Tag: Sony Ericsson

By November 4, 2011 Read More →

Sony Ericsson XPERIA ray Review

Sony Ericsson XPERIA ray Review Sony Ericsson seems to be knocking out devices at a severe rate of knots at the moment and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track!

Here I have another of their Xperia devices and this one is named the ‘ray’ and if you have seen the recent TV Ad the company seem to be aiming this is people on the move as they focus heavily on the devices’ camera.

To find out if it really is a handset for people on the go or whether it would be hard pushed to find its own place in the heavily crowded market please read on.

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By April 19, 2011 Read More →

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Review Possibly the worst kept secret in Sony Ericsson’s history, the Playstation Phone aka the Xperia Play was one of 4 devices unveiled at MWC in February this year. Part Android phone, part PSP, is this handset a match made in heaven or is it just a Frankensteinian mix that was never meant to be?

Read on to find out!

 

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By February 21, 2011 Read More →

Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 review

Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 reviewThe Xperia X8 was unboxed a good few months ago, but now here is the review with one small but important difference. It’s now running the 2.1 Éclair update which may not be the latest but it’s still better than 1.6 was. That has now brought it up to scratch with other options for cheapish midrange Android handsets, but it’s not alone – the likes of the Wildfire and the San Francisco sell like hotcakes, a trend which Sony Ericsson would no doubt like the X8 to follow.

The X8 slots in somewhere in-between the daddy X10 and the X10 mini & mini pro but with specs more like the minis, its actually a very similar experience but in a slightly larger form factor and that could well be a good thing. The X10 minis received excellent reviews with the main criticism that it was too small – but the X8 is the answer to that call.

Does it have enough to compete? Read on to find out!

 

By November 2, 2010 Read More →

Sony Ericsson VH410 Bluetooth Headset Review

Sony Ericsson VH410The Vodafone VH410 Bluetooth headset is manufactured by Sony Ericsson although branded as Vodafone. Part of Sony Ericssons Green Heart range the VH410 is made from recycled materials so if you are concerned about helping the environment then this may be a good choice of headset if you are in the market for one. In a world when anyone who drives needs to be hands free could the Vodafone VH410 be a cost effective solution?

Only one way to find out and that’s to read on.

 

By January 15, 2010 Read More →

Sony Ericsson W995 Review

The W995 was released in May 2009 and is said to be the best Walkman phone yet. The multimedia features are supposed to be tough competition to other phones on the market .

I’ve always been a fan of Sony Ericsson mobile phones. Especially the Walkman range, as I use my phone to listen to music all the time.

Matt has sent me the W995 to have a look at so I hope I am as impressed with this handset as I have been with Sony Ericsson’s previous ones.

Sony Ericsson W995 Review The Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone

What’s in the Box?

  • Sony Ericsson W995 handset
  • Battery (BST-38)
  • Stereo noise cancelling headphones (short wire length)
  • Hands free cable (connects to stereo headphones)
  • CDROM with Media Go PC Suite
  • Speaker dock (model:MS410)
  • 8GB Memory Stick Micro (M2) card (in the phone)
  • Manual

I should really rename this section to “What SHOULD be in the box”!!

There should also be:

  • USB cable (proprietary connection to the handset)
  • Mains charger cable (proprietary connection to the handset and missing from this PR kit!) – luckily I had a spare from an old SE phone of mine!

 

For more information check out Matt’s Sony Ericsson W995 unboxing video.

 

 

Sony Ericsson W995 specification:

  • Dimensions (mm): 97 x 49 x 15 mm
  • Weight (g): 113
  • Screen Size: 2.6 inches, 240 x 320 pixels
  • A-GPS chipset
  • Internal(MB): 118 MB
  • Memory Stick Micro (M2), 8GB card included, up to 16GB
  • Battery Type: Li-Ion
  • Stand-by (hrs): Up to 370 hours
  • TalkTime(min): Up to 540 minutes
  • 2G Network: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 3G Network: HSDPA 900 / 2100
  • Primary camera: 8.1 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • Accelerometer sensor

 

General:

Front – Firstly there is the 2.6″ screen, then below this are the left and right soft keys. The call and end buttons can be seen at the sides (the end button is also the power button). In the middle is the D pad for navigating through the menus. The bottom two buttons are the shortcuts and clear buttons. There is also a forward facing camera which is located above the screen.

Sony Ericsson W995 Review-front The Sony Ericsson W995 – front view

 

Keypad – The W995 has a standard phone keypad as seen here with the phone slid into the open position. You can see a small dot next to the number 3 key. This is where the microphone is.

W995-front-open The Sony Ericsson W995 – keypad view

 

Left side – The Sony Ericsson proprietary socket and dedicated Walkman button are shown here.

W995-left The Sony Ericsson W995 – left side view

 

Right side – Starting from the left, there is a dedicated camera button, up/down rocker buttons for volume (and zoom when using the camera), and dedicated media buttons.

W995-right The Sony Ericsson W995 – right side view

 

Top – There is a loud speaker located on the top along with a 3.5mm headphone jack

W995-top The Sony Ericsson W995 – top view

 

Bottom – There is another loud speaker on the bottom of the phone

W995-bottom The Sony Ericsson W995 – bottom view

 

Back – On the back of the phone you can see the 8.1MP camera, flash, and the flip out stand.

