Sony Ericsson has released its budget Android smartphone, the Xperia X8. This smartphone doesn't offer much competition against the likes of similar specced model phones from HTC and LG, but it has its charms.
Note: the Xperia X8 is exclusive to Optus on an AU$249 prepaid plan.
Measuring at 99x54x15mm, this phone fits comfortably in the palm. Its lightweight profile is made mostly out of hard plastic. The two-toned colour casing adds a bit of flair and class, and allows users to add a bit of customisation.
The Xperia X8 has three slit-like buttons (Menu, Home and Back) below the 3-inch capacitive touchscreen. The volume key and dedicated camera hotkey are located on the right side, while the power/screen lock button, USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack are located on top.
On launch, the phone used an older Android version (1.6). Sony Ericsson has since updated the OS to a later version (2.1); however, the company stated that it will no longer be upgrading the current Xperia range beyond the current update. This means that there will be no Adobe Flash support, Wi-Fi tethering or further speed improvement on the handset.
Sony Ericsson has placed its own user interface on top of the Android OS. The four customisable corners allow users to personalise their home screen and launch certain applications on the fly, while widgets can be accessed by sliding your finger. The X8 only allows one widget per page and does not seem to have a limit. An issue exists when it comes to reaching the end of the widgets — to get back to the first widget you need to manually scroll back.
The 3-inch, 320x480 HVGA screen was clear and responsive. The virtual QWERTY keyboard is a bit cramped, but you can easily get that extra space by rotating the phone to landscape. The X8 has no multi-touch — to zoom into a photo you need to press and hold the image until a zoom in/out toolbar appears or double tap on it.