Design / Walkaround
The Sony Ericsson X1i from a functional standpoint looks fairly similar to many of the HTC Pocket PC devices already on the market, the devices 3.0" touchscreen takes up a good deal of the units frontside realty with "diamond" shaped frontside keys located directly below it. The keys unfortunately feel very plastically, and every time I touched one of the keys I felt as if I was going to break them, it was the first pitfall I noticed on the X1. Aside from the cheap plastic feel of the buttons I was impressed with the devices stainless steel finish and chrome accents which definitely felt well made. The top part of the frontside was also well put together with a very nice slim yet functional earpiece and the VGA camera for videoconferencing plus ambient light sensor, both which blended in well with the other frontside components.
Below the screen users will find two dedicated buttons for making and ending calls, along with several soft keys which can be programmed to open different applications and a D-pad in the center that also acts as an optical trackpad with the swipe of a finger.
Sliding the device open users will find the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 qwerty keyboard. Unfortunately unlike HTC devices and Blackberry units the X1 does very little in terms of added shortcut keys and the keys didn't offer the best feedback when being pushed, with that being said they were well spaced which made for slightly easier typing. I personally would have liked the keys to be slightly more raised as well. For basic users who haven't used many of the more competent Sliding Qwerty keyboard devices the X1 keyboard will seem great, for more advanced users the typically included shortcut keys on many devices currently available will be sorely missed.
The right side of the X1 features the devices volume rocker at the top right side, the volume rocker is pretty standard in comparison to other units, with nice feedback, its slightly stuck out as well which means you'll have no problem pushing it. The very bottom of the device them features the shutter key, which was very responsive, although slightly smaller than I would have liked it to be.
The left side features the miniUSB port for charging and data syncing purposes, its pretty standard on Windows Mobile devices and no exceptions were made here.
The top of XPERIA X1 then offers the 3.5MM audio jack along with the power/standby button and a stylus slot. The stylus that comes equipped is pretty flimsy and no magnetic attach feature is offered, but it does its job and the stylus is fairly flush with the device leaving all the units clean lines in tack.
The batter, MicroSDHC card slot and Sim Card slot are all located under the battery, I hate having to take the cover off to get to my memory card, a side loaded option would have been greatly appreciated.
Overall the design isn't horrible on the Sony Ericsson X1, the unit is a little more bulky than I like and the plastic may be thick but it feels and looks cheaply made, If you're looking for a well built device I would say look at HTC, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 just didn't hold up to my expectations.