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15 tips for new Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 users

Xperia_x1_tips

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 smartphone works pretty well right out of the box, but since Windows Mobile works better when tweaked and the X1 isn’t perfect in its factory condition, I’ve put together a list of 15 tips to help users get the most out of their devices as quickly and easily as possible.

Whether it’s a software/utility recommendation, a little trick, or a simple tweak that doesn’t require a registry editor, all of the following tips are sure to enhance and improve the Xperia X1’s user experience.

These tips can be used in any order and combination, so feel free to pick and choose.

Click on a tip below for more information.

  1. Download more panels.
  2. Create your own panels.
  3. Install XperiaTweak.
  4. Map soft keys.
  5. Use VistaHide Battery Gauge.
  6. Patch Skype with audio output fix.
  7. Switch to VGA resolution as needed.
  8. Unlock 802.11g wireless standard.
  9. Keep tabs on data usage with Spb Wireless Monitor.
  10. Get YouTube app (and panel).
  11. Enable optical joystick.
  12. Try VirtuaMouse.
  13. Demo PocketPlayer.
  14. Make touchscreen vibrate.
  15. Buy accessories.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

Download more panels.

Since one of the highlights of the X1 is its panel interface, it only logical to make the most of it. Some have commented that the panels are too gimmicky to be useful; while there is certainly an element of novelty involved, the panels have the potential to be powerful because of their ability to make so much information accessible so quickly.

Xperia_x1_tips_panels

The seven preinstalled panels (3D Fish, Xperia Radio, two Sony Ericsson layouts, Media Xperience, Google, and Microsoft Today) can all be rearranged and removed at will. Even better, more panels can be added by downloading them directly to the X1. Just tap the Panels button on the default home page in Opera 9.5 or Internet Explorer.

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Create your own panels.

At the time of this writing, there are six additional panels that can be downloaded to the X1: Cool Hunting, Dashwire, FaceBook, Slideshow, Spb Mobile Shell, and Windows Live. If you don’t find any of these appealing and/or you don’t want to wait for more to become available, then go ahead and make your own! Developers can use the official SDK, while others can hone their skills with the unofficial panel creator.

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Install XperiaTweak.

Editing the X1’s registry to modify default settings and system configurations isn’t for the uninitiated.

Xperia_x1_tips_xtweak

That’s why a free application like XperiaTweak (via xda-developers) is an absolute must-have. Among other things, it allows you to change the LED illuminations, use different fonts, and disable certain behaviors . . . all with a simple tick of a checkbox.

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Map soft keys.

Although certain Xperia panels and various plug-ins/themes let you add program shortcuts to the Today screen for quick access to applications and utilities, too many icons can turn to clutter and make finding what you’re looking for more difficult.

Xperia_x1_tips_softkeys

So I keep my preferred panel clean and rely on the hardware soft keys for launching my most-used apps. To do this, just go to Start -> Settings -> Personal tab -> Buttons. Highlight a key and select the desired action from the "Assign a program" drop-down menu.

If you want to map more than just the soft keys, take a look at X1ButtonMapper.

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Use VistaHide Battery Gauge.

My favorite battery meter for Windows Mobile devices is VistaHide Battery Gauge (freeware).

Xperia_x1_tips_vhbatt

It’s an unobtrusive color-coded gradient bar that sits at the top of the screen and "shortens" as the battery depletes. Very nice.

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Patch Skype with audio output fix.

If you’re an avid Skype user, then you’ve probably already installed Skype for Windows Mobile 2.5. And if you’ve made your first call, then you also already know that the audio is only output (poorly) through the X1’s small speaker. To redirect the sound to the earpiece speaker, download MarceloFB’s sound output switch and run it before launching Skype.

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Switch to VGA resolution as needed.

There aren’t too many third-party applications out there that natively support the Xperia X1’s WVGA (800 x 480) resolution, so if you’re upgrading to the X1 from a Windows Mobile device with a lower resolution, a lot of your old apps may not work.

Xperia_x1_tips_vga1

If these programs support VGA (640 x 480), however, you can grab a free copy of WVGAFIX2 and toggle between the two resolutions at any time.

Xperia_x1_tips_vga2

The emulated VGA screen isn’t pretty, but I think being able to use your favorite VGA apps is more important than some temporarily blacked out pixels.

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Unlock 802.11g wireless standard.

