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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Why all the hubbub?

Luxury item

Super compact

Left side

Well-constructed phone

Sharp display

Navigation controls

Interactive panels

Xperia X1 vs. iPhone

Full QWERTY keyboard

On camera

Why all the hype over this phone? There are a couple of reasons. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 is the company's first Windows Mobile device and it also features a interactive panel interface that allows for an extra level of device customization.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Sony Ericsson made it clear that the Xperia X1 is aimed for high-end users who want a premium phone. It's definitely a luxury item since the X1 will go for a wallet-emptying $799.99. The smartphone will be available unlocked through Sony Style stores.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Smartphones with slide-out keyboards have a tendency to be large and bulky, but this certainly isn't the case with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. At 4.4 inches tall by 2.1 inches wide by 0.7 inch deep and 5.6 ounces, the Xperia X1 is quite compact.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
On the left spine, you'll find a mini USB port while the right side holds a volume rocker and a camera activation/capture button. The smartphone is also equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which we're pleased to see.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Sony Ericsson did a really nice job with the hardware. The X1 has a nice, solid construction and sleek design. The phone is available in two colors: silver or black.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The Xperia X1 features a 3-inch touch screen that displays 65,536 colors at an 800x480-pixel resolution. With such a sharp resolution, images and text looked crisp, and colors were vibrant.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Below the display, there is a navigation array that consists of two soft keys, Talk and End buttons, an X1 panel key, an OK button, and an optical joystick/directional keypad with a center select button. We weren't huge fans of any of these controls, as they're small and stiff to press.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The highlight of the Xperia X1 is the interactive panel interface. Basically, you can choose from nine panels and depending on whether you're at work or at play, you can pick whichever panel you want to fit your needs and have that be your Today screen for the day or moment.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
While the Xperia X1 allows for a level of customization that the iPhone does not, in terms of ease of use and mass consumption, the iPhone takes the cake. That said, Sony Ericsson was very clear to state that the X1 is for users who want a high-end phone.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The X1's keyboard is decent. The buttons are slightly on the smaller side but there's enough spacing between them that we think it shouldn't give most users problems.In its open state, there's also slight arc to the phone that provides a better ergonomic experience when using the keyboard.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The Xperia X1 comes equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with a number of advanced features and an interface based on Sony's CyberShot camera. Picture quality was quite good with impressive color.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
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