Android Phones

5 Reasons the Sony XPERIA X10 will probably break my Android heart

November 19, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Phones, Featured post, Sony Mobile

5 Reasons the Sony XPERIA X10 will probably break my Android heart

Ever met a girl so beautiful that you couldn’t wait to ask her out, only to discover that the beauty before you would be nothing but trouble? I’ve got a gnawing feeling that the Sony XPERIA X10 is such a beauty. Though the X10 looks like the first phone to make Android a real multimedia playback device, there are some other things working against the gorgeous device.

The Price Tag: Now I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger…

The Swedes have a reputation for being one of the largest exporters of furniture, but owning an X10 may cost more than a trip to IKEA. CNNMoney reports that the XPERIA X10 will cost about 6,000 Swedish kronor, which converts to $868 USD, 586.934 EUR, and 524.445 GBP. My laptop didn’t even cost $868.

The Euro and British pound tend to be stronger than the US dollar, so that price-point may fly in Europe; however, the U.S. will be a different story. I can’t see any carrier providing much of a subsidy that would make the X10 affordable. Consumers will have the option of importing the X10 for use on AT&T or T-Mobile EDGE networks, but for nearly $900, I should be getting 3G and a free medical exam.

The UX aka “Rachael” custom UI: Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

Who would have thought that the very thing that makes the X10 so incredible would also be its biggest potential headache? Sony Ericsson’s “User Xperience” (UX) custom interface for Android is incredible. I can’t be friends with anyone who thinks differently. However, we’ve seen with HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s TouchWiz that changing Android provides a hurdle to pushing updates to device owners. By the time the X10 hits stores, it will be running Android 1.6 (Donut). Meanwhile, Droid owners will have had 2.0 (Eclair) for nearly four months. The X10 will have a relatively outdated firmware and could miss out on new apps that require Eclair.

The Release Date: I don’t want to wait in vain for your love…

The X10 is supposed to debut in February. I know that’s the month of love, but November and December are the times when people really express their gadget love the most. The XPERIA X10 will miss out on the Holiday shopping season and debut at a time when plenty of people have already been wowed by the phones that are on the market. Where will…actually, I’ve just received word that the February release date isn’t so clear. The phone has been downgraded to “Coming soon,” meaning all the people between now and early 2010 who will be in the market for a new phone will miss out on a chance to own what could be the next big thing in Android. Why must you keep your love away from me, Sony?

Shortcomings that need to be addressed: You’re, too sexy for my hands…

Man this thing is pretty; a bit too pretty. It’s so pretty that you wonder if she’s ugly on the inside, and according to several early reviewers, she is ugly. People who have been able to get a hands-on view commonly say that the phone is “slow” and has a not-so-great keyboard. The hiccups have been visible in practically every non-simulated X10 video. This is to be expected because the Sense UI was troublesome when it debuted, but it improved over time (though there were still problems when it launched). Sony Ericsson has a few more months to work out the bugs and have the X10 optimized to live up to the hype, so we have to hope they can fix the problems in time to get this on the market soon. No one will be impressed by those pretty widgets if the phone performs poorly.

The Target Market: I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you…

This is the question that ties everything together: who will be left to purchase this phone? The X10 will be costly, outdated, late, and possibly have some pronounced flaws. Considering those factors, I have to wonder who will be left to buy it. Plenty of the hardcore technophiles will probably be impatient and upgrade to the Droid/Milestone or Hero before February or whatever mystery month the X10 debuts. The high price and luxury item lifestyle that SE is promoting will further limit its potential customer pool.

I’ve stated that the XPERIA X10 is my dream phone, which is why I’m willing to pay more than I typically spend on a phone. I just hope Sony Ericsson can deliver it the right way and in a timely manner that will make those dreams come true.