Sony Ericsson X1 Xperia review

January 2009
By Olav Hellesø-Knutsen

Internet, email and connectivity

This section is where the X1 really stand out. Xperia is Sony Ericsson's premium brand portfolio "aiming to meet the consumer needs for professional communication tools" and the X1 does this very well. X1 has Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) network support and tri-band HSPA (X1a: 850/1900/2100 MHz. X1i: 900/1900/2100 MHz) support in addition to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB connectivity. No IrDA this time. P1 was the last Sony Ericsson model with an Infrared Port.

Two browsers are pre-installed. Internet Explorer and Opera Mini 9.5 for Pocket PC. Internet Explorer is the default browser, and all web page links and online help links are opened in this browser. Unlike Windows for desktop PCs, it is not possible to change the default browser in the Windows Mobile OS. The Opera browser handles desktop optimized pages in an excellent way. You don't need the stylus much as the menu navigation are made for finger gestures. Thanks to the touch screen, page scrolling and zooming into a selected area is easily done by dragging a finger across the display.

Both Opera Mobile and Internet Explorer browsers are able to display standard HTML pages as well as pages optimized for mobile phones. The type of supported mobile optimized pages are WAP 1.3, WAP 2.0 XHTML and HTML. The Opera browser is without doubt my first choice of these two, but the browser is not entirely integrated with the X1. An example of this is the auto-hiding the menu- and statusbar. If you are typing into the Google search field using the keyboard, this activity is not detected by Opera and it will close (hide) the search field after 2-3 seconds. If you are entering text via the virtual keyboard then everything are working like it should and the search field stays open. This is only bug/integration fault I encounter during two months with the X1 and Opera Mobile. Opera Mobile renders pages much faster and have a better visual output than Internet Explorer.
Opera and Internet Explorer in Sony Ericsson X1
Comparing the Opera browser
and Internet Explorer

RSS (Really Simple Syndication/a.k.a. web feed) now offered by more and more sources is available via the Sony Ericsson panel, and only there. I my opinion, RSS feeds should have been integrated with one of the browsers. All the latest Sony Ericsson phones running on Sony Ericsson OS have RSS integrated with the browser. It is via the browser it is logical to find and manage RSS bookmarks. RSS feeds are a smart way to be updated on the go. Pity there are no easy way to access them on the X1 without activating the Sony Ericsson panel.

SMS, MMS and Email are all operated from the Messaging application. It is intuitively to compose messages and inserting elements from other parts of the phone. The MMS composer is quite powerful and has the usual features like image resize, crop, attach recorded sounds and the more unusual resize image dimensions with pre-set sizes, insert favourite links imported from Internet Explorer, data fields from contacts, calendar entries etc. One thing was irritating me quite often and that is when sending or receiving MMSs. When a MMS is composed and you press the send button, a warning comes up saying: In order to send/download MM messages, the current active connection may be closed (this may affect other applications in use). Do you want to continue? Of course I want to continue. I want to download my MMS messages automatically. Can't I do that. No, I am not able to change this setting. The only setting I found related to this was "Retrieval mode" which could be set to Auto, Manually and Auto in Home Network. Needless to say that I have this set to Auto but to no avail.

Supported email protocols are POP3 and IMAP4. These accounts can be set up on the X1 via an 8 step wizard. For enterprise users Microsoft Exchange server settings can be set up directly on the device or via the Windows Mobile Device Center application available on Windows Vista PCs.

A MSN Messenger client is pre-installed but this only communicates with other Messenger clients. Messenger is not my favourite MSN client but free downloadable applications like offers several other ways to communicate. Skype, ICQ, Google Talk, Twitter, Yahoo to mention a few.

Email and Ineternet browsing is the two applications I use the most. Apart from using the device as a phone of course. To this day, the Xperia X1 is the best handset I have used for these two tasks.

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