Timescape

For its Xperia X10 smartphones, Sony Ericsson designed a new user interface from scratch. Called the User Experience Platform or UXP, it sits on top of the Android operating system on the Xperia X10, X10 Mini, and X10 Mini Pro smartphones.

CNET took an in-depth tour of UXP with George Arriola, Sony Ericsson's head of human interface design, at the company's lab in San Francisco. Overall, we liked what we saw. Sony Ericsson's UXP interface is clean, easy-to-use, and attractive. We also like that it lets the basic Android framework shine through.

For the first few slides in this slideshow, we'll show you how UXP looks on the X10 Mini Pro. Since the handset is quite a bit smaller than its X10 sibling. Also, Sony Ericsson added some unique features that you won't find on the larger model.

Pictured here is the company's "Timescape" feature. Similar to Motoblur, Timescape displays your latest e-mails, text messages, and social media alerts for various contacts in a flowing design that resembles a stacked deck of cards. Arriola said that the S-shape of the stream was based on a flower.

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Main menu

Though the blue background is different, the icon-based menu design is typical Android. The typeface is based on a new font Sony Ericsson developed called "Soma."
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The phone dialer interface features touch controls for each number. Notice the four shortcut icons in each corner. As you move between different screens, the shortcuts will change to offer access to related features.
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Home screen

Notice how the shortcut icons change on the home screen. As on other Android phones, you can access the notifications bar and the main menu window shade.
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Camera

The camera viewfinder uses the whole 2.5-inch display on the X10 Mini Pro. Shortcuts and camera controls hide in the corners of the touch screen.
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Video player

The video player has a simple interface, though the phone is a bit small for a full-length movie.
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Mediascape

The icon at the top of the album cover is for the Infinity feature. If you press that touch control you'll see a list of all media files by that artist.
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FM radio

We like Sony Ericsson's FM radio interface.
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Contact

Each contact entry holds a photo, several text fields, and quick shortcuts for sending a message and accessing social networking services. The Infinity feature works here as well, but instead of showing related music files it will surface all communication between you and a single contact.
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Phone book

Contacts in the phone book are displayed in a simple list format.
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Virtual keyboard

Because of the display's small size, you'll have to use an alphanumeric keypad for onscreen typing. Luckily, the X10 Mini Pro also offers slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
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Text messaging

UXP offers threaded text messaging to show the full context of a conversation.
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MMS

You can add a photo to a message in just a couple of taps. We like how the photo is positioned in the thread.
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Message in-box

Text messages are displayed in a list format.
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E-mail

The e-mail interface is quite similar. The layout is simple and intuitive.
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E-mail in-box

The e-mail features has a familiar interface. You can see the sender's picture if they're a contact.
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Calendar

The calendar offers a variety of view including by month.
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Day view

You can also view each day by itself.
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Notes

The Notes feature makes us think of sticky notes on a refrigerator.
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Bigger and brighter

The X10's much bigger, 4-inch display lets UXP show you a lot more information. In the larger format, Sony Ericsson removed the shortcuts in the corners.
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More contacts

Like on the X10 Mini Pro, each contact on the X10 has several text fields and space for a photo.
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An Android browser

Android fans can look last the blue background to see the familiar Android browser. You can open multiple windows and switch between them.
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More Mediascape

The X10 has a larger version of the media player.
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Video recorder

The video recorder's interface is about the same as the still camera.
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A familiar face

The X10's calendar interface uses the standard Android design.
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