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10

Xperia X1a: Sony Ericsson's White Whale?

This year has flown by rather quickly and it seems like just yesterday Sony Ericsson announced their new Windows Mobile device, the Xperia X1. Way back in February of this year, we reported that Sony had joined the Windows Mobile family by introducing the Xperia during the Mobile World Congress. Since then we've diligently kept on eye on the rumor mill for a release of this device and continue to wait.

During that time we've had countless sightings of the Xperia, a few in-depth looks at the device and even heard that Sony was planning a developer competition for the Xperia's Sliding Panel interface (did that ever happen?). Released dates came and went with no luck in seeing the Xperia hit the shelves. September became November; November became December; and know we all look towards January (almost one year from the announcement) for the long anticipated release. Best Buy teased us by putting the Xperia on their website for pre-order, only to change the ad to "Coming Soon" a few weeks later. You begin to have the feeling that the Xperia X1a (the US version) is Sony's white whale and you're Captain Ahab sailing the seven seas.

And yes, the Xperia X1i has hit the shelves over-seas which should be some sort of consolation, but it doesn't do much for the empty feeling those waiting for the Xperia have. To add insult to injury, Sony announced this week that they were ending the partnership with HTC (manufacturer of the X1) and joining forces with Foxconn to develop the Xperia X2. An announcement that really makes you scratch your head, considering the X1 has yet to hit the shelves.

As I ponder the saga that has become the Xperia X1a, one must ask, is it still worth the wait? Mobinnova, a subsidiary of Foxconn, announced a Windows Mobile device (the ICE) that on paper looks as impressive if not more than the Xperia X1. Mysterious cracks have started showing up on the oversea's models and while the Xperia makes a good first impression, some reviews aren't so exciting about the phone. BoyGenius compared the Xperia X1 with the AT&T Fuze and while the review considered the Xperia to be a quality phone (fantastic was the word used), it was hard to justify the higher priced Sony as being better than the Fuze. Quoting the reviewer, "The Fuze offers a much more complete experience than the X1, and that combined with the price really makes this a winner."

We'll be watching the news wire in January with everyone else hoping to see the "coming soon" signs associated with the Xperia X1a change to "In Stock". Surely there's a limit to the number of delays possible for the X1. If not, the X2 is scheduled for release sometime towards the latter end of 2009. Wouldn't that be something? If the X2 hit U.S. shelves before the X1a?

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Comments

There are 10 comments. Sign in to comment

says:

I?m done! This saga goes on and on! I?m so done waiting. I know I can?t be the only one. Well hey I?ve only been waiting for the last 9 months, yes that?s when my contract ended with my current carrier. Here I come AT&T and the Fuse. Sony the good news is I go through a couple phones a year. I guess I might be able to pick up an X1 in 6 months if it?s released.
What other phones would anyone recommend?

says:

it's out and available. my bro got one at fry's electronics in los angeles, ca. apparently its available at some sony stores as well. best buy is not the exclusive retailer of the xperia x1. this is the second time i'm saying this. i guess you guys don't read the comments.

Varun...
Does your bro have the international version or U.S.?
And we do read comments. You're correct in saying that BestBuy isn't the exclusive retailer but likely the most common source. You may not have a BestBuy in your backyard but you should have access to their website.
Not everyone has a Fry's and while they have a website, I just checked it and the Xperia isn't listed. If you have a link to Fry's Xperia listing, I'd be interested in seeing it.
Not everyone has a Sony Store in their neighborhood and like Fry's there is the SonyStyle website. However, that website even lists the Xperia X1a as "backordered" and it's been backordered for as long as I can remember.
Surely the long wait will be over next month and we all can see for ourselves if the Xperia is worth the hefty price tag or if the HTC Touch Pro/AT&T Fuze is the way to go or maybe we should wait a little longer to see what Mobinnova's new phone will be like.

says:

I have had an Xperia X1i for a couple of months now. In my opinion, it is not worth it. Get another phone. The aluminum parts are solid, well-made. The plastic coated face-buttons, on the other hand, are not so well-made... The coating started to crack a few weeks after I got the phone, and about a month ago, the raised edge around the touch pad has already flaked off. I cannot even sell it on eBay because it looks too worn to have any recoverable monetary gain. Not to mention that the reception is as predictable as a coin flip.
The postive aspects of the X1 can be found on other phones as well, so why bother. The only ace in the hole that the X1 has over other phones is the 800x480 screen resolution. Which, in my opinion, is a curse more than a blessing. A lot of my favorite apps were not coded to run on such a screen, e.g., Skyfire.
I do like the X1. Although in retrospect, I would have gotten something that had a better feature-to-cost ratio.

says:

Hi,
I bought the Xperia X1 at 11-01-08 & was disappointed to death that it has 30% less signal strenthg than the other 3 phones I own & after using it for a little bit I was almost crying for bying it, it is not worthy to pay a dollar for it & it is a big regret.

says:

quote "Which, in my opinion, is a curse more than a blessing. A lot of my favorite apps were not coded to run on such a screen, e.g., Skyfire"
you fool! i'm sure Pacman is not designed for Wii or Playstation 3, y dont u go back and play with Atari 2600!

says:

I've been using my X1i in Ohio since the beginning of November 2008. I get a great 3G signal. In some parts of US, where 3G is on the 850MHz frequency, you won't get 3G, but Edge instead. There are not tons, but there are many WVGA apps available.

If you're tired of waiting for X1a, check the AT&T 3G frequency in your area and get the X1i.

says:

I've been using my X1i in Ohio since the beginning of November 2008. I get a great 3G signal. In some parts of US, where 3G is on the 850MHz frequency, you won't get 3G, but Edge instead. There are not tons, but there are many WVGA apps available.

If you're tired of waiting for X1a, check the AT&T 3G frequency in your area and get the X1i.

says:

I've been using my X1i in Ohio since the beginning of November 2008. I get a great 3G signal. In some parts of US, where 3G is on the 850MHz frequency, you won't get 3G, but Edge instead. There are not tons, but there are many WVGA apps available.

If you're tired of waiting for X1a, check the AT&T 3G frequency in your area and get the X1i.

says:

I've been using my X1i in Ohio since the beginning of November 2008. I get a great 3G signal. In some parts of US, where 3G is on the 850MHz frequency, you won't get 3G, but Edge instead. There are not tons, but there are many WVGA apps available.

If you're tired of waiting for X1a, check the AT&T 3G frequency in your area and get the X1i.