Posts tagged Sony Ericsson
The Xperia Arc is one pretty slice of Gingerbread, don’t you think? We certainly did when we got the chance to handle one for ourselves at CES, but today we’re less concerned with its exterior and more interested in what lies beneath. The 1GHz processor we knew about already has been specified as a Qualcomm MSM8255 and will be joined in the good fight against sluggish performance by an Adreno 205 graphics chip. On the software front, that random sighting of an Arc with Android 2.4 has been put down as a simple “misconfiguration” by Sony Ericsson, exploding a million conspiracy theories around the web. One encouraging note here is that SE (kinda) acknowledges its inglorious record with Android updates and promises recent changes have put it in “a good position to make sure that Xperia Arc will get later versions in a timely manner.” We’ll believe it when you make it, Sony.
Look, the future is in hyper-informed wrist accessories. If you don’t know that by now, what do you know? Not that, assuredly. Sony Ericsson’s Android-augmenting, Bluetooth-tethered LiveView accessory is now available in some European countries, including some fan faves like the UK, Germany, and France. Prices seem to vary from country to country, with a UK version going for £48.97 (about $79 US), France getting a €59 shot at it (about $80 US), and Germany swooping in with an über-low €42 tag (about $57 US). All three disparate prices seem a small amount to pay to place the future on your wrist / other clippable surface, but maybe that’s just us.
We’ve already published a pretty exhaustive review of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 some five months ago, but it’s taken until this month for it to reach AT&T’s network and retail chain. A lot’s changed in the mobile phone market since then — the iPhone 4, the EVO 4G, Dell Streak, numerous Verizon Droids, and so on. Does the X10 still compete? Read on to find out.
In a smartphone market saturated with 3.5-inch and larger displays, Sony Ericsson reckons there’s still a little place for petite packages. Enter the Xperia X10 Mini (E10i) and Mini Pro (U20i) — both direct descendants of the beastly X10 Android 1.6 handset. Apart from the Pro’s slide-out keyboard, removable battery, and positioning of various features, the two Minis are otherwise internally identical — same processor, same camera, and same screen. So can these cute baby form factors offer more than just some palm-cuddling time? Can we get a decent smartphone performance out of them? Follow us after the break to find out.
Japan’s wireless networks have a longstanding, legendary reputation for existing in some parallel plane that’s technologically light years ahead of the rest of the world, but that reputation’s unquestionably in greater danger today than in any point in the past fifteen years. Why? Though the featurephones offered by NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank, and KDDI are ultra high-spec beasts, they’re still featurephones at the end of the day — and this comes at a time when smartphones are finally becoming true cultural phenomena across the remainder of the developed world (and, in some cases, the developing world).
There’s no greater evidence of this than the word this week that Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 — a phone that’s been met with lukewarm reviews, including from Engadget Japanese’s own Ittousai — has allegedly become NTT DoCoMo’s best-selling smartphone in history, a fact that would seem completely inexplicable in any other market globally. What makes it possible in Japan, of course, is DoCoMo’s historically lame selection of true smartphones, a lineup that currently includes localized versions of the HTC Magic, and the original HTC Touch Diamond and BlackBerry Bold. What’s more, many of these devices integrate poorly with popular carrier services on account of their super-tight control of the operating systems running across the featurephone lineup, something they’ve got less control over with a device running Android or Windows Mobile.
So, was all that hubbub for nothing? British retailer mobiles.co.uk — a wholly-owned subsidiary of giant Carphone Warehouse, for what it’s worth — is claiming a “man on the inside” as saying that the X10 actually can do multitouch after all, despite word from a Sony Ericsson product manager to the contrary. In fact, not only can it do multitouch, but it will do multitouch through a software update in the second half of the year, the source goes on to say. This all ties in nicely with the dude’s claim that the X10 will see an official update to Android 2.1 in September, a window that dovetails rather nicely with Sony Ericsson’s official line of 2H 2010. Of course, by the time September rolls around, we can only assume that Froyo will be alive and well, so the ultimate question of relevancy for Sony Ericsson’s very first Android venture remains to be answered.
WinMo and Android handsets from HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and others that are designed for global reach typically don’t find their way into Japan for a number of reasons: localization, carriers’ draconian control over handset specs, unique market needs, the list goes on. Every once in a while, though, one’ll break through — take the Xperia X10, for example, which has now been announced for release on NTT DoCoMo simply as the “Smartphone Xperia,” making it the first major carrier anywhere to announce a branded deal on the set. It looks to be a pretty faithful carry-over of the same custom Android skin Sony Ericsson is launching elsewhere and features 7.2Mbps down / 2.0Mbps up, WiFi, an 8.1 megapixel cam, and availability in “Sensuous Black” and “Luster White.” It’ll be hitting in April — right about the same time we suspect it’ll be launching elsewhere.
The former Kurara caterpillar has now sprouted into a Vivaz butterfly, and what do you know, all its lustrous color options have already been handled and explored by Dutch site All About Phones. We’re told that early leaks and spy shots did a disservice to the handsome styling of the handset, which borrows some design cues from the Xperia X10. It’s smaller than you might think, apparently, and a delight to handle, though the back has an unfortunate taste for fingerprints. The Symbian S60 5th onboard is said to be “remarkably fast,” and an improvement over the implementation on the Satio. We couldn’t resist snatching one more photo with all four hues on display, which can be found after the break, but you’ll have to read that source link for the full dish and photoshoot.
Update: Hey, SE has been kind enough to supply us with a developer preview video, which you’ll find right after the break, thanks XRX.
Ericsson Labs is showing off an API for navigating through a three-dimensional interpretation of the world based on real imagery powered by Saab spinoff (the defense firm, not the car company) C3 Technologies on Sony Ericsson’s upcoming X10 — and in a word, it’s looking impressive. The buttons for controlling the action are a bit hokey, of course, but don’t worry too much about that — this is strictly a proof of concept, and the important thing is that no matter how much panning, tilting, and swooping through the cityscape the demo-giver does, video output stays above 30 frames per second. Thank goodness for Snapdragon, eh? There’s no indication that we’ll see a shipping version of this app on retail X10s out of the box, but let’s hope something awesome comes of this. Follow the break for video.