W995-back The Sony Ericsson W995 – back view

Under the back cover – If you take off the battery cover you can see where the battery, sim card and memory card are located.

W995-back-off The Sony Ericsson W995 – uncovered view

 

Highlights:

  • Large screen – 2.6″
  • Stylish design
  • Robust and light weight
  • Great display quality
  • Stereo loud speakers
  • Brilliant quality earphones

 

Lowlights:

  • Short cable for earphones
  • Camera quality a bit disappointing
  • LED flash
  • Flip out stand not very stable

 

Review:

The Sony Ericsson W995 is a good looking phone. It’s a stylish slide phone that is robust, quite light weight and oozes quality.

The W995 comes in three colours – Cosmic Silver, Energetic Red, and as you can see by this review model, Progressive Black (the colour names were of course created by Sony Ericsson).

W995-angled-right The Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone

 

The screen is a generous 2.6 inches and the display is bright and sharp. It even performs well in direct sunlight!

The phone itself has a high quality feel about it. Some phones have buttons that have a cheap plastic feel and seem flimsy. The W995 is most definitely not one of those phones!

The backlight for the buttons adds to the look of the phone and of course makes seeing the buttons in the dark very easy. When that Walkman feature is being used the relevant buttons are lit up in orange, and when using normal phone features the relevant buttons are lit up with white. You can see that in the pictures below

IMAG0027   IMAG0025

 

The home screen and menu are typical Sony Ericsson as the W995 uses the Symbian operating system. Is this good or bad? Either really. I find the Symbian OS easy to navigate through and looks quite pleasing to they eye. Just depends what you like to use.

The shortcut button on the front of the phone offers quick and easy access to your commonly used applications. You can edit the applications listed to suit your needs which makes the phone pretty user friendly. This isn’t exclusive to the W995 by any means but just a feature of Sony Ericsson phones that I like.

The main menu can be viewed in three different ways – The default grid view, rotate view (where the icons spin round like a carousel), and single icon view (you scroll up/down and only one icon is viewed at a time). On top of that, there are also four themes provided on the phone. This means that there is plenty to do to personalise the phone as soon as you get it.

 

Connectivity on the W995 will not disappoint. There is 3G, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB and aGPS. This means you can make the most of the applications provided on the phone such as, the web browser, YouTube, Google Maps, Email, and even GeoTagging photos.

The Bluetooth stereo (A2DP) is also supported which means that you can use stereo Bluetooth earphones to make to most of this media rich phone.

 

You may know that Sony Ericsson have been producing their Cybershot range of mobile phones which are designed with camera quality in mind. The Walkman range have of course been designed with music in mind. This means that you needed to decide which feature you wanted more. The W995 is the first Sony Ericsson phone that breaks down this barrier.

It comes equipped with an 8.1MP camera. The features of the camera include auto focus, face detection, a digital zoom up to 16x, and image stabiliser to name just a few. I’m a trigger happy person so found this a nice surprise!

Unfortunately, the reality was quite disappointing. You can take quite good pictures in good lighting. The colours are a bit washed out looking but the photo quality is acceptable. In low lighting the LED flash lets the camera down. It’s not really powerful enough. The Cybershot phones have a Xenon flash which are great for taking pictures with but you could still live with this I guess.

I found the worst part of the camera to be the zoom. I won’t go on too much here but will let you see for yourself with these photos I took with it. You’ll see the quality deteriorates quite dramatically once zoomed in.

DSC00010 Taken with the widest angle (zoomed right out)

DSC00011 Same view but zoomed in

 

As this is a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone you would expect a great music player. You would be right! The music player can be accessed through a range of ways. There’s the dedicated Walkman button on the left side of the phone, the media option using the left soft key when on the home screen, or just going through the menu. The media menu lets you access your photos, video, music, games and more. It’s easy to use and looks good.

Some hardware features of the phone really enhance the W995. Firstly, you have two loud speakers on the handset. One on the top and one on the bottom. This gives you stereo sound. The quality of the sound through these speakers is surprisingly good. Clear Stereo and Clear Bass features definitely help to make the quality of the sound so good.

The earphones that come with the handset are very good. The sound quality through them is absolutely excellent. These earphones have a 3.5mm plug which you can connect to the microphone cable to use as hands free headset. This plugs into the proprietary Sony Ericsson socket.

Must to my surprise the W995 comes with a 3.5mm headphone socket! No a normal feature of Sony Ericsson phone so definitely a bug plus here. I was then disappointed to find that you couldn’t use the great earphones with this connection. Well, you could but with difficulty as the cable of the earphones is very short as it was designed to connect to the hands free cable. You could use your own earphones though, or even get a 3.5mm extension cable if you wanted to use the earphone that came with the phone.

To watch TV or any video there is a metal kick stand for propping up the phone. Not the most stable of stands but it does the trick. As it’s at one end of the phone it’s a bit wobbly at times. Definitely works better if the phone is slid to the open position to balance it better.

