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Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 - Contacts, Social and Messaging

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Currently the Xperia X8 runs the 2.1 version of Android, which is two iterations behind the latest available version. You still get all the really core functionality though so shouldn't be left wanting for too much. A number of the standard apps have been modified anyway to better fit the cramped screen.

Contacts are displayed in a long list – with five names fitting onscreen at any one time – which can be a bit of a pain to scroll through given this version of Android's slightly stuttery scrolling. Social networking integration is supported, via Sony Ericsson's Timescape app but the profile pictures aren't shown on the main contact list. Click through to a contact, however, and you can see the person's latest picture along with the rest of their info – bizarrely, the favourites page only shows pictures with picture-less contacts shown as silhouettes. Tap the Facebook icon for a contact and you can go through to their profile, or tap the Timescape (infinity) icon and their Timescape profile is shown.

Timescape is Sony Ericsson's social networking app that brings together Facebook and Twitter feeds into one stream of information. You can add a Timescape widget to the homescreen and just flick through the timeline at your leisure. Tap an update and you'll be taken to the full app so you can reply. It's quite a nice simple addition that makes keeping up with your social networks that little bit easier but the silly virtual card interface of the main timelines could do with simplifying.

Meanwhile, the dialler, which is limited to just the dialler and recent calls list, works fine but doesn't have intelligent contact matching so you always have to type out the whole number.

Standard apps for Facebook and Twitter don't come installed but you can download them from the market place and they work surprisingly well on the smallish screen. Indeed, most normal MarketPlace apps should work fine on this device, assuming they're not too demanding of the CPU speed.

SMS messages are well handled by a simple interface that keeps messages arranged by contact for easily keeping track of conversations. However, email doesn't hold up quite so well. There's no option but to have it try and squash whatever email you're viewing into a narrow column, which makes HTML emails go all over the place. And with no option to zoom in and out, you're stuck scrolling around trying to find where its randomly decided to put the various graphical elements. This is a shame, as it's otherwise a reasonably nice to use interface.

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Chris 16

January 20, 2011, 1:29 pm

Nicely written review, however I do get disappointed when it ends 'there are better cheap Android smartphones out there.' without continuing with 'like the (enter the better phone names here)' This seems a bit of a theme at trustedreviews and it would be great to give us the better alternatives without us having to become Inspector Clouseau!


January 20, 2011, 2:46 pm

@Chris 16 - The Orange San Francisco is an obvious example.

£99 on PAYG and unlockable for free, it has 512MB RAM and an 800x480 AMOLED (or it did... more recent units seem to be mostly TFT). Think it has the same processor as the Sony (MSM7227), which although only 600MHz has a decent GPU and seems acceptable to me. Perhaps the extra RAM helps.

Not everybody likes the San Francisco, to be fair, but I think at sub-£100 it's extraordinary.


January 20, 2011, 3:09 pm

I agree with simonm. I purchased the San Francisco recently and am very impressed. I unlocked it for free and then rooted it with Android 2.2 from modaco.com. It really is an excellent phone apart from the camera. HTC should hang their heads in shame for what they are charging for the Wildfire, Desire etc...


January 20, 2011, 4:43 pm

+1 San Francisco also has the micro-SD slot that Ed seems to think is a big deal in a budget phone. Definitely hard to beat at £89.99 from Argos.


January 20, 2011, 5:07 pm

Thanks for pointing me towards San Francisco guys. At this price point I may dip for a smartphone.

What next the HTC "Luton"?

From the review what I want to know, is the web browser may struggle with Flash when it supports it? I'm confused? Android update? does Android even support flash? or will it struggle with just flash heavy sites?

Any clarification most appreciated!!!


January 20, 2011, 5:50 pm

@Hank - Hahaha im not sure the Luton would have a great uptake, the San Fransisco is actually called the ZTE Blade (as it is made by ZTE) but it is branded and sold in the UK as the San Fransisco by Orange.

I would guess that flash is possible but with the (relativly) weak processor in the San Fran it wouldnt be a great experience, TBH I dont think any mobile OS has a particularly good handling of Flash websites at the moment, maybe the top end Android phones but ive even seen those lag. For a good Flash experience we will probably need the dual core processors that are coming out this year


January 20, 2011, 5:55 pm

I have this phone and there very few thing to complain about. Firstly the camera is very very poor, as the review tells you. I also think the loudspeaker on the phone could be a lot louder. it is acceptable, but I feel that it should have a somewhat louder speaker. When its in you hand and you play music it just feels like it should be louder. But the plus to this, is the positioning of the speaker you hand can cup it making it appear louder.....


January 20, 2011, 8:59 pm


Thanks a lot Stelph, the passage about Flash just confused the hell out of me. A new phone this weekend looks likely.

Alex 11

January 20, 2011, 11:41 pm

The San Francisco (or any other phone with a MSM7227 processor-- which includes the SE X8) won't get Adobe Flash support as it (currently) requires an ARMv7 processor (from what I have read it's not just the speed that is required but also the extended instruction set). The best we could hope for the San Francisco is Flash lite support.


January 21, 2011, 5:19 am

Um.. what about Silverlight lol?


November 3, 2011, 9:04 pm

Hey, does anyone knows how can I unlock mi X8 for free?? I live in argentina.. and here I have to pay a lot for unlock!


December 13, 2012, 8:14 pm

Hi! this is a concerned customer, i bought an Experia x8 barely three
months ago and i guess among the many phones that i have used this has
given me the most headaches, 1st it goes off whenever it feels like, 2nd
i cant finish making a call without going off on its self, 3rd
overheating, i reported the phone to the shop where i bought and i was
adviced to uninstall some applications i had installed but this didnt
bare fruits, so here is my question: was these phone sold on discounted
prices because they were faulty or whats wrong? i cant imagine buying a
sony ericson products again.....please advice.

Pedro M.J. Wyns

March 13, 2013, 9:53 am

your battery needs replacement. nothing more, cheap on ebay..


May 8, 2013, 12:19 pm

This is by far the worst phone I have ever had! From the start I noticed problems such as not being able to hang up phone calls as the screen would go blank. I then had a new (but same model) handset, which had the same problems so it must just be the model. The phone has always been extrememly slow (even if i deleted all apps and data off it), turns itself off when it feels like and takes an age to do anything I need it to do- often a 10 second delay when I press buttons. Camera very poor and no flash. Finally due for upgrade so can't wait to get a reliable phone at last!

Zach Smith

June 29, 2013, 10:46 am

This was by far the worst phone i have ever had. I am not going to list all the faults with it cause ill be here till tomorrow listing them. simple answer is DONT GET IT!!

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