There have been an almost overwhelming number of smartphone launches during this CES - which is definitely a good thing. The whole team has been running around getting hands on time whenever possible in between meetings, and I've been doing the same all day both days. Two phones that I've been meaning to write about are the Huawei IDEOS X5 and Sony Xperia Arc. 

Huawei IDEOS X5 (left), Xperia Arc (right)

Huawei IDEOS X5

On Thursday morning, Huawei introduced its latest handset, the IDEOS X5, which runs stock Android 2.2.1 and packs the same 800 MHz MSM7230 we've seen in the T-Mobile G2. Huawei's spec list is rather impressive actually: 

Huawei Ideos X5
SoC 800 MHz MSM7230 (45 nm Snapdragon)
GPU Adreno 205
RAM 512 MB
NAND 4 GB internal microSD, 512 MB ROM Storage
Camera 5 MP, LED Flash, 720P Video Recording
Screen 3.8" 800x480 LCD-TFT, Capacitive Touch
Bands (UMTS) HSPA+ 14.4, HSUPA 5.76Mbps: 900, 2100, AWS
Bands (GSM/EDGE) GSM/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
Weight 117 grams (4.12 oz)
I/O microUSB, BT 2.1, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi (2.4 and 5 GHz), 3.5 mm audio

The industrial design of the IDEOS X5 is surprisingly tasteful, and reminds me a lot of a somewhat wider, simpler Nexus One. The back is a grey soft touch material, there's a Nexus One-ish camera ring, and overall the X5 just has a pleasant feeling in the hands.


It's also relatively thin at 8.7 mm, but not quite as thin as the other two "world's thinnest" devices that have debuted at CES (which seems to be a recurring theme lately). In all honesty, I was decently impressed with the X5's feel and build. 

Front is all one unbroken piece of glass with capacitive Android buttons at the bottom. There's a chrome lip which runs around the edge of the phone.

The back of the X5 slides off revealing (unsurprisingly) a T-Mobile SIM and the microSD card slot. It looks like there are antenna traces down on the bottom, like we're used to seeing for so many smartphones. The battery is 1500 mAh/5.6 Whr. There's also a noise cancellation microphone for voice calls just to the left of the 5.0 megapixel silk screening.

Huawei has demonstrated its ability to craft a quality, well put together handset with the X5, a huge improvement from previous devices which were criticized for feeling cheaper and flimsier than competing phones. They also pointed out that the X5 is just one of a number of IDEOS line devices coming in the future. I was decently impressed with everything I saw with the X5, including the fact that it packs a fast, modern SoC with HSPA+ support and has nearly everything else we'd expect from the likes of, say, HTC. It's clear we're going to see a lot more of Huawei in 2011, and we were told that there would be a later version sporting the 1 GHz MSM8255. Whether the X5 gets an update to gingerbread was a bit vague, however the 1 GHz version sporting the faster MSM8255 seems like a likely bet. If the X5 launches at a competitive enough price mid 2011, we could definitely see Huawei become as big of a player in the handset business as it is in the network equipment business.

Sony Xperia Arc
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  • Mikey Mouse - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    What's cool about the Ideos is it's supposed to be a "budget" device, but seems to not too far behind the top tier phones.

    It also runs stock vanilla android, this alone means I'm pretty much in love.
  • warisz00r - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    Same, same!

    Also, the thickness of 8.7mm DOES make the X5 one of the thinnest smartphones around.
  • warisz00r - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link


    After seeing the Huawei up close, I figure that it's no way near 8.7mm thin. Typo?
  • deputc26 - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    Yep I thought the same thing, has to be a typo or it WOULD be the thinnest smartphone as the current record holder is the infuse at 9.0mm
  • Mikey Mouse - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    11.4mm Thick.. Still, I think it's not bad considering the price point this is targeting. Apparently it's launching here for about NZ$500 which makes it half the price of the Galaxy S
  • TareX - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    Easily the best looking phone. On the software side, it's EXTREMELY responsive and fluid... all the video demos I've seen comfirmed this fact. The widgets are a feast for the eyes, and the camera app is insane. EXCELLENT PHONE... except...

    ...for the catch:

    In order to make it that thin, they had to remove the front camera. There'll be no video calling in the future of this phone. Instant dealbreaker for me.

    And I love the Gingerbread surprise, SE.
  • poohbear - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    u know i was all excited about video calling, but i never ended up using the feature! used it once to check if it was working, and that's it! its just not something i wanna do, i found out i prefer just hearing the other persons voice, allows me to multi task while talking instead of just staring at them, and heck i already know how they look and im gonna see them soon enough, so why bother? Im on the phone to talk, and that's what i do.
  • TareX - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    Maybe for you.... but for me, my parents live in another continent, and I video call my mother everyday. My friends are all over the world as well. It's quite important.
  • Belard - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    When I was buying my first smart phone 2-3 months ago... I had the choice of the Xperia or new Samsung Galaxy S Captive and I've been using SONY Cell phones for about the past 8 years.

    Obviously, the screen is better on the Samsung. I like how the SONY felt - the previous model is thicker (which I preferred) but a tad heavier. I also prefer the main buttons being real.

    But that stupid rubber cover for the top-mounted USB port and older Android OS made me go with Samsung and the ALOED screen finished it off. Obviously the newer SONY has the newer OS... but still... The rubber covers ALWAYS sucked and still suck. Samsung uses a sliding cover

    If I went with the SONY, I'd have ripped it off.
  • guidoq - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    All these Android articles are getting silly. Would this be a story if it was about the iphone?

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