The screen is bigger than previous models but I’m not convinced that it’s big enough for watching movies on. The video quality however is pretty good.

There were speakers in the box – a nice surprise! These connect to the side of the phone to the proprietary socket. The cover that protects the plug clips onto the back of the speakers which acts as a stand. The quality of the speakers are quite good. Not as good as the earphones but I like them.

w995_speakers Sony Ericsson W995 with speakers

 

I think it depends where you buy the handset from (or maybe it’s country related) whether or not you get these speakers with it. I watched a few unboxing videos for this phone and some people didn’t get the speakers but got a USB M2 memory card reader instead.

 

Finally, and most importantly (as this is a phone!) – the call quality. I found this to be loud, and clear. One thing I did find however was that some people I called said that I sounded quite loud. I’ve called them back on my own mobile phone and they said that the sound level was fine again. So, your friends may have to turn down the call volume on their phone when ever you call! Not a big deal really but I thought I should point that out.

 

Conclusion:

I couldn’t help but love the Sony Ericsson W995. It is a stylish, slim and lightweight phone that is bound to impress.

W995-angled-left The Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone

It’s packed with features so it’s bound to keep you entertained. With WiFi and GPS you can make the most off the applications, and with the excellent sound quality you can enjoy your music to the full.

Although I was a bit disappointed with the camera I think it’s not a huge downfall – it is a Walkman phone after all and you can take relatively decent pictures.

The Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone in my opinion is definitely a hit!

 

 

 

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By November 12, 2009 Read More →

Sony Ericsson Satio Review

It’s only been a few weeks since I did the review of the Samsung Pixon 12 and already I have another 12 mega pixel camera phone to put through its paces; The Sony Ericsson Satio. Will it be as good as the Samsung?

 

Sony Ericsson Satio

Sony Ericsson Satio

 

 

The ten second review:

Device: Sony Ericsson Satio

Cost: £453.09

Summary: Feature packed Symbian S60 device with a 12 MP camera

Best of: Camera, A-GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G

Worst of: No 3.5mm headset jack. No Quick Office license.

 

What’s in the box:

  • Device
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Headphones
  • Stylus
  • TV-Out cable
  • Manual/Warranty

 

Sony Ericsson Satio Specification:

  • Operating System – Symbian OS
  • Display – 3.5 inch Touch screen (360×640 pixels) with accelerometer
  • Operating Frequency – GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 & UMTS/HSDPA 900 / 2100
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g DLNA
  • Bluetooth V2.0 with A2DP
  • GPS – Built in GPS & A-GPS
  • Expansion – microSD
  • Camera images geo-tagging, face and smile detection
  • Google maps
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Camera – 12.1 MP, 4256 x 2832 pixels, autofocus, xenon flash, video, video LED flash, secondary VGA videocall camera
  • Dimensions – 112.0 x 55.0 x 13.0 mm
  • Weight – 126g

 

General:

On the top of the device is the power on/off switch and what looks like a small speaker grill.

 

Sony Ericsson Satio-top

Sony Ericsson Top

The left side of the handset contains the lock switch, charging socket and the microSD card slot. All shiny, shiny!

Sony Ericsson Satio-left

Sony Ericsson Satio Left Side

On the right is the up/down rocker, the camera action button, the view photos button and a button that switches between video and camera.

Sony Ericsson Satio-right

Sony Ericsson Satio Right Side

The rear of the device houses the camera lens and a nice Sony Ericsson logo.

Sony Ericsson Satio-back-closed Sony Ericsson Satio-back-open

Sony Ericsson from the rear

On the front of the Satio is the front facing camera, speaker grill and light sensor at the top. At the bottom are the call send/end keys and the menu button.

Satio-front

Sony Ericsson Front

Highlights:

  • A-GPS & WisePilot
  • Connectivity
  • Camera

 

Lowlights:

  • Lack of 3.5mm headset jack
  • Symbian OS – personal thing this, but I’m not a fan.

 

Review:

Taking the Satio out of the box for the first time I was amazed how nice it looked. From the front and back it is solid black in colour but around the left and right sides it has a nice metal strip that is super shiny. It certainly looks as much like a digital camera as it does a phone. I was a little disappointed when I held the Satio in my hand though and for more than one reason. Although the device is heavy this has never been an issue for me. What is an issue though is that it is so uncomfortable to hold. The corners of the device are rounded but as it sits in the hand those corners kind of dig it and it just doesn’t feel good. Its a little top heavy due to the camera lens and this part of the device is really chunky. Due to the smooth finish Sony Ericsson have chosen for the plastic casing the Satio is quite slippery. A bit too slippery for my liking!

 

Dominating the front of the device is the 3.5 inch resistive touch screen which is nice and sensitive and works well. You are also supplied with a stylus to use on screen in case you cant find your fingers! Below the screen are three buttons. These are the send/end keys as well as a menu button in the middle. Although these buttons all worked they are horrible! They are raised slightly and more so in the middle of each button and have to be the thinnest buttons I have ever seen on a phone. They just don’t feel right. Where the Sony Ericsson Satio makes up for this is on the buttons around the edge of the device. You would have seen the positioning of these in the “General” section of the review so I am not going to detail it again here but what I can say is that they are great. They are all metal and both look and feel high class. I’m not sure how Sony Ericsson managed to go from one end of the scale to the other on the Satio but that’s just the way it is.

