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Posted by Dexter Matilla - - 1 comments

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By Dexter R. Matilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:22:00 12/01/2008
IN this age of technology, it is still quite easy to get lost in the sea of anonymity. The childhood thrill of being the only one to have something that nobody else has, has for so long been just that. Not until someone comes up to you and says, “Excuse me, but is that the X1?”
When your mobile phone acts more than what it’s supposed to be—say, a conversation starter—you know that what you have is something special.
The conversation that followed proved to be an eye opener.
“Yes, it is.”
“Wow. In Hong Kong, almost everybody is waiting for the X1.”
“Really? I thought the iPhone was the rage. I’ve seen lots of iPhone users here.”
“No, the iPhone is just for those who want to be fashionable. But for the real techies, the X1 is the ultimate phone.”
This conversation took place during a gala dinner at the Venetian in Macau. And indeed, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 is proving to be the ultimate phone. The notepad was very useful when jotting down my thoughts on the food being served. The X1 is the only mobile phone with a 3-inch WVGA (800x480 pixels) high-resolution touchscreen and using the stylus wasn’t any different to using a ballpoint pen when using the notepad feature. And of course, the 3.2-megapixel camera took some surprisingly clear photos even in the dimly lit room. Even more impressive were the pictures taken in daylight as the colors are relatively more vivid. Video recordings are also good. I tried recording my tennis game once and the video quality was enough for me to see what aspects of my game I needed to improve on.
In terms of text messaging, it was admittedly very challenging at first. But with a little practice, I found it to be faster when I texted using the QWERTY keyboard, which is revealed when the phone smoothly slides up, or slides to the right depending on the orientation. The keys are reasonably spaced so there aren’t instances of accidentally punching in the wrong letters. Taking the place of the navigational keys is the optical joystick. You can swipe your thumb over it and push it once you’ve highlighted which feature to access. The design, which combines form and function via a full-brushed metal body, was inspired by the ceramic work of Finnish designer Kaj Franck.
Tough phone
The build of the phone is actually something that amazes me. I accidentally dropped the phone and surprisingly, there wasn’t any glitch or slowdown in the X1’s response system, making me realize this is one tough phone.
Browsing through the menu is easy since the X1 runs on Windows Mobile. Click the “Start” tab in the upper left of the screen and the phone’s programs, such as Office Mobile, Opera web browser, and Windows Media Player, are displayed.
The Office Mobile is Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and One Note Mobile. You can use Word and Excel to open or create new documents or spreadsheets as you would in any laptop or desktop. With Powerpoint, you are only allowed to open presentations and not make them. One Note Mobile is actually very useful as it allows the user to make a sound recording and/or take a picture, add notes to them, and save them as one file or as separate files.
The Opera web browser is able to maximize the phone’s 3-inch screen. With a few simple taps on the screen, you can zoom in or out on the web pages and have absolute control on what you want to view, whether you are connected via WiFi or HSDPA.
Unfortunately, the Windows Media Player does not exactly match up to Sony Ericsson’s Walkman series. While the quality of the audio is good enough, the volume is quite low even in its maximum. Voice calls, on the other hand, is quite excellent. You can also save 3gp files—either via Bluetooth or the USB connectivity cord—of your favorite shows or even movies on the X1 and view it full-screen without any complaint. For larger storage, a microSD slot is available.
As far as aesthetic features go, the X1 is leaning on its customizable panel interface to attract the less techie crowd. Panels to choose from include a Google search page, slideshow, 3D-fish and Xperia Radio. Of course, there’s the Sony Ericsson panel which can be customized to have one-button access to the clock, calendar, messaging, calls, flight mode, upcoming events, to-do list, RSS feeds, and just about any of the phone’s multitude of features.
According to X1 user interface designer Rui Yamagami, the design references windows in an apartment block, with each panel opening to reveal different applications contained within “just as each apartment window would show the diverse lives of its tenants.”
Being a first-time user of a Windows-powered device, it’s quite a surprise how I’ve managed to feel at home with the X1. I’m sure there’s still a lot more to be discovered about this phone, but for now I’m satisfied with how it helps me with my activities, whether I’m traveling, playing tennis, or being a writer.

One Response so far.

  1. I know, the Iphone is just a phone + calculator! (big grin)

    I should have gotten X1, but thank goodness for the techie hubbie I got more than a phone and calculator! ;-)

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