Finally...something interesting in Skymall

The Sony Xperia X1 graces the cover of Skymall.

The X1 becomes a cover story. Kent German/CNET Networks

Since I can read United Airline's in-flight magazine only so many times on a 10-hour flight between San Francisco and Frankfurt, Germany, I took a few minutes to leaf through the ubiquitous Skymall catalog as well.

Normally, for every one thing I would consider buying in Skymall, I find 20 completely useless things (seriously...who really wants to make a bulletin board out of wine corks?). But this issue of the catalog had the fancy Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 on its cover.

As you may recall, the touch-screen smartphone debuted at the 2008 GSMA World Congress. And even as the Idou grabbed most of the headlines in Barcelona this year, the X1 continued to be a top draw at Sony Ericsson's booth.

As my colleague Bonnie Cha said in her Xperia X1 review, the handset offers a full range of features and a unique panel-based interface. Yet because no U.S. carrier offers the X1, it's not readily available stateside. An appearance in Skymall might just help make the ordering process easier, but the first-class price of $799 for the unlocked model remains. No, we don't think it's worth it either.

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