The current line-up of Xperia handsets from Sony Ericsson may never get the Android 2.2 officially, but this has not stopped the developers at XDA forums to support the phone. The biggest member of the Xperia family the X10 got its Android 2.2 based custom ROM quite a few weeks ago.
Now, three of its smaller siblings the Xperia X8 and the X10 Mini/Mini Pro have got their share of Android 2.2 based custom ROMs. The ROMs for all the three phones mentioned above are based on Android 2.2 with HTC Sense UI on top of it. These ROMs have been ported to these smaller Xperia siblings from the HTC Hero and Legend. Kudos to the developers for all their hard work!
However, not everything works at the moment. In most of the ROMs, the camera functionality is broken along with some Bluetooth and media playback issues. Nevertheless, the developers are hard at work and are churning out new updates with every passing day.
Hopefully, these issues will soon be fixed by the developers and all the members of the Xperia family can get their share of Android 2.2 love, unofficially. X10 Mini owners should head over to this thread while X10 Mini Pro and X8 owners should head over to this and this thread, respectively.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry. Some of the top mobile phone manufacturers like HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia, etc, are expected to launch a wide range of next-gen smartphones and tablets this year. Mobile World Congress 2011 will be conducted at Barcelona, Spain, between February 14 to February 17. This year, Samsung is expected to launch the successor of its popular Galaxy S smartphone as well as the Galaxy Tab 2 with 10.1 inch display. Sony Ericsson will launch its much awaited Playstation phone, the Xperia Play. HTC, Samsung, LG and other top companies are expected to launch Android Gingerbread and Windows Phone 7 smartphones as well as Android Honeycomb powered tablets. Check out the complete event schedule of MWC 2011, after the break.
Sunday, February 13th:
Sony Ericsson – Press Conference
12.00 pm – 04.00 pm EST (New York)
05.00 pm – 09.00 pm GMT (London)
06.00 pm – 10.00 pm CET (Barcelona)
10.30 pm – 02.30 am IST (Mumbai)
Samsung – Press Conference
12.00 pm – 01.00 pm EST (New York)
05.00 pm – 06.00 pm GMT (London)
06.00 pm – 07.00 pm CET (Barcelona)
10.30 pm – 11.30 pm IST (Mumbai)
Monday, February 14th:
Ericsson – Media and analyst breakfast briefing
02.30 am – 03.30 am EST (New York)
07.30 am – 08.30 am GMT (London)
08.30 am – 09.30 am CET (Barcelona)
12.00 pm – 02.00 pm IST (Mumbai)
ZTE – Press Conference
04.00 am – 05.00 am EST (New York)
09.00 am – 10.00 am GMT (London)
10.00 am – 11.00 am CET (Barcelona)
02.30 pm – 03.30 pm IST (Mumbai)
Nokia Siemens Networks – Media and Industry Analyst Briefing
Sony Ericsson has been one of the most loyal Android adopters. It has refused to even work on any other smartphone platform, including Windows Phone 7. It hasn’t had many hits yet, but it looks like 2011 will be a great year for Sony Ericsson.
The Xperia Play is one of the most awaited Android smartphones of the year, and the Xperia Arc is an excellent phone too. Today, details of yet another Android device by Sony Ericsson were revealed. It is the successor to the Sony Ericsson Vivaz – the Xperia Neo. It has much better hardware specs and comes with Android.
Like the Arc, it will come with a 4 inch LED backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. It will be powered by a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM and an Adreno 205 GPU, just like the Xperia Play. It has an 8 MP camera with an Exmor R sensor and LED flash and also supports 720p video recording. It also has a nice secondary camera, either a 1.3 MP or a 2 MP one, for video calls.
It will be powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the latest version of the Android OS. It will have the Timescape UI too, and will also offer HDMI out.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo will be officially launched with the Xperia Play at the Mobile World Congress in February. Keep checking for more MWC updates.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, or the Playstation phone, has been one of the most awaited Android smartphones in the past few months. Ever since it was first leaked, it had the entire Android community excited.
