Sony Ericsson Android-Running Xperia Smartphone Lineup Grows
Sony Ericsson added a new member to its Android-running
Xperia smartphone family June 16, with the introduction of the Xperia X8.
Dubbed an "entertainment smartphone" by Sony Ericsson, the X8 features an overall design intended to make it easy to use one-handed and a user interface similar to that of the Xperia 10 Mini. Each phone allows users to customize the four corners of the home screen, offering quick access to favorite applications.
Timescape, a quick-access tool unique to the X8, funnels together all social-networking communications for what Sony Ericsson calls the "ultimate simplicity." Mediascape, another signature application, helps to organize content-presumably images, videos and music.
The Xperia X8 measures 3.89 by 2.13 by 0.59 inches, and features a 3-inch capacitive touch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a Web browser, a music player and support for push e-mail, instant messaging, SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). It offers GPS and comes with a free trial version of the turn-by-turn navigation software Wisepilot. Connectivity options include WiFi and Bluetooth.
Google services, such as the Android Market, Gmail and Google Talk, are of course integrated. And while the X8 comes with 138MB of memory and a 2GB memory card, the MicroSD slot offers support for 16GB more.
The X8 supports GSM GPRS/EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) HSPA 900/2100 and UMTS HSPA 800/850/1900/2100 networks. And while Sony Ericsson's June 16 announcement said the X8 will ship with Android 1.6 ("Donut"), according to the Sony Ericsson blog, an upgrade-whether pending or immediate-will depend on the operator in each country.
"Xperia X8 will either launch on Android 1.6 with a subsequent upgrade to Android 2.1 a few weeks later or will launch on Android 2.1. The final decision will be taken on a market-by-market basis," a June 16 post on the blog stated.
In this, the X8 will have company, as Sony Ericsson also announced that the Xperia X10, X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro smartphones will receive upgrades to Android 2.1, from the third quarter of 2010 on. Furthermore, the X10 will receive an upgrade that will allow the phone "to connect wirelessly to and display content on your television and enhance the Timescape and Mediascape applications."
"Sony Ericsson's vision is to be the communication entertainment brand. We are focusing strongly on the smartphone market and specifically on creating the most entertaining smartphones," Steve Walker, head of Sony Ericsson product marketing, said in a statement. "Sony Ericsson is uniquely positioned to do this thanks to our experience in creating Walkman and Cyber-shot phones and the strong collaboration with our parent company Sony."
The Xperia X8 will arrive in the third quarter of 2010 in color choices of white, dark blue and white, aqua blue and white, pink and white, and silver and white.