Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 review

Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 review

T3 3
  • A mid-range Android effort, that doesn't quite catch rivals

    The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 is essentially a compromise between the capacious Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and the pared down Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini. Essentially, it’s a phone for those who prefer their touchscreens somewhere between pocket-bulgingly big and impossibly tiny to handle. It crams in many of the same features as its Xperia stablemates, with the Timescape custom UI taking centre stage.

    The Xperia X8’s main selling point is undoubtedly its cost. This is not a top end Android phone, rather it’s a mobile that aims to tout the best Android has to offer, all while cutting corners in order to drive it into the budget arena. To that end, it’s got the HTC Wildfire and the million selling LG Optimus One in its sights.

    Check out our Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 images

    Sadly though, initial explorations are not good. The Xperia X8 we tested was stranded on the ancient Android 1.6 platform, first released in the summer of 2009 and since outdated four times over by ever more intuitive upgrades. This isn’t down to it being a budget blower.

    The flagship X10 suffered from the same fate until recently and LG’s Optimus One has been shipping with Android 2.2 FroYo since September. Sony Ericsson has said an upgrade is coming this year, but frankly it’s not good enough when key rivals already offer better software as standard.

    It all means things feel a tad sluggish and outdated. There’s no unified mailbox, Google Goggles is missing and the keyboard, while assured, is not a patch on Android 2.x’s iPhone-bashing effort. Things are not helped by Timescape, which clouds the Android experience. The four corner UI on the homescreen is handy though, letting you easily dive into music, contacts, messages and the keypad without fiddling with menu systems.

    Sony Ericsson Xperia X8: Screen

    The screen itself is pretty sharp, albeit the resolution is a tad on the low side. It’s remarkably responsive for such a budget phone, although tapping out text requires plenty of care and attention, with spelling mistakes and errant punctuation a key issue. This can be ironed out by a simple Android update, however.

    The Timescape function is great for aggregating your social networking contacts, bringing together complete info on what your pals are up to in one place. It all works seamlessly, if a little slowly, and does mean you don’t have to handle separate Facebook and Twitter accounts if you don’t want. However, you can’t help but feel this feature really holds the phone back when it comes to speed.

    Sony Ericsson Xperia X8: Browser and battery

    The browser is workable and renders pages well, but with no pinch-to-zoom, delving into web pages is not ideal. This is something that other cheap Android phones manage and its MIA status is again down to Sony Ericsson’s failure to use a more up-to-date version of Android. We also found the Wi-Fi a bit wobbly, the X8 failing to pick up our broadband connection despite being next to the router and our PC working dandy on the network.

    Battery is pretty neat though. We squeezed two full days of browsing, calling, app buying and snapping in before we had to head off and find some juice. That’s not bad in these days of resource depleting smartphones.

    The camera is none too bad either, even if it’s stripped right back to 3.15 megapixels and lacks a flash. There are easy to tap into shooting modes and shots appear colourful, if a little noisy, in good light. However, if you want take pics of your pals at night, we suggest taking out a compact or getting a different phone altogether. Uploading to Facebook and Picasa is a breeze and can be done with just one touch, clearly showing Sony Ericsson knows how to get some things right with its Google phones.

    It’s hard to recommend the Xperia X8, however. The LG Optimus One offers more for less, as does the excellent, if slightly ageing HTC Wildfire. If you want Android on a budget, we suggest you look elsewhere.

    Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 release date: Out now, find out more from Sony Ericsson
    Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 price: From £130 sim free.

    Sony Ericsson X8 Specifications:

    • OS: Android 1.6
    • Processor: Not quoted
    • Storage: 128MB Micro SD
    • Screen: 3-inch 320x480
    • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1, 3G, HSDPA 7.2Mbps, 3.5mm jack, aGPS, WiFi
    • Camera: 3.2MP
    • Video: 640x480 at 30fps s
    • Talk time: 5 hours 40 minutes
    • Dimensions: 99x54x15 mm
    • Weight: 104g

    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony Ericsson X8 landscape.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony Ericsson X8 back.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony Ericsson X8 portrait.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony Ericsson X8 side down.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/so/xs_Sony Ericsson X8 side profile.jpg
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia X8

    Best deals

    Mobiles.co.uk£26.00See deal
    Mobiles.co.uk£26.00See deal
    Mobiles.co.uk£26.00See deal
    Mobiles.co.uk£26.00See deal

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now