People expect a lot from their phones these days. Laying aside the odd groan from purists who complain that a phone should be for phoning and nothing else, the majority of us like our handsets to be a fully functioning mobile office nowadays. And though one fruity brand has been grabbing the headlines of late, we feel thatâs set to change.
Itâs in this climate that Sony Ericsson is launching the Xperiaâ¢ X1, the first product in its new sub-brand Xperiaâ¢. Itâs a multimedia affair of course and the handset includes several developments on Sony Ericssonâs tried and trusted formula of phone design. But where others scrimp and save on certain functions for sake of good looks, the user and usability is at the heart of the concept.
First up is a 3-inch WVGA screen, the highest resolution screen on the market in Europe and North America at the current time. Next is a satisfying, slide-out full QWERTY keyboard for those who prefer to push buttons than tap screens (though a touch screen option is available too). Turbo 3G means super speedy internet access, while Sony Ericssonâs trademark 4-key navigation and optical joy stick for stressless browsing means you can rifle through the internet as fast as it loads.
Perhaps the most interesting development though is the user interface, which Sony Ericsson has given a bespoke overhaul. Rather than having a fixed screen of applications, you can choose which applications appear on the screen of the phone by selecting up to nine interactive panels. It might sound like a small introduction but take it from us, itâs unbelievably handy and means your own handset is tailored specifically to your own needs.
The X1 makes working on the go a real possibility. Where in the past fiddly functions, slow loading and maddening navigation made for nice products in theory, this is a handset that delivers on its promises. Easy to use and supremely capable, soon weâll be wondering if we even need a work computer.
In our October issue (W*115) we asked four busy creatives, including Warsaw-based magazine editor Robert Serek, to try it out the X1 for a week. Click here to watch his video verdict.