Very recently, we took a look at an interesting phone based on the Android 1.6 OS, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini / Mini Pro . A little while ago, the guys at Sony Ericsson released the Xperia X8, the next installment of the Xperia series. Although the phone is still based on the Android 1.6 (we were really hoping this one shipped with 2.1, but sigh…). Here's a closer look.

Form Factor
With the X8, the folks at Sony Ericsson have not included a pull out keyboard, instead this one’s a plain old touchscreen. It's like the transition phone between the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and the X10 Mini. At 99 x 54 x 15 mm the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 is a compact phone, however, not as compact as the X10 mini obviously.  The display is a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels (HVGA).

The X8 is of course larger than the X10 Mini but placement of plug-in ports has been modified, with the USB and headphone jack, placed on top alongside the power button. This arrangement works extremely well. Getting the rear panel off can be troublesome at first, but becomes a breeze once you learn how. A microSD hot swap slot is just under the rear panel. Incidentally, Sony Ericsson has included quite a few additional rear panels in a variety of colors to funk up the handset.

Features and Performance

The X8 comes equipped with a Qualcomm 600MHz processor, runs on Android 1.6 and uses Sony Ericsson’s Four corner UI with Timescape for social working. Now most of the features in this space are the same as the X10 Mini/ Mini Pro, however, the UI is noticeably smoother and faster. This is a big up for the Xperia X8, considering the X10 mini/ mini pro had many sluggish moments.

The audio quality is something I had a problem with. Sony Ericsson has always complied with the norms for portable audio volume, however, the normalization on this device was very irritating and music is more or less inaudible when used in traffic. The display, although small, is still comfortable enough to watch YouTube clips or short TV serials in 3GP or MPEG4 formats. TrackID for music recognition is also present and accounted for. The FM radio had slight improvements over the previous releases.

The phone also comes bundled with applications like Creatouch (a drawing app, to showcase the touch capabilities), geotags, Roller coaster, Peggle and CA Gold Rush. There are many applications that can be used well with this phone, which somewhat takes your mind away from the ones that you cannot use such as Robo Defense, WeatherBug, PdaNet, Tumblroid, etc.

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