The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 is a mid-range Google Android smartphone targeted at users who can't afford the premium Xperia X10 and find the Xperia X10 mini or mini Pro too small for their tastes. Updated, 31 March 2011

Sony Ericsson scored a big hit with last year’s X10 Mini handset, proving that you can pack power and navigability into a compact form factor without sacrificing usability.

The Xperia X8 takes the Mini idea, but isn’t as accomplished as its predecessor. It already feels quite retro: until recently it was running the Android 1.6 Donut version of the Google OS.

It has a 3in capacitive touchscreen, with a half-VGA resolution of 320x480 pixels on which icons seem to recede into the blue background. Combined with the plastic, cheap-feeling design, first impressions aren’t great. This is a shame, as some of the technology inside is good. You get GPS and location tagging, plus 3G and 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and support for microSD cards up to 16GB. There’s a parsimonious internal memory allocation of just 128MB.

Navigation on the X8 isn’t bad. The multi-screen setup means you can have a screen for YouTube clips, one for email or web browsing and another for music playback, for example. The Sony Timescape overlay lets you meld all your online accounts and get notifications about missed calls or incoming text messages.

Another interesting, Sony Ericsson-specific feature is support for LiveView - a £48 watch that synchronises with your Android device and gives you at a glance information about incoming calls and acts as a media player. 

Next page: Our original review of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8, from November 2010 >>

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