This may not really apply to the X1 (I haven’t looked at the registry and am getting mixed results), but it’s worth sharing since it doesn’t do any harm and is a nice general tip for all Windows Mobile Professional devices.

Apparently, many smartphone WLAN cards have the faster 802.11g wireless standard disabled by default. Naturally, ena bling "g" mode results in increased WiFi speeds. You can test your speed at DSLreports before and after installing the CAB file to see for yourself whether it makes a difference on your X1. My speeds ranged between 520kbps to 1318kbps without the "g tweak" and maxed out about 1797kbps with it.

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Keep tabs on data usage with Spb Wireless Monitor.

We’ve all heard horror stories of people receiving huge bills after being slammed with fees for excessive data usage. Don’t be one of them! Since even "unlimited" data plans can sometimes be capped (check your carrier’s fine print), it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your usage. Better yet, let Spb Wireless Monitor ($19.95) do it for you.

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Get YouTube app (and panel).

If you live and breathe YouTube and aren’t content to get your fix using Opera and Flash Lite 3, then waste no time in getting zenkinz’s beautiful YouTube app.

Xperia_x1_tips_youtube

When you’re done, you can install Mole91’s YouTube Panel and add it into your panel rotation.

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Enable optical joystick.

Navigation on the X1 is so versatile that you’ll probably find yourself using some combination of the touchscreen, your finger, the stylus, the keyboard, and the 4-way navigation key. Don’t forget about the optical joystick! Just because it’s clickable doesn’t mean it’s just an OK key; it’s actually more like an optical mouse.

Xperia_x1_tips_joystick

To enable the joystick, go to Start -> Settings -> System tab -> Optical Joystick. Once it’s enabled and you have the sensitivity set to your liking, you can glide your finger across the optical surface to move the on-screen highlight. It can also be used for scrolling and swiping in certain applications, which I really like.

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Try VirtuaMouse.

Ever wish the X1 had an on-screen mouse pointer?

Xperia_x1_tips_vm

Then download a 30-day free trial of Innovisoft’s VirtuaMouse One-Hand ($24.95), a customizable application that gives you just that. Movement isn’t as fluid as a real mouse pointer and it only works with the 4-way navigation key (no optical joystick support, unfortunately), but it’s certainly worth a look.

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Demo PocketPlayer.

I prefer dedicated DAPs for my audio needs, but if you’re a one-device person who’s satisfied with the sound quality of phones, then check out Conduits’ Pocket Player.

Xperia_x1_tips_pp

It’s more finger-friendly than the included Windows Media Player and it supports kinetic scrolling, an extensive array of file formats (Ogg Vorbic and FLAC included), gapless playback with adjustable crossfading, and Bluetooth stereo headphones.

You can demo a full version of Pocket Player free for 30 days.

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Make touchscreen vibrate.

Haptic feedback is all the rage on mobile devices with touchscreens these days. The Xperia X1 doesn’t have it out of the box, but Snailslug’s TouchResponse utility "gives" it to the phone in seconds. Once installed, the X1’s touchscreen will vibrate when touched, providing feedback to let your fingers know that their touch has been registered. The vibration can be disabled/re-enabled at any time and other settings are configurable.

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Buy accessories.

Customization isn’t limited to software and there are definitely some glaring omissions in the X1 retail box, so accessorizing your device is worth looking into. From cases and microSD cards to headsets and screen protectors, accessories are a great way to protect, personalize, and enhance your investment. Update: Read my Noreve leather case review.

Here are some online retailers that carry a nice selection of X1 accessories:

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If you know of other tips and tricks that would make the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 even better, please share them in the comments section below.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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Avatar of Jenn K. Lee

55 thoughts on “15 tips for new Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 users

  • Avatar of orbitalcomp

    I sure wish I had an X1 to tweak…

    Keep rubbing it in, Jenn ;-)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Klassej

    Jenn,
    What’s your take on the speed of the device? I’m considering replacing my Nokia E71 with one of these but I’m quite picky about responsiveness. (I would get an iPhone 3G if it was synchable with Lotus Notes though since the music player ability also is core for me.)

    Thanks

    Reply
  • wow… That is nice!!!

    I wish it was in a B&M store so I could play with it.

    Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Thank you very much for including VirtuaMouse One-Hand in your list of tips!

    Just so that you know, we are currently working on getting VirtuaMouse One-Hand to work with the Xperia’s optical pad. We should have an update for the X1’s optical pad within a few weeks.

