Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 review

Finally with Android 2.1 - but is it too little, too late for the X10?

The definitive Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 review
The definitive Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 review

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We're also not entirely convinced by Timescape as anything more than a gimmick – while yes, it is handy to see all your friends in a big long row, each tile uses the profile picture from Twitter or Facebook to identify the user.

This results in a very grainy and blurry picture – making us wonder why on earth you'd use this system in the first place, as it makes the Xperia X10 look pretty lo-fi.

We're shocked Sony Ericsson hasn't updated this feature

Sony ericsson xperia x10

Also, when clicking on a tile to have a look at a Tweet, if you're presented with a link in there that you'd like to have a look at (something very important in Twitter) then you have to click the tile, wait for mobile Twitter to load via the browser (which takes a while) then click on the link from there.

This is far too convoluted for a phone that's supposed to make things simple – the point of Android is supposed to be 'zero clicks' to get information, and with the likes of the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S, there's a lot more understanding about how these social networks should be integrated with the phone.

Another change with Android 2.1 is the lock screen - it's no longer an arc, but a simple iPhone-like swipe instead. It suffers badly when the phone is woken from sleep mode though - the juddering can be terrible and you'll often miss the swipe.

But on a more positive note, the large capacitive screen is bright and responsive for the most part, working quickly when registering a finger input and allowing you to scroll through things like Timescape with ease.

What's more curious is that despite packing a 1GHz processor, the Xperia X10 doesn't seem to always be able to use that raw power.

For instance, the menu issue – it takes ages to load it up and then when scrolling through it there's jumping and lagging and all sorts of ugly things that we hoped we'd never see again on a phone with this kind of power.

It's very much a minor issue, we must stress – most of the time the Xperia X10 whips through all functions as we'd expect it to, it's just the times it drops the ball that niggles us.

What is more annoying is the update hasn't cured the inbuilt lag when waking from standby though, which we presume is caused by background updating; after about an hour, the phone will begin to slow down and only shutting down programs and background syncing will cure it.

However, as Android 2.1 doesn't come with an in-built task manager we'd still advise you get one until Android 2.2 comes along (where constantly shutting things down can actually be a negative for this version).

Sony ericsson xperia x10

Another massive point: the X10 is STILL running a pretty outdated version of the OS considering the HTC Desire, Legend and Samsung Galaxy S, which all started on older versions of Android and yet are already rocking the latest 2.2 version.

Android 2.2 offers new battery improvements, which the X10 sorely needs, and not only that: we'll be seeing Android 2.3 any day now, so once again the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is going to be two steps behind the competition.

However, let's look at the positives: X10 owners now get live wallpapers!These look great and open up a whole world of new interactivity on the home screen, which we really like.]

We're very much unsold on the implementation of the upgrade to 2.1 - it's an improvement, but the goalposts have already shifted massively.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.