The X8 is an old phone now, and is available quite cheaply. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 looks a lot like the X10 Mini and has similar specs and a similar price. But by increasing the size and resolution of the screen it becomes a lot more usable. The user interface is the same though, and feels dated compared with Android phones from HTC or Samsung. Originally running Android 1.6, it’s now been updated to version 2.1, but still lags behind rival phones running 2.3. The custom firmware from Sony Ericsson and O2 also doesn’t seem to help with reliability, with some users reporting freezing and crashing. All the other features seem to have been retained however. Connectivity is good, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The media player is excellent and there’s an FM radio with RDS too. aGPS is here, with full support for Google Maps (including Street View) and geo-tagging of photos. A demo version of WisePilot Turn-by-Turn navigation software is included. The built-in memory of 128MB isn’t bad to start with, and you can add microSD memory cards of up to 16GB. A 2GB card is included in the sales package. Web browsing is better on the X8 than on the X10 Mini, although it isn’t the best, involving clicking zoom buttons, as there’s no pinch-to-zoom capability. There’s no Flash support either, although on the positive side YouTube videos are fully supported via a dedicated app. The processor is a 600 MHz Qualcomm CPU, the same as used in the X10 Mini, and it’s adequate for the type of device. We’re relieved to see that the battery power has been boosted significantly compared with the X10 Mini, and battery life isn’t a major issue with theX8, although it isn’t the best around.