    In the meanwhile, if anyone’s trial period runs out before they get to try VirtuaMouse with the optical pad, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to extend your trial.

    You can contact me anytime via the form at http://www.innovisoft.com/contact.html . Please add a note at the top of your message saying “Please forward to Michael Prendergast” to make sure that I get your email.

    I’d also be happy to answer any questions that anyone may have, and feature requests are always welcome.

    Thanks again,
    Michael Prendergast
    Founder
    Innovisoft Corporation

    Reply
  • I’m not blown away, but it’s pretty good. It tends to get bogged down kind of easily, though, and performs better when only a few apps are running at the same time (like most phones, I guess). I assume the bottleneck is the CPU and not the RAM, but I don’t really know. Sometimes there’s a slight lag when doing basic things like launching the Start menu, while other times the “waiting/loading” icon barely flashes on screen before an app is up. Maybe this is an unfair comparison (and I haven’t done any timed tests to confirm this), but it feels like I do more waiting with the X1 than the iPhone 3G. Or is it just the iPhone eye candy that’s distracting me?

    Reply
  • That’s great news, Michael! I’m looking forward to it.

    Reply
  • Thanks, Virtua. I saw all the different Manila/Touch variations but have been so happy with the default SE panel (shown in first photo) that I didn’t bother to try any of them. I’m not even using the Spb Mobile Shell panel, and I usually use that app on anything that will run it! You’re using TF as your primary panel? Or do you switch it up depending on your mood/needs?

    Reply
  • And you typed this from your new 3G netbook? Meanwhile, the X1i doesn’t support the 3G band AT&T uses here in Hawaii (850MHz) and my dreams of having a 3G Intel MID are still unfulfilled. NOW who’s rubbing it in?! ;-)

    Reply
  • Wow nice tips for those that have the X1, and to get more out of the phone. Looks like the keyboard is nice compose emails, SMS, etc… how well does flash lite 3 work?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Virtua

    Hi Jenn, its a bit novel really – I switch between them depending on my mood. I havent installed the soft keyboard or any other extras as it currently interacts in and out of the experia interface just fine :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Klassej

    I just got one myself today and my initial impression is quite positive, some Win Mo quirks but overall it’s quite nice (it’s great from a hardware/physical perspective). I’m going to try out this custom ROMs later tonight to see if it’s speedier and how well the HTC TouchFlo3D interface works:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=458768

    Reply
  • I actually thought Flash was supposed to be included, but I had to download/install a CAB from MoDaCo to get it working in Opera. It seems to slow things down a bit to me and I can’t get YouTube videos to play inside the browser, so I’d be better off without it.

    I’m really liking the keyboard. It’s more comfortable than I expected it to be, so typing isn’t a pain. I think I’d be able to type faster if my nails were shorter, but it’s pretty good so far. I’m still practicing to get my speed up.

    Reply
  • Hi,
    I tried to install Skype with the output patch. Skype wasn’t a problem but it seems that I am not able to download the output switch.
    I get an error 500 if I click on the link so I used google to find another link but I can not found any.
    Do you have another link to this install?

    Ben

    Reply
  • Try the link again. The xda-developers forum was down yesterday, but it’s back up again.

    Reply
  • How can I disable the vibrating that will be happening sometimes when I click certain things?

    Reply
  • Hello,

    Thanks for the links – they have been really useful. Especially the YouTube one. I am still trying to get skype to work, but will give it another try shortly. When I download the PocketPlayer and then try to install – it keeps saying that the application is not Pocket PC compatible application.

    Does anyone else experience this?

    Reply
  • hey pepps just got the x1, buyt i am looking for new software or even some new prorams that are cool, i dnt fanci installing the touch flo 3d as i have read in many forums that it slows down the x1, so can people plz send me cab file to down load or anything plz ! :)ty

    Reply
  • Avatar of Tamlyn

    i down loaded skype for windows 2.5, and it will not allow me to
    use it as it is not an app for the phone????!!!
    can anyone help???

    Reply
  • Avatar of Tamlyn

    yes i’ve got it too. and now i’m trying to downloading xperia tweak, and that is not working aswell………………………i’m not a happy camper!

    Reply
  • Are you downloading the Pocket PC or Smartphone version? The X1 is a Pocket PC.