The Satio runs Simians S60 5th edition UI and I have never been a fan. In fact its my least liked out of all, however I must say that I defiantly preferred using it on the Satio compared to the Nokia phones I have tried it on. In fact I didn’t actually realise at first it was Symbian!

The home screen on the Sony Ericsson Satio is really nice and gives quick access to a lot of features. At the top of the screen are five tabs. The comprise of (from left to right) favourite contacts, browser bookmarks, home (in the middle), photos and shortcuts. What is nice about these is that to access them you have two options. Firstly you can just press the required one but in addition to this you can also swipe the screen left or right, kind of like the way that Android devices operate.

The shortcut tab lists eight further features. These are profiles, TrackID, Google maps, Wi-Fi Wizard, Bluetooth, Conversations, Notes and Radio. A nice combination.

 

At the bottom of the home screen are a further four tabs. These are phone dialler, media, messaging and search.

The phone dialler produces nice big keys and these give a small bit of haptic feedback when pressed. You cant really go wrong here.

The media tab drops you straight into photos, videos and music and I really like these features:

  • Photos: Once in the photo section you are given a further five options – latest photo, camera album, photo tags, web albums and pictures. This is not only where you can view pictures and photographs but also action them. Below the image you are viewing you have the option to delete it or send it via message, Bluetooth or upload to the web. There is also an options tab. This will allow you to zoom in and out, print via USB, edit the photo, attach to a contact, use as wallpaper, tag the image and also view in a slide show. At any point you can view in landscape as well as portrait just by rotating the device.  Good job Sony Ericsson.
  • Video: Straight away you have five options here. YouTube, BBC iPlayer, videos, camera videos and podcasts. The YouTube client is quite a nice one. The only critism I have is that the videos were not the best quality. They were a bit grainy. The BBC iPlayer application was fantastic and the video quality was slightly better here. The videos, camera videos and podcasts are fairly straight forward and I will cover camera videos later on in the review.
  • Music: Here you again get different sub sections – artists, albums, tracks, playlists, audio books, podcasts and my recordings. Again all nice and easy to use. Music playback will also be covered later in the review.

So that’s the media section and I must say I am very impressed. Its one of the nicest media apps I have seen so far and Sony Ericsson and done themselves proud here!

 

The menu button which sits between the call send and end keys takes you to the main menu, funnily enough! This is where we start getting deeper into the phones features and settings.

 

Web browsing on the Satio was painless. The experience was much the same as on some recent Nokia S60 devices although on the Satio I did think the pages loaded rather quicker. The screen scrolling was nice and smooth and zooming is either done by double tapping the screen, or by using an on screen zoom bar. No multi touch here. Its not the nicest browser in the world but its most defiantly not the worst.

 

Messaging was as I expected from the Symbian software – just fine. There is a choice of keyboards and without doubt its easiest using the full QWERTY one in landscape mode.  Setting up email addresses was a piece of cake.

 

On to the camera which has to be the big selling point of the Satio. At 12 mega pixels its only one of two on the UK market at the moment, however being 12MP does not make it automatically fantastic. If the lens and the optics are no good, all it will be good for is producing very large rubbish pictures. Luckily for Sony Ericsson they are pretty good when it comes to camera phones so here is the verdict:

Firstly I wanted to say that I love the sliding lens cover on the Satio. Although the lens on the Samsung Pixon 12 looks bigger and more impressive it has no protection like the Satio. Also when the lens cover is opened on the Satio it automatically activates the camera which makes things slightly easier.

The camera interface is simple but has lots of features and settings.  If offers a selection of “scenes” such as portrait, landscape, twilight, sports, document and beach/snow. There are also a selection of shooting modes: panorama, best pic (which takes nine consecutive shots and picks the best one!), smile detection and touch capture (where you can tap a place on the screen as a point of focus).

The flash is pretty good although with all camera phones they are only good for a certain distance. Initially the LED flash lights up the subject and then when you take the shot the Xenon flash does its business. Nice. Like most decent cameras on phones you have the option to change the size of the picture you are taking. As I said in the Pixon12 review doing this increases the amount of storage required on the device and also uses less data if you are uploading photos to the internet.

There are options to change the focus mode to macro and face detection although in most cases the auto mode will work just fine.

Effects are another nice feature. On the Sony Ericsson Satio you have the option of using negative, solarise, sepia and black and white. These effects can also be used when video recording which is great. The video quality was not as good as the camera but it was reasonable.

12102009005 14102009010

Photos taken with the Sony Ericsson Satio in auto mode. Flash used on the right.

Overall I was more than happy with the quality of the Satio camera and it was a pleasure to use. Nice and straight forward.

 

The Sony Ericsson Satio comes built in with the Walkman feature for listening to music. I was looking forward to this as recently I reviewed a low end SE Walkman phone and the music quality was below average. I am pleased to say its much, much better on the Satio. I gave it the Guns & Roses test and me and the Satio had a rocking time. The external speaker was not much good but once the earphones were plugged in things were much better. It was loud, crisp and most importantly for me the bass sounded good and bass-like! The only downside is that Sony Ericsson have not included a 3.5mm headset jack on the Satio – Fail! They have included an adaptor so you can use your own headphones if you want but this is never an ideal solution. The Sony Ericsson USB connection is huge and really bulks out the device when the headphones are connected. Shame.

