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Xperia X10 drawing new lines in Android battle

Sony Ericsson's upcoming Xperia X10 offers new features for an Android phone.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
Sony Ericsson

Editor's note: As of this writing, Sony Ericsson has not announced North American availability for the X10.

Sony Ericsson's announcement yesterday gave Google Android fans a preview of what we can expect from new handsets in 2010. And as we gear up for the inevitable battle, the lines are being drawn with devices like the new Xperia X10.

On the hardware front, the Xperia X10 boasts specifications not found in today's Android handsets. For starters, the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is considerably faster than the 528MHz chip that we've seen so far. It's also faster than the iPhone 3GS' 600Mhz processor. What's more, the scratch-resistant 4-inch screen even tops the recently announced Motorola Droid, which currently holds court with a 3.7-inch screen.

The 8.1 mega-pixel camera offers the same features and functionality found in many consumer-grade digital cameras. Aside from the 16X digital zoom, the X10 comes with auto-focus, image stabilization, smile detection, and touch focus. Intelligent software can recognize up to five faces in any photo and automatically match them with contacts in the phonebook.

The Xperia X10's user experience is called "UX," but on paper, it might sound similar to HTC Sense or MotoBlur. For example, the Timescape application manages communication with contacts by integrating all conversations in one place using the "infinite button." Text messages, MMS, and e-mails are found in the same location as updates from Facebook, Twitter, and more. Mediascape, another Sony Ericsson app exclusive, handles music, videos, and photos in comparable fashion. Content is accessed and organized from a number of sources including the phone's memory, YouTube, and PlayNow.

Even though the handset is based around Android 1.6, it shows just how flexible the platform can be. So far, nearly every Android handset manufacturer has added its own signature software experience. Sony Ericsson is doing that as well. And with plenty of time left between now and the first-quarter 2010 launch, we're hoping Sony Ericsson is able to find a way to integrate Android 2.0 into the Xperia X10.