The Great Debate: Nexus One or Xperia X10?

Many Android users looking to upgrade sometime in the near future may be asking themselves the same question, “which of the two new Android based Snapdragon handsets do I want?” Currently, the choices are The Nexus One, and The Xperia X10. I won’t add in the Acer A1, as it seems less worth while. I started writing this article last week, and realized that this could be a large compare and contract read, but as I really started to try to simplify it, it comes down to what matters to you most, hardware or software. Both of these handsets are very nice, and are very similar. Both have large displays, running Android on top of a Snapdragon processor, nice cameras with flash, among other things. While the Xperia X10 get major points for a superior camera, larger screen, and custom user interface, it does lag in some departments with the Nexus One. For starters, the Nexus One runs on Android 2.1, opposed to the X10’s Android 1.6. Other benefits from the Nexus One other than the currently exclusive software version are additional RAM and the development community coming from HTC. Also, since the Nexus One is a Google Experience phone, the updates will be available as soon as they are ready, instead of having to wait for Sony Ericsson to integrate their Rachael UI into it. The first time around when I began to write this article, the X10 was clearly the phone for me. The larger display accompanied by the 8MP camera were luxuries that I just had to have on my phone. Later on, the more I thought of these features, I started to see some downsides, or just ways that I would not take advantage of these must haves. A larger display means more to fit into your pocket, as well as affecting the feel of the device in your hands. Although the X10 has about .3 inches more screen real estate than the Nexus One, it only adds 5 grams to the weight of the device in comparison. Also, because both of these devices have large displays, they both may not feel as great in the hand as say, the MyTouch 3G. The 3.2″ display on the MyTouch is pretty perfect, allowing the user to really have a good grip on the phone, and feels great in the hand. Even with the iPhone’s 3.5″ screen, the feel in the hand can be awkward, and somewhat less enjoyable for one-handed use. As far as the camera goes with the handsets, megapixel count should mean less to the average consumer, unless you are printing out the pictures you take. The MyTouch’s 3.2 MP camera is just fine if you are justing sending pictures to friends, or uploading them to Facebook. Not to go unmentioned, the X10’s camera software appears to be phenomenal, but that still might not make me want to take any more pictures than I already do. The Nexus One’s camera has gotten decent reviews as well, but nothing spectacular. If you’ve noticed, all HTC Android phone are severely crippled in low light. I’m not sure how the cameras on Sony Ericsson’s phones are, but I think it is safe to say, that the X10 wins this round. It’s also sad to note that the best camera ever to grace Android is on the worst Android handset to date, the Samsung Behold 2. Now that I’ve realized that I may not need a whole four inches of screen, or a 8MP camera on my phone, software and community comes into play. I have never owned a Sony Ericsson phone, so this is going off of assumptions. With the most Android devices to date, the HTC development community has quite the reputation. Developer’s like Haykuro, and Cyanogen have completely changed the way some of us look at Android. There are many, many more great developers out there giving us great roms for the users to try, just way too many to name. With such an unrivaled Android following of devs on HTC’s side, Sony Ericsson’s development team is late to the game, with only one handset available to them. The user interfaces on each phone vary greatly. The Nexus One carries the new, refreshed look of Android that some would say is much needed. The X10 takes a different approach with it’s Rachael user interface. Pictures of contacts, music, and photos flow across your screen in a sexy and seemingly effortless way. SE did quite the overhaul with their UI, and it appears to be a winner. As nice as Rachael may be on the eyes, one can only think that the heavy graphics usage on Timescape and Mediascape will no doubt lessen battery life. If one of your concerns is that you love the look of the Nexus One, but want to user interface of the X10, all I would say is, “just wait.” Once both phones are on the market and rooted, The Nexus One should be able to hand the Rachael UI with ease. I’d also go far enough to say the same thing about the X10. If it only takes 256 MB of RAM to let Rachael run smoothly on the X10, then the less ‘ooh and ahh’ Nexus One software should be able to run on it just fine. So what phone will be yours in 2010?

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