Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA X10 on AT&T? Oh yeah, I remember that…vaguely. And while most of us have moved on to the X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro, two devices that are just barely fitting in with this generation of Androids, it appears that Ma Bell is just now catching on to their relatively ancient predecessor, the original X10.
It’s kind of a sad story, really. Sony Ericsson drew massive interest when videos (one, two) of their upcoming Rachael UI (Later referred to as Nexus UX, and now just UX, I think) were leaked on YouTube. The stunning blue theme and brilliant Timescape and Mediascape navigation elements had the entire tech world on notice: SE was entering the Android game in a big way. Official promotional videos followed and were equally lust-inspiring.
Then came an ill-fated NYC luncheon where an unfinished product was presented to the professionally skeptical tech blogger elite. Those in attendance were pretty understanding and gentle, but seeds of the doubt that would flourish later had been sewn. While appearances were impressive, a fair amount of “Meh” made its way around the Internet regarding the experience. But not without hope: the phones on display were early demonstration models. The software was not finished. Things would certainly improve. Unfortunately they didn’t improve enough, and not until it was too late. By the time demo units running Android 1.6 had made their rounds, many (myself included) found the software non-responsive to some degree. And the fact that the phone was still running 1.6 didn’t help matters. Disappointment.
But Q3 of 2010 represents a new era for the XPERIA line. Not only is Sony Ericsson’s X8 on the horizon, Android 2.1 is on the menu – hopefully for the coming AT&T launch of the X10. Still, as encouraging as this is for fans of the X10′s physical design and software aesthetics, the launch will be taking place in the middle of a mass exodus from 2.1 to 2.2. Froyo brings important performance enhancements to Android, and the fact that the X10 may never see 2.2 is evidence that the XPERIA team is still just a bit behind the cream of the Android crop: HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Maybe it’s that luscious skin holding them back; maybe it’s something else.
I hope to see SE step up their game – or rather, their schedule – in the very near future because these devices are too hot to feel outdated. And yet, they do. And if AT&T decides to cripple the X10 in any way, as they are prone to do, it certainly won’t help Sony Ericsson’s cause. At least the phone has a place in the hacking community.