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Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 with antique Android 1.6 hits shops

Sony Ericsson's new Xperia X8, a cut-down version of its popular X10 smart phone, is now available. But it's on the incredibly old Android 1.6 OS.

Sony Ericsson's new Android-based Xperia X8 has started shipping, its official blog announced -- but it's using the almost comically ancient 1.6 version of Google's OS.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 joins the X10, X10 mini and X10 mini pro in its Android phone line, sitting between the X10 and X10 mini in size. It has a 3.2-megapixel camera, 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, a 600MHz processor, plus 3G and Wi-Fi. It's set to be the trimmed-down and more affordable version of the X10, although nowhere in the UK seems to be offering it yet.

Phones the X8 will compete with, such as the Samsung Galaxy 551 and LG Optimus One, which have similar specs, will ship with Android 2.2. Sony Ericsson is entering a race with a Formula 3 car when its rivals have Formula 1 engines under the hood.

Sony Ericsson did say the Xperia X10 phones will upgrade to Android 2.1 by the end of October, and the X8 soon after that. But that still leaves the question about when and if a Froyo update will ever come. It's obviously not good enough, and we've had many readers comment about how angry they are about the situation. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Away from Android, Sony Ericsson also said the environmentally friendly candybar handset Cedar was now in shops, a basic no-frills phone with a numeric keypad and extra-special environmental friendliness. It joins the Elm in its GreenHeart series of handsets, which meet particularly high environmental requirements. Virgin Mobile is offering the Cedar for £60 on pay as you go.