    Reply
  • You’re in Hawaii… I think that means everyone is jealous… without even thinking about a phone!

    Reply
  • I have been waiting for a top notch phone that runs windows mo and has a big screen for ever. I have written some small database programs that will only run on win mo and therefore must get the x1. This site is great with all the tips and chat. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Anyone who is interested, SE are releasing the first ROM updates for the X1, via SE update service, nowish.
    Not all global regions are out yet, but worth running an update check to see.
    Apparently, it will say you have the latest , but people are saying if you can click “update anyway”, the new ROMs are being installed.
    Changes noticed so far are speed increases, minor camera improvements, Newer software versions.

    Have fun.

    Reply
  • Hi guys can somebody help me with my x1. I have a hard time connecting to wlan/wifi. sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn’t. can you guys help with the settings? i thing that’s the problem (i hope).tnx

    Reply
  • Avatar of Muppet

    Thanks man! i bought my X1 yesterday and i was looking for most of the tweaks allready! you saved me a lot of time! Thank you very much!

    Reply
  • please tell me how to download more panels other than default or sony ercisson sit .. i need a new look for x1

    Reply
  • Avatar of Lazy

    I have installed the Youtube applicatio on my X1 It starts but it cant make a connection. After a couple of seconds i get the message Connection Failed…. But i can connect to every page

    Can sombody help me!?

    Greetzzzzz

    Reply
  • Thanks for these, most were very useful. Now, if only there were a free way to sync the apple address contacts with the x1, I’d be much better off :)

    Reply
  • hi…
    i had download the new panel for x1 that is blue butpanel,
    so what should i do to run the files of that panel,and how can i use the panel.if anybody know please let me know.it will be great.please send me details on my e mail.
    my Email is [email protected]

    Reply
  • Very nice battery app but how do i get it reinstalled?

    Reply
  • I read this & this inforamtion is very nice. Unlocking a mobile is very easy nowadaya. U can unlock it by service provider or from the online itself. I found the unlock codes for nokia,lg,samsung from http://www.mobile-unlocker.com/

    Reply
  • Avatar of Ramesh L. Vasnani

    NEED HELP!!

    Hello to 1 and all. I have been reading these posts with pleasure. I have a problem with my Xperia. I am not able to do a backup of data as the Activesync does not allow this option.

    Any other suggestion will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks / Ramesh

    Reply
  • Avatar of Gurudas Kharare

    Hi!!!!!!
    x1 model is wonderfull. i like very much. pl. tel me when price is reduse in diwali.

    Reply
  • Hey Jenn, how did you change your start bar menu to be black?

    Reply
  • SCRATCH THAT

    got it lol

    Reply
  • how to change the language from french to English

    Reply
  • Avatar of Massimo

    in the future , will xperia x1 joystick work like a mouse ?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Fingerizm

    Please could anyone tell how to bring/add the task manager on the top toolbar, beside the clock, i had it before, but when i formated the phone it was gone!

    please help..
    btw it is shown in the first picture in this page on the X1 photo

    please help
    oh yes, i have the X2

    thanks again

    Reply
  • did youtube worked for Xperia X1? I tried to install both cab’s but it didnt worked for me unfortunately. can you tell me steps to install?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Carla

    Please, My question is really basic, but I cannot get onto my linksys wireless G Broadband. I have been thorugh a bunch of sites w/ people all having the same issue. Do you have a straight forawrd answer? I am using WEP, Secured, Used the password, changed the password-retried, unplugged the router, used the key#…? The router works fine for my 2 laptops. I am clueless at this point!?

    Reply
  • Thank you, maybe this can help me .. once again I thank you. I LOVE SONY ERICSSON..

    Reply
  • anyone pls help me how 2 enable de g mode wireless

    Reply
  • how 2 download some softwares games panels etc….????

    Reply
  • This is a great post it was very informative. I look forward to reading more of your work. So I made sure to bookmark your site so I can come back later. I enjoyed every minute of this reading

    Reply
  • I still own Xperia X1 and quite happy with its quality after many years. Sorry guys, I will not buy an iPhone yet. :)

    Reply
  • You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation but I in finding this topic to
    be actually one thing which I believe I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very vast for me. I am taking a look ahead
    in your subsequent post, I will try to get the dangle of it!

    Reply
  • I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website
    yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks a lot

    Reply
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  • DOES THIS PHONE NEED DATA?

    Reply

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