Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Xperia X1’s Sliding Keyboard: Design Flaw

Photo: My Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

After almost a year using my Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 mobile phone, I have come to a conclusion that its sliding keyboard is a design flaw. If you really a heavy user of the keyboard, I would not recommend the phone at all. On the other hand, people normally choose Xperia X1 because of the keyboard, otherwise they would opt for other cheaper phones such as HTC Diamond or Samsung Omnia. Therefore, it’s not worth spending your money for that expensive phone. For Xperia X1 wanna-be user, I would suggest you buy another phone instead.

Lousy Phone

I bought the phone on November last year, and after becoming a happy user of the phone for just several weeks, I have started to experience the problem on its sliding keyboard some time on late February or early March 2009, which was just several months after it was bought. I will not go into details on the problem, you can just click the above-mentioned hyperlinks for more info about the problem. In short, the problem was fixed after I sent the phone for repair some time on July 2009. Basically, they changed the keyboard with a new one to fix the problem, although since they confirmed that it was a hardware issue, I had concerns that the new keyboard would eventually have the same problem when the time comes.

And… guess what? My concerns came true. Since last month, again I started to experience similar problem with the keyboard. And yes, it *is* the new keyboard which is having the same problem. And I am not alone, many other Xperia X1 users experience the same problem after several weeks or months using the phone. With even new keyboard experiencing the same problem, I conclude that the problem is due to a design flaw which will cause the keyboard to have the problem after several weeks or month of usage, depends on how often the user uses the sliding keyboard.

Lousy Service

I brought the phone to the Sony Ericsson Service Centre at Wisma Atria again last Sunday (1/11). Since the warranty period is nearing the end, the customer service officer said that the service will be chargeable, even though I brought the warranty card, because I was unable to provide her with the receipt as proof of purchase. She said that she was not able to determine the exact date of purchase because it was not on Sony Ericsson’s database.

She advised that I can try calling SingTel Mobile’s customer service and get them to fax the copy of my mobile contract to Sony Ericsson. When I called them, they said that they can provide the service, however it would take 5-7 working days and it costs me $30. The SingTel’s service officer advised that I might be able to get the copy of the mobile contract from the shop I purchased the Xperia X1 from. Sigh, I ditched the idea and decided to search for the contract on my pile of files at home on Sunday night. Alhamdulillah, thank God, I found it after almost two hours combing my files, and I have faxed it over to Sony Ericsson earlier this morning to ensure that I don’t get charged for this service.

No More Sony Ericsson Phones For Me

With such an experience with a lousy phone with a lousy service from the service centre, I have promised myself that I will never buy another Sony Ericsson phone. Well, some might said that since Xperia X1 was built by HTC for Sony Ericsson, that means the design flaw might be HTC’s fault, but I have friends who have HTC Touch Pro and the newer HTC Touch Pro 2, and they are happy users of the phones. My friend Arga suggested me to upgrade to the upcoming Xperia X2 phone which will be released this month, or even the future Android-based Xperia X3, but how can I ensure that similar design flaw will not apply to the newer phones as well?

Photo: HTC Touch Pro 2 (courtesy of gsmarena.com)

Photo: Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO (courtesy of gsmarena.com)

Photo: Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 (courtesy of gsmarena.com)

Photo: Nokia N97 (courtesy of gsmarena.com)

Yes, I intend to replace my Xperia X1 soon, if the problem still happens again after this second round of servicing. But I’m still not too sure which phone I should buy. It has to has a sliding keyboard, and it cannot be another Sony Ericsson phone. :P So, Xperia X2 is definitely out of question. I was considering Nokia N97 before my friends advised me that it’s not really a good phone, since it hangs quite frequently. I am currently considering either HTC Touch Pro 2 or the new Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO (the sliding keyboard type-one, not the Blackberry-alike OmniaPRO B7320). Do you have any other phones I should consider? :)