We did get to know the exact hardware specs and other details a few weeks back, just after CES 2011 ended. Now, we have a leaked commercial for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, thanks to DroidNYTT. It features an Android robot undergoing surgery in a shady alley to get a pair of thumbs, presumably to use the gaming controls on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. Not the best ad we have seen, but definitely cool.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play comes with a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. It has a 1 GHz CPU and 512 MB RAM with an Adreno 205 GPU. It will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and will come with exclusive games designed specifically for the Xperia Play. It is quite similar to the PSP Go in terms of design and form factor.
It will be unveiled officially by Sony Ericsson at the Mobile World Congress at February 2011. The exact launch and pricing details will be available then.
Over the last week, Sony Ericsson has started rolling out a new software updated for their Xperia range of Android phones including the X10 and the X8. This new software update aims to bring pinch-to-zoom feature to the X10 and update the UXP UI found on the Xperia family.
Sony Ericsson have also improved the performance and stability of the Xperia X10’s and the X8 with this software update. Sadly, only the biggest member of the Xperia family the X10 gets the pinch-to-zoom feature support.
Moxier in an updated version (2.7.13) that includes a great overview widget for e-mail, calendar and tasks.
Moxier e-mail shown in Timescape.
Possibilities of trimming videos in the phone.
Videos are transcoded to fit into MMS-messages even if they were recorded in high quality.
Minor changes to Mediascape with access to Now Playingin the top right corner.
Sony Ericsson has also enabled ANT+ support for the X8, the X10 Mini and Mini Pro handsets. ANT+ is a short-range communication technology will allow these handsets to wirelessly communicate with heart rate monitors and other devices. Readers can find more information about ANT+ technology here.
Owners of the Xperia handsets can update their handset by using Sony Ericsson’s PC Companion or directly via OTA (Over-The-Air).
Sony Ericsson has released a firmware update for its Live View micro display accessory. The Sony Ericsson Live View has a small 1.3-inch OLED display which connects to your Android powered phone via Bluetooth.
The small OLED display will display all the relevant information from your phone including music player controls, social networking site updates, caller ID etc. Sony Ericsson also released the API of the Live View to developers. This allowed developers to create some nifty plugins for the Live View.
However, at the time of its launch the Live View was plagued with stability and performance issues as well as Bluetooth connectivity issues with other Android based handsets.
Today, Sony Ericsson has released a software update for the Live View which improves the performance and stability of the device. The update also improves the compatibility of the device with other Android 2.2 based handsets.
Improved stability in the phone application (latest update available on Android Market as of minutes ago)
Improved plug-in handling and limit of number of installed plug-ins raised to 30.
Connection stability improved most identified reasons for random disconnects should be fixed now.
There were some cases of random reboots reported, and all those reported crashes have now been resolved.
Compatibility with competitor phones is greatly improved, both in regards to stability and to battery life time.
Automatic reconnect when coming back in range improved.
Nevertheless, some stability and connectivity issues still exist which can be fixed by rebooting the Live View. The Live View from Sony Ericsson is the perfect example of a great idea which was executed in the wrong manner. The device should have been priced a bit lower and with better compatibility with other Android running handsets.
Live View owners can update the device by using Sony Ericsson’s Update Service software.
Although Sony Ericsson has decided against rolling out FroYo or newer versions of Android for the Xperia X10, there are still a couple of more significant updates in the pipeline. The first of them will introduce partial-multitouch (dual touch), while the other one will spruce up the Timescape and Mediascape applications. As we reported earlier, Japan’s NTT Docomo customers will be the first to receive this update. However, you don’t need to be at the mercy of your carrier or Sony Ericsson to enable dual-touch on your X10.
Bina4y from xda-developers forum has released a patch that should add dual touch support to any ROM for the Xperia X10. The hotfix requires the use of Flashtools, and while the installation procedure is fairly simple, it is not for the faint hearted. If you are not comfortable with messing around with Android, it is highly recommended that you wait for the official update. If you have a rooted handset, you should also follow this guide to enable dual-touch support on all apps that can make use of it.