 

On to the Organiser features: Like on other Symbian devices the Satio comes with Quick Office which allows you to use Word/Excel etc. Oh no it doesn’t, because you have to buy a licence for a Symbian phone. Not good! Well at least it has Adobe reader. Well it has it for 15 days and then you have to pay for that as well!

 

The last feature I am going to comment on is GPS. The Sony Ericsson Satio comes with A-GPS which is always good for a quick fix of where you are. I firstly tested googlemaps and it worked a treat. Also built in is WisePilot, a GPS navigation program. The good news is I tried it and it seemed to work perfectly. The bad news is the maps are not stored on the handset but downloaded over the air as required, so if you are going to use it a lot then please make sure you have a decent data plan to prevent extra costs from your network provider. I liked WisePilot but I certainly wouldn’t give up using TomTom or CoPilot for it. Nice to have for emergencies though.

 

Conclusion:

So how does it compare to the Samsung Pixon12? Well that all comes down to personal preference. I thought the camera was nicer to use than on the Pixon and it felt more like a camera, where as the Samsung felt more like a phone. If I had to choose I would go for the Sony Ericsson Satio. Although I don’t like the Symbian OS, a lot of the time I didn’t even know I was using it as improvements have been made.

Overall the Satio is a really nice phone with a decent camera as a bonus. Good job Sony Ericsson!

 

Posted by: James

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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By May 4, 2009 Read More →

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Wireless Headphones Review

Earlier this month Matt reviewed the Sony XB40EX headphones and mentioned that “In-ear style headphones are now pretty commonplace but the downside of these is that they have to be small enough to fit in your ear canal which often means that the speaker driver is also small and small drivers lead to a puny sounding bass”.

Does the HBH-IS800 follow the same methodology?

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Case
Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Case View

What’s in the box?

  • The Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 wireless headphones
  • Three different size ear plugs
  • Clip to hold the cable in place
  • Headphone Case

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphone features:

  • BluetoothT Technology – 2.0
  • Auto pairingT
  • Echo cancellation
  • Noise reduction
  • Automatic volume adjustment
  • Whisper mode
  • Second call handling
  • Redial
  • Voice Activated Dialing (VAD)
  • Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphone specifications:

  • Talk Time: up to 4 h
  • Standby Time: up to 270 h
  • Weight : 12.0 gr
  • Available Colours: Black / Silver
  • Operating Range: 10 meters
  • Sizes: 370.0 x 3.0 x 3.0 mm

 

Review

When I got the call from Sony Ericsson asking me to review these headphones I jumped at the chance. You may find that a little bizarre but having never done a review of this sort before I thought it was a great idea both for me and for tracyandmatt.co.uk.

When the package came and I opened it there was a Sony Ericsson W902 and the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 wireless headphones. Being me I instantly got myself used to the handset as ultimately this is what I was reviewing, the headphones with a compatible and recommended handset. The headset was very lightweight and looked a tad odd as its not just the norm to have wireless headphones yet.

HBH-IS800 Headphones

Unfortunately the headphones were not charged when I got them and I had to get them on a charge before I started testing them. This proved to be difficult as I have a terrible issue of not liking user manuals, so finding the charging port wasn’t just that simple. After finding the charge port hidden behind the Sony Ericsson logo on the right earbud I started charging it (or so I thought). The charge status light is also on the same earbud but not so easy to find and not very bright unless in a dark room.

After getting the headphones charged and sorting which size of in-ear buds were the correct size for me I got about downloading some songs onto the handset of varying types. I used Rock, Pop, Dance, Classical and Jazz music genres to test the diversity of the headphones with the multiple EQ’s on the handset too.

Pairing of the device was simple as it auto-pairs and entering the four zero’s for the passcode was certainly a lot easier than having to try and pair manually.

I was instantly amazed at the clarity and sound that the HBH-IS800 was producing, after all lets not forget that this is a Bluetooth device.

HBH-IS800 Earphone View

All music genre’s sounded fantastic and I listened to music for near on 1 hour without felling the usual uncomfortable feeling that you get with standard earphones. Having that extra bit of freedom to get up and walk around without having a handset with me was a great feeling although notably the 10m distance was put through a strain and after about 7-8m the sound quality did start to deteriorate.

Using the handset at maximum volume level felt a little bizarre due to the Automatic Volume Adjustment  that the HBH-IS800 had. I’m not saying it wasn’t loud enough but I like to have control of the volume away from the handset and this was a major downside for me.

It was time then to start testing the call functionality of the HBH-IS800.

After setting up the voice activated dialling on the handset I called my wife (as she can talk!). Considering I was on the street when I made the call and there was a bit of a wind, the in call clarity was very clear, this is where the noise reduction and automatic volume adjustment came in handy. Whilst my wife didn’t complain that she couldn’t hear me at any point during our call she did mention that at times it sounded like I was in a quiet room as the noise reduction had kicked in so much so that all background noise was pretty much cancelled out.

