Sony Ericsson execs call it a “premium” convergence device and forewarn that it won’t be cheap.
But they promise the XPERIA X1 mobile phone will be worth every cent you spend on it.
That, of course, is an assertion that is yet to be verified as the device will only be available in North America in the second half of 2008.
However, the information and preview provided during the product’s launch at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday created a buzz that resonated across the Web.
One commentator hailed XPERIA X1 as the new reference in terms of productivity and entertainment, and “the most exciting Windows Mobile phone since the Blackjack 2”.
Another observed that X1’s “luscious aluminum shell” and “amazingly sharp display” would “put Apple’s [iPhone] to shame.”
And it went on and on.
Sony Ericsson itself is positioning Xperia X1 is a “game changing device” that that will take convergence to new levels.
The company is avoiding use of the term “smart phone”, according Suzanne Cross, head product marketing manager for Sony Ericsson North America.
But she and other company execs indicate that convergence – a blending entertainment and productivity features – is at the very heart of XPERIA X1.
The features run the gamut – from entertainment and multimedia applications, to Web access, personal organizer-type capabilities, and a variety of communication options.
Sony Ericsson has gone the length with this device including a high-resolution touch screen quad-band GSM/EDGE, on board WiFi for short-range networking, GPS for route finding, FM Radio and Bluetooth.
The X1’s Internet connectivity features are superior to any mobile phone Sony-Ericsson has ever produced to date.
It offers HSUPA (High Speed Upload Packet Access) that transmits video and other media almost as quickly as it comes downstream – a feature is not available in some of the most advanced 3G phones.
And powering all these features is a 520-MHz ARM11 processor running Windows Mobile 6.
Bottomline, the XPERIA X1 is being positioned – not just as a consumer or a productivity device, but one that offers you the best of both worlds – a “wicked” entertainment appliance, yetloaded with productivity features that the most fastidious mobile professional could use very effectively in an enterprise context.
Given its plethora of features, Sony has sought to facilitate user control over the device in a variety of ways.
For instance, the home screen featuring nine panels that can be configured by the user is provided in lieu of the conventional Windows Mobile home screen.
The panels are large blocks on the home screen that let users quickly access various applications.
However, once you get beyond the home screen you encounter the familiar Windows Mobile interface.
The phone’s slick panel interface is a feature generated evoked a great deal of comments in blogs and social networking sites.
Minutes after the launch several videos demos of the Xperia X1 interface were posted on YouTube – and the blogosphere was replete with comments hailing various features of the device – everything from the sliding QWERTY to the 800×480 touch screen with a higher pixel density than the iPhone,
“This is awesome,” one blogger wrote. “Even though I’m pretty much ok with my iPhone, I wouldn’t mind exchanging it for Xperia X1.”
Another user-friendly capability is the multiple navigation options.
Users have various options to interact with the phone – touch, full QWERTY keyboard (which can be accessed by sliding the screen upwards), four-way key and optical joystick navigation.
According to Sony it’s really easy to switch between various operational modes.
Likewise, “ample distance between keys”, we are told, will make typing easy.
Fast data transfer capabilities – via HSDPA/HSUPA and WiFi – are included to make the make this device attractive to mobile professionals.
Likewise XPERIA X1 includes all the typical PDA capabilities – and then some more.
Along with the calculator, calendar, tasks scheduler, phone book, alarm clock and notes features – you also have certain other capabilities such as handwriting recognition, and document editors.