The biggest benefit of the aforementioned hotfix is that it will enable the pinch-to-zoom gesture on apps like Browser, Angry Birds and Maps. However, Xperia’s multi-touch is broken, like Nexus One’s. Don’t expect more complex gestures like rotation (in Google Maps 5.0) to work. It will also fail wherever more than three inputs or high precision is required.
The Sony Ericsson Vivaz was a great phone with a decent hardware specification. What led to the failure of the phone was its operating system the Symbian S60v5 OS which is not at all optimized for touch. Now, looks like Sony Ericsson is going to launch a successor to the Vivaz with an updated hardware and a much better OS Android.
Now, Eldar Murtazin over at Mobile-Review.com has managed to get his hands on the Sony Ericsson MT15i or the Vivaz 2 or the Halon (code-name) and he has done an in-depth preview of the handset. The good news is that the successor to the Vivaz has been highly appreciated by Eldar. The handset is powered by a 1GHz MSM7230 processor along with an Adreno 205GPU and packs 512MB of RAM.
The back of the phone sports an 8MP camera with an Exmor R sensor which is also found on the Xperia Arc. The camera is capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution and is aided by an LED flash as well. The front of the phone houses a bigger screen compared to the Vivaz (Eldar did not mention the size of the screen) with a higher resolution (854×480) as well. The display also sports the Bravia’ engine which helps in improving the picture quality while watching videos or browsing pictures on the device.
The Vivaz 2 will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Sony’s proprietary UI on top of it. Unlike the X10, the MediaScape and TimeScape UI have been de-coupled from the OS which will aid Sony in providing timely updates for the handset. Eldar also said that even though the device is still in pre-production stage, the handset did not feel slow, lag or crash even once. Pretty commendable for a phone which is still running pre-production software.
Readers can read the whole preview of the handset here. The Sony Ericsson Arc and the Xperia Play are already garnering the general public interest and the Vivaz 2 also looks like a hot-seller. Looks like 2011 is going to turn around the fortune of Sony Ericsson, like the Droid did for Motorola in 2009.
A couple of months ago, we had reported that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will get partial’ multi-touch support via a software update from Sony Ericsson. The company had promised to release the software update by Q1 of 2011.
Now, it looks like Sony Ericsson is going to roll out the update slowly and steadily. Starting this week, the company is going to release the multi-touch’ software update in Japan for the NTT DoCoMo branded X10’s.
The software update will only bring partial’ multi-touch to the X10. It will only allow users to take advantage of the pinch-to-zoom gesture. All the in-built applications on the phone like the Browser and the Maps will be updated to support this new multi-touch gesture as well. However, users won’t be able to enjoy the new multi-touch gestures offered by the new Google Maps 5.
Third party applications can also make use of this limited’ multi-touch support on the X10. But, users should expect this multi-touch gesture implementation to be erratic at best since it’s more of a hack. The X10 digitizer does not support true’ multi-touch and Sony Ericsson has got this partial’ multi-touch working by some clever driver coding.
Nevertheless, something is better than nothing and this software update will hopefully please all the X10 owners out there.
During the CES 2011, Sony Ericsson announced the Xperia Arc. The Xperia Arc is insanely thin at 8.7mm and packs a 4.2-inch Reality Display’ with mobile Bravia engine display. The handset is powered by a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor while an Adreno 205 handles the graphics department. The Arc was also among the few phones announced in CES to run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
One of the main highlights of the Xperia Arc is the 8MP Exmor R camera sensor. Like the iPhone 4, this new sensor is back-illuminated which makes the camera sensor much more sensitive to light. The official Sony Ericsson blog has explained in detail as to what all new camera improvements the Arc incorporates. The Arc will also feature a brand new camera UI which will be much easier and faster to use.
The blog post also states that the handset will shoot comparatively better pics in indoor and low-lit situation thanks to the increased light sensitivity, low shutter time and a lens with an aperture value of f/2.4.
The blog has also posted an HD video recorded from the Xperia Arc so as to give users a hint on the quality of the video recording.