Unfortunately not even my wife can talk enough to test the talk time and stand by time but I will say that over a period of 1 week I never had to charge the HBH-IS800 once even with using it on my laptop and handset.

Conclusion

The HBH-IS800 is pretty much the answer when it comes to a wireless solution. The only drawbacks for me were the lack of volume control on the headphones and the auto volume adjustment but again this could be down to personal taste. As far as comfort and sound go I would go as far as to say they gave me almost the same listening experience as my Sandisk Sansa View and the answer to the question at the start is yes, the base is handled very well indeed.

Price wise the cheapest I found them was £72.95 which is a little on the steep side for a set of headphones but if I had the money to spend then I would 100% get myself a set of these (or Sony Ericsson could just give me them).

Review by: John

By October 27, 2008 Read More →

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 review

About a month ago I was invited to go to the newly built Sony Ericsson HQ in Lund, which straight away was a great recognition from SE that more and more people are using Blogs etc. as their main source of information for reviews, updates, advice etc. the company have demonstrated that they are aware, ignoring this route to launch any kind of news or new device is done at your own peril. Although it wouldn’t make or break a device, if certainly doesn’t do any harm to encompass any and all avenues available to market.

As far as I am aware this is the first time that invites had been sent to anyone but the mainstream journalists and analysts, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the New York Times, The Telegraph etc. was very enlightening, if not somewhat boring at times. The hardships I had to endure to get a glimpse of the new X1!

This device has been long awaited and been victim to the usual release date delays…only this week becoming available in earnest, as mentioned by Matt, now available at Clove Technology.

As a different kind of review, I imagine that the X1 for many is going to end up as straight race between it and the Touch Pro. As I reviewed the Pro some time ago, I will try and add some direct comparisons taken from that review.

The first departure from the norm is that the unit I have been given is a ‘C&J’ (Customer and Journalist) model so the box itself is plain white with nothing on it apart from ‘Prototype’ and the basic phone details, we can probably update this part of ‘What’s in the box’ feature as and when the full retail device arrives, hopefully this week.

 

Whats in the box?

  • 4 plain white boxes presumably for CD’s, Manually etc.
  • Spare stylus
  • 2 pin mains charger
  • Stereo 3.5mm headset
  • MiniUSB to USB sync cable
  • 1500mAh battery

Perhaps any early buyers could confirm what, exactly, is in the retail box?

 

Xperia X1 Specification in comparison to the Touch Pro


Xperia X1Touch Pro

Windows mobile 6.1 Professional Windows mobile 6.1 Professional
Qualcomm MSM7200A @ 528MHz Qualcomm MSM 7201A @ 528MHz
512MB ROM / 256MB RAM 512MB ROM / 256MB RAM
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100  GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 900 / 2100
Recessed 3″ WVGA (800×480) screen, 65k colours Flush 2.8″ VGA screen (480×640),65k colours
7.2MB HSDPA / HSUPA 7.2MB HSDPA / HSUPA
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Bluetooth® 2.0 with EDR Bluetooth® 2.0 with EDR
A-GPS function A-GPS function
3.2 Megapixel Auto Focus camera with flash 3.2 Megapixel Auto Focus camera with flash
Secondary videocall camera Secondary videocall camera
FM Radio FM Radio
MiniUSB MiniUSB
1500mAh battery 1340 mAh battery
110.5 x 52.6 x 17 mm 102 x 51 x 18.1 mm
158g 165g

General

The Xperia is very well made, my first impressions where that it was smaller than I imagined and a lot heavier than I had thought, as I am used to the Diamond, the majority of the people I showed it to commented on the weight. For me, as mentioned on previous reviews, I like my gadgets with plenty of buttons rather than the trend to have the minimal look, and the X1 doesn’t disappoint with no less than, 9 in total plus the d-pad. The phone is a great combination of chrome, metal and rubber available in both black and silver, it is very stylish and I think best described as well designed and good looking.

Around the device starting from the top, is the non-telescopic, 85mm long, slim stylus holder, the 3.5mm headset and the Power/Standby button.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 review

Xperia X1 top view

On the left is found the miniUSB sync/charge connector, and one of the back release clips.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 review

Xperia X1 left side

The flip side houses the volume up/down rocker and the dedicated camera button. As well as the second back release clip.

X1_right

Xperia X1 right side

At the bottom of the device you can find a recess for a lanyard, or fridge magnet, dangly thingy, and nothing else.

 

Behind the X1 is the 3.2 megapixel camera and LED flash, no portrait mirror. There is also the battery housing which is released by pressing the 2 VERY small clips on either side of the cover, if you have no nails, you will be prodding it with the stylus or pen or anything to hand that will fit, to access the back.

X1_back

Xperia X1 back view

Out of interest and don’t tell SE or Matt, during my time with the X1 I did drop it a couple of times and the back always flew off, but I wouldn’t recommend this as the preferred release method.

