Big Disappointment Or No Biggie: Xperia X10 Launching With Android 1.6


xperia-x10When the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 launches, likely in April, it will come packing Android 1.6. We all know that the most current Android Phones will be running Android 2.1 or beyond. So it should be no surprise that Sony Ericsson reps are feeling the heat when they demo the product, with people claiming the phone is already outdated.

Not so says Sumit from SE’s corporate blog. He provides an interesting narrative that downplays the importance of OS version number while promising the X10 will get a 2.1 update anyways:

The OS versions are somewhat becoming a reference point for people I feel. Similar to processor speed in computers and megapixels in camera phones. I as consumer of course evaluate the same things, buying equipment on my own. However when you start evaluating usage, there are more factors to consider than just the specs.

He goes on to explain that the look and feel of the phone in your hand help you sum up immediate positive feelings. The OS is dismissed as “outdated” but if you consider the custom elements of the X10 like Timescape and Mediascape, than even with Android 1.6 the phone competes very well against others with 2.1.

I wouldn’t argue and he makes a pretty good point. Just because the X10 isn’t the MOST up to date software isn’t a reason to dismiss it completely. First of all, what are the features from 1.6 to 2.1 that make the X10 a phone you simply couldn’t purchase on launch day? Second of all, the X10 will be updated to 2.1+ sometime after launch… OTA’s FTW!

Then I introduce the signature applications; Sony Ericsson TimescapeTM and Mediascape and the focus of the discussion shifts from talking about this layer on top of Android, that I refer to as the Sony Ericsson User Experience platform. I now find myself discussing the total  experience rather the OS version in isolation with a great appreciation about what we are bringing to the table. Then the interest of the User Experience platform future roadmap gets to be the talking point instead. What I hope to get across to you all, is that there will be a software update for Xperia X10 that will upgrade the complete Sony Ericsson User Experience Platform based on newer version of the Android OS.

My favorite part of the blog post is this:

I am both confident and humble at the same time

Claiming that you’re humble seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, but whatever, we get the point. He even admits that there are obvious upgrades in Android 2.1 but he is simply downplaying the NECESSITY for it and explains how with the Sony Ericsson User Experience Platform for Android integrated, the X10 is much more than just a regular Android 1.6 phone.

What do you think:

  • Would a phone launching with Android 1.6 prevent you from purchasing it, even if you know it would one day get a 2.1+ update?
  • What features in Android 2.1+ do you consider necessary or highly desired that a 1.6 phone DOESN’T have and thus, causing you to not consider it as a purcahse option?
Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. definitely! Why buy a phone with 1.6 almost 4 months after 2.1 came out? And promises to update to new versions of android don’t mean anything without firm release dates. I’m still waiting for my moto cliq update to 2.x. Hell, at this point I’ll even take 1.6!!

  2. It personally wouldn’t bother me if it ran1.6 for a while and eventually was updated OTA to 2.1. The Timescape and Mediascape are the driving points for this phone. They were optimized to give the end-user the best experience which for now is obviously on the 1.6 OS. 2.1 will roll around and it’ll be further improved. So I say we all just sit back and see what develops.

  3. I’m running 1.6 on my HTC Dream and am happy with it, but I definitely would NOT buy another phone with 1.6 on it knowing that other phones were shipping with 2.X. Aside from the features that come in 2.X versus 1.6, my main concern would be compatibility with the latest and greatest market apps, as they are typically developed/tested against the most current OS versions.

    I think that with the rate at which OS updates are coming out, it’s very easy to get left behind… so for me, getting a device that’s a major release behind out of the gate would be out of the question.

  4. if it was alot cheaper, I wouldnt care. but for the price this thing is going to bring, NO WAY!

  5. Ayy it could be worse people it could be running 1.5 Android and have nobody updating it even though they have 2.1 android for them(Samsung Behold 2 Reference)

  6. Its taken too long for this phone to come out. Im going to wait until April as Im hoping the wait means a really good build.

  7. It all depends on what kind of magic SE has done to 1.6.

    I wont decide til Ive seen a couple of reviews.

