen means you have to press harder than on most other capacitive phones, which hinders accuracy quite a bit.
Plus using a QWERTY keyboard on a three-inch screen in portrait mode was never going to be easy to begin with. You'd be best advised to install a custom keyboard from the Android Market if you plan on using the X8 for anything more complex than sending smileys to people a couple of times a week.
Email is supported via both Gmail and POP3, with the X8 featuring the same limitation on additional email accounts as found in the X10 Mini and Mini Pro. The phone's email app only lets users set up one email account, so you're stuck with that, plus Gmail.
Exchange is supported, but only via the third-party RoadSync application. It's not a great solution, with the X8 not offering an easy way to integrate all your email accounts in one place.
Text messaging is again the Android 1.6 default, only blue. Pick a contact, type a message, attach a photo and send. That's it.