The business end of the device is found the recessed 3” 800×480 Wide VGA screen. Above which is the speaker, light sensor and miniscule front facing camera. Below, you can see the array of buttons including the left and right soft keys, the send and end keys, which also locks the device, an ‘X’ key which switches the phone back to the panels screen, covered later. And finally, an ‘OK’ Button.

X1_main

Xperia X1 front view

 

In the midst of all these buttons is the recessed optical joystick and surrounding d-pad. Although present I don’t think I found the need to use these to any great extent, I have managed without them for quite some time now and did not see the need to start using them now. For those of you who do use them, you will find them very quick, and unless you set to the least sensitive, almost uncontrollable, not for me, thanks I’ll manage without.

X1_dpad

Xperia X1 controls

At all 4 corners of the device on the sides there is some unusual, customisable and ‘switchoffable’ (is that is a new word?) status indicators, these warn of received SMS, Mail, Instant Messages, etc.

Finally, underneath, is the much talked about keyboard slider, this reveals the 4 line keyboard which again which I shall cover shortly.

X1_keyboard

Xperia X1 keyboard

 

Highlights

  • Stunning screen
  • Easy used with third party applications
  • Nice build quality
  • Adaptable ‘Panels’
  • Connectivity with accessories

Lowlights

  • Keyboard
  • Reset button
  • Back release

 

Software

 

Being of Windows Mobile 6.1 professional ilk, a lot of the software is familiar and easy to use as normal The usual programs are present such as Google maps, messenger, windows live etc. also included on top of these are eJava, QuickGPS, Adobe reader LE and Handango In Hand, which directs you to lists of available software and accessories with the likes of ‘Best Sellers’, ‘Recommended’, ‘Games’ and so on, also on offer is various promotions and savings.

Settings available are also familiar, with nothing much out of the ordinary apart from an illumination icon which allows access to configure the aforementioned LED notifications, an optical joystick icon, also accesses the.. er.. optical joystick, you can switch it off if you want, at least turn down the sensitivity.

I especially found that loading and using third party applications with this phone as a doddle, the likes of Tomtom runs great and the fears of certain application not being compatible with wider screen aren’t present at all, the X1 handles the differences very well and the crisp, sharp screen even allows a greater peripheral view of the map, especially in landscape mode, Google maps, which is preinstalled works fantastically well also. One more added benefit for me is that. in landscape, with the keyboard open, the car charger connects to the bottom of the Keyboard and is completely out of the way, it points downwards rather than, as normal out to the side.

clip_image002 clip_image004

The installed Opera 9.5 as always with this type of screen was also great to use and the extra width of the screen came into its own when viewing lists in portrait or webpage’s in landscape, no issues with compatibility here either.

clip_image006 clip_image008

(The EBay search was for Mark to make sure he wasn’t missing any deals.)

Most importantly of all, especially to Sony Ericsson, is the ‘Panels’ concept which Magnus from SE talked of at great length at the launch in Lund, this I covered in the video of the presentation previously posted, http://www.tracyandmatt.co.uk/blogs/index.php/2008/09/30/xperia-x1-showcase-video, this for me was a bit of fun and good to be able to switch ‘Today’ screens dependant on your mood or what settings you wish to have easily accessible, there are 9 available ‘panels’ all bar one of which are customisable. The only one that is fixed is the standard Windows Mobile ‘Today’ screen panel. It is like having a new phone every now and then when you fancy a change.

clip_image010 clip_image012

Over at Sony Ericsson’s website you can keep up-to-date with some of the developments and downloads available, they are also actively inviting companies and individuals to progress this area, should be interesting to see what peoples imagination can come up with, already available is Spb Mobile Shell from the SE website.

http://www.sonyericsson.com/fun/fnd?cc=us&lc=en&lf_res=gb#ts=1225038095812;applstate=contentlisting.contentdetails;contentCategoryId=800;filterId=0;genreId=-1;startIndex=0;phoneId=-1;contentItemId=34685;promotionId=0

I like the idea of being able to switch the screens to different views, I found myself using the middle one more often than not. A point to note here is that there is quite a lag when loading these panels, sometimes between 2-4 seconds is not unusual.

clip_image014 clip_image016 clip_image018

Unfortunately at this point, there are a few issues that will need to be resolved, whilst using the email I have fallen victim to the ‘smtp’ issue, and running the .cab’s didn’t seem to rectify the problem. Although this is obviously not an Xperia issue but a WM 6.1 issue, frustrating none the less.

Also certain applications do cause issues but I am confident these will be adapted and corrected as the device becomes available; such issues include this problem that I encountered with my favourite SMS chat, amongst others…take a look at SMS chat in landscape….

clip_image019

…this doesn’t always happen but occasionally, it does.

 

Review

 

First off I like this phone, the screen is fantastic, although the fact that is not flush can be a bit of an issue, digging into the corners to close programs etc, and scrolling is not as easy as it is on the likes of the Touch Pro/ Diamond. However the longer screen is helpful, the device I have been playing with has a trailer for the upcoming 007 film ‘Quantum Of Solace’ which looks and runs absolutely superbly.

The call quality and signal lock is perfectly functional, the loudspeaker is not necessarily the best but again adequate.

