Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Breaks the $200 Superphone Barrier

By  |  Monday, August 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Apparently Sony Ericsson didn’t get the memo that you’re supposed to charge $200 for high-end Android phones.

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10, which has been sold unlocked to U.S. customers since at least March for $1,000, and now $550, finally got its first subsidy from AT&T. And unlike other Android phones with big screens, fancy cameras and fast processors, the Xperia X10 costs $150 with a two-year contract.

That gives Sony Ericsson a $50 edge over Samsung’s Captivate on AT&T. On other carriers, Android superphones also stick firmly to $200, including the Droid X, Droid Incredible, and HTC EVO 4G. Motorola’s original Droid cost $200 at launch, and it looks like the same will be true for Droid 2.

What gives? The Xperia X10 isn’t lacking in hardware. It has a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, a 4-inch touch screen display and an 8.1-megapixel camera with smile detection. And while Sony Ericsson is behind the competition on software — the phone ships with Android 1.6 over a custom interface, instead of version 2.1 like every other high-end handset — the company is promising to roll out updates.

I’m just speculating, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Sony and AT&T worked out a lower price because Sony’s been mostly absent from the high-end smartphone race stateside, while Motorola and HTC gobble all the market and mind share. (Remember when we thought the Sony Ericsson Satio, nee Idou, would be a legitimate iPhone competitor?) In any case, a $150 price tag looks good next to AT&T’s other smartphone choices, like the aforementioned Captivate and the 16 GB iPhone 4.

Just one thing to keep in mind when buying: If you’re a first-time smartphone owner, $50 is nothing compared to AT&T’s $25 monthly data charge. In the end, you’ll want a smartphone that makes you happy for two years, not one that saves a few bucks up front. I haven’t tried Sony’s Xperia X10, but I wouldn’t recommend it on the sticker price alone.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Ryan Says:

    I've heard only so-so reviews of the X10, since it's been out here in Canada for months now. Hell, you can get it for $99 on a 3 year contract nowadays. And the 2.1 update has been promised for AGES now, with no relief in sight. I'm personally going with a Captivate when it gets launched up here.

    And on top of that, here's some of the benefits of the Captivate over the X10:
    – Super AMOLED screen
    – Divx support.
    – Multitouch.
    – 720p video.
    – Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP.
    – 802.11n support
    – 16m colours (vs 65k on the x10)
    – up to 32gb microSD vs 16gb max on X10 (not sure if the 16gb cap on the X10 is true or not)
    – 16gb internal memory vs 1gb internal memory
    – 512mb ram vs 256mb ram
    – 10mm thick (23% thinner than the x10)
    – weighs 128g (5% lighter than the x10)
    – meets the minimum specs for Android 3.0 (512mb ram)
    – FM Radio

    So that $50 is definitely worth it to upgrade to the Captivate, IMO. Now, this is on the Canadian spec X10, but I haven't heard anything about Sony upgrading it for the US release.

  2. steve Says:

    First off, both the captivate and x10 are good phones. However, much of your information about the x10 is incorrect.

    Super AMOLED is really about preference as some people will prefer the way the colors are displayed vs lcd screens. Also from my experience, using the lcd screen in direct sunlight has been much easier than both AMOLED and super AMOLED.

    The x10 does support divx playback.

    Both 720p recording and full use of the 16m color screen will come by the end of the year with sony's update.

    16gb max sd card is false. 32gb cards have been tested and working.

    One note where the x10 beats the captivate and most other phones on the market is the 8mp camera. It is far and away the best camera i have used on a phone.