  8. I think it definitely matters when it come to OS. I mean when buying a new computer would you want to buy one with Windows XP or Windows 7? Yeah I know a lot of people hated Vista and clung to XP but thats a different story. I personally would want the latest OS on my NEW device. Now it kind of sucks that Google is having a hard time making a standard when it comes to issuing the latest OS and figuring out upgrade paths for existing hardware. Hopefully they’ll figure out a system that works better than what they’ve got going on right now.

    Hey I’ve got a computer with a quad core 3GHZ processor; it’s Blu-Ray capable; has an OLED monitor, 1 TB hard drive, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 295…and certified Windows XP! Any takers?

  9. They have the specks and the time before launch, why not upgrade the phones before 2H 2010??

  10. Crying myself to sleep as my Hero is still running 1.5, I miss well-working Bluetooth, FLAC support, some apps that require 1.6 or higher and more speed. I have Sense UI, so it’s not all bad. And two-fingered zooming is also available on my Hero so no problems there.

  11. this guy just tried to rape me!

  12. no i didn’t get raped that was my so called friend who put that up there i did not get raped seriously u suck dalton

  13. I wouldn’t mine running 1.6 for a short time, however, as a SE phone user, i know for sure that Sony-Ericsson is abandoning their products quite fast.
    So, they are releasing an already outdated phone and they promising us they will update it to current version. It will happen by the time everybody else will be running 3.x and i don’t expect SE to also update to that version.

    I had toughts on getting a X10 but I’ll probably aquire a HTC or Samsung.

  14. You people realize that only the geeks actually care? My wife has a MT3G and could care less what she is running. I rooted it, put Cyanogen and a theme on it and she could care less… All she wants is for it to look good and work.
    Now, I on the other hand, I do care, but the vast majority of people are sheep and dont care. Hence the popularity of the Icrap… I mean Iphone…

  15. @Zapote21

    Very good point, I guess we geek out in here about specs and OS versions because well, most of us are geeks, but at the end of the day the average buyer could care less how much RAM/ROM a phone has or whether the processor is snapdragon, as long as it works fine and wows them now and then.

    I’m still telling people about Nexus one, I’m amazed the amount of people who say to me “what’s that”, while most of us here knew a month or more before it came out.

  16. From the Sony Ericsson dev blog.

    “X10 will launch with Android 1.6 and it will be possible to upgrade to a later Android release as part of upgrading the whole UXP. I can´t be explicit about what version nor exact timing at this time and therefore it’s difficult for me to discuss the details on which of the 2.1 capabilities that will be leveraged in the upgrade. This is as we are enhancing the product with a different approach using our UXP layer. I understand your frustration as you have reference points in the market and thus your views of what we should support.”

  17. Ok so I ave the cliq, cool phone but the os is 1.5 :-( I have tmobile witch they have good service, and decent pricing, but there us phone selec is garbage. I agree that the normal cattle doesn’t care about there os cuz the ibitch is soooooo cool.(choking on vomit) it would be nice for tmobile us to make a good dec about getting us a good phone. Sory back to the topic I would love a X10, but yea Se doesn’t hold too much weight with me, and 1.6 come on why not give us the 2x, this phone will retail for over 500 without a contract, and we have no garuntee the os will ever be updated. It is a bitch ass move and I for one will never purchase another so called revolutionary phone(moto blur is a joke) all the things it does are pretty much available in the app store. I am a phone junkie and would love to sport the mighty droid! But again tmobile decided that the cliq was a better route, so I for one will wait til someone dazzles me with a mighty great product.

  18. My only question that I still can’t get answered is if you can get rid of that horrible blue background. And if the X10 uses the same camera as the Vivaz then why isn’t 720p recording enabled on the X10. I thought Ericsson wanted to change their reputation this go round.

  19. Doesn’t make any difference to me if it’s Android 1.6, 2.0 or 2.1. Currently have a T-Mobile G1 on 1.6 and it runs well, the X10 is much faster, much bigger and hopefully much better, really cannot wait and will be getting as soon as my current contract finishes! £35 a month, £18 for phone, 1200 mins, unlimited texts, unlimited internet, 8GB memory card, sounds like a fantastic deal to me! :)

  20. If I buy 1.6 now, how can I upgrade to 2.1? do i have to buy a new one?,

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