The camera is fine, it has the built in flash don’t expect fantastic results in low light conditions, it has autofocus and the unique touch autofocus by which you can select on the touchscreen an area to focus in on, the picture qualities for a non expert, like me, are perfect useable.

The battery life is, for me, the best I have used in a long time. Being a Diamond user, this has been a refreshing change, going a fully day with normal use ie. 2 hours of calls, a bit of web, 20 texts or so etc.etc. would result in half battery left at the end of a 14 -16 hour day. If only the diamond……

The 3.5mm jack is a welcome addition and allows personal choices of headset / headphones connection.

X1_angled

Now, one of the biggest questions, the keyboard, personally I don’t like it, I think the Touch Pro’s 5 row layout and key size is more user friendly. I found that the keys on the Xperia in the wrong lighting conditions are absolutely unreadable; I have no doubt that those who use it regularly and are comfortable with the usual layout will manage fine and with practice it does get easier. Being grey on silver I really struggled to be able to see what keys I needed. It was better to use in low light, because it is white light illuminated, and easier to see when it was darker; in bright light for me was a complete pain, having said that, I am also very aware that I am not a great keyboard fan anyway. I do feel that especially on the black model, which I have been using, a black keyboard with white keys would be have been preferable.

Another pet hate of this device is the reset button and microSD card slot, as I have mentioned already it is somewhat fiddly to remove the back panel because of the small release catches, but this you will have to endure if you want to soft reset the device as, ridiculously, the hole for resetting is under the cover, as is the microSD card holder.

X1_sim

Xperia X1 memory card and SIM card slot

 

I also agree with many that the omission of and accelerometer to enable automatic screen orientation was a minor slip up, I have been using the device with the left soft key configured to screen rotate and that works fine for me, as a second best option.

I do like the fact that Xperia proved really easy to connect with other devices, such as my laptop, car kit etc. these are not always trouble free but not an issue here. On more than one occasion, however, when I jumped into my car the automatic pairing did not happen because the Bluetooth had switched itself off for no apparent reason. Hopefully teething troubles soon and quickly sorted out.

I did also note that occasionally when I removed the phone from my pocket all sorts of things had been happening on the screen, top tip would be make sure you lock it before stowing it away. This could also have been the cause of the Bluetooth switching off.

 

Conclusion

 

I have been using this phone on a daily basis for about 2 weeks or so, and I find it very easy to live with, the speed, clear screen (albeit recessed) and quality of the device makes it very enjoyable. The battery life for me was the best bit; the ability to switch about in and out of the different panels was fun. I am sure that given time out in the wild, development in these areas, will prove that this is probably one of the all time classic devices.

My doubts on the keyboard and the d-pad are definite put off’s. I think in comparison to the Touch Pro, I have to agree with Matt, it really depends with your personal uses and preferences. My personal decision is that I really don’t use the keyboard enough to warrant having one on a phone; I have convinced myself that I can operate just as quickly on a touchscreen SIP, so for now I will be sticking with my diamond. But I will definitely be interested in the directions that software and ROM developments take this phone, it has a great starting point and can only get better, this is definitely the start of things to come and not the finished article.

As a footnote, whilst in Lund, I took the opportunity to suggest to the Guys in development that a great solution for me would be an X1 / Touch Pro, with a detachable keyboard, so that during the week, it is a business phone, but in the evening and at weekends, detach the keyboard and have the benefits of a slim, pocket friendly, social phone.

Watch this space, if it materialises, that was my idea!

 

Now I am going to try and answer some of the questions posted that Matt has not already answered:

What’s it like as a phone?

Works very well. Signal strength seems good, better than the Pro in this respect, and holds on to signal while in call quite well. Had a few dropped calls but only in known black spots. Battery life is good and sound quality/volume also good.

Navigating to the place to make an outbound call?

There is a send hardware button as pictured, which opens the standard Windows smartdialer.

What does it do when the phone rings? (pop up? etc)

Standard Windows Mobile fare, a pop up which can be disabled.

What about when an SMS comes in? Or if you want to write one?

Once again standard WM. Pop up, sounds etc can be configured. To write WM messages.

Is user is able to text message single-handedly?

You can, it’s easier for me on the screen, as I use TouchPal, you can on the keyboard but adding Capitals, figures etc tricky one handed.

Which display is better in sunlight?

As soon as I see some sunlight I could answer! Seriously though there isn’t much to choose between the two, the X1 has a slight edge as it seems to have one less layer of plastic in front of the screen for light to bounce off.

Hi, only major question I’ve got is how solid is the slider mechanism, is there any slop or lateral movement in it?

This is very good, very positive, satisfying click once open, very little to none lateral on this one, slightly more when shut than open but still good.

Can you confirm what the 3G specs for the device you have are? 850,1900 and 2100 mhz or just 2100?

According to reported specs 850, 1900 and 2100.

When will Xperia 1 be launched in Guam (part of u.s. territory)?

No idea sorry. Now on general release though.

What are the contents in the box if I will get to know dat it wud be easy to get my hands on em thanks a lot

As mentioned this is a C&J device, hope to confirm soon

Hey, I’m just wondering about one thing…how much do you think the X1 would be?…

Now appearing in stock, check out prices, as they are country dependant.

 

 

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