To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Sony Ericsson gets inside Facebook

All the latest Sony handsets now benefit from enhanced Facebook integration in numerous areas



This is by far our favourite part of Facebook inside Xperia. Essentially it integrates your Facebook photo folders with the phone’s own photo gallery. So you can browse through your Facebook photos alongside any you’ve taken with the phone’s camera or those you’ve copied across yourself. The Facebook folders are marked with the usual icon, so you can tell which are which, but except for that it’s all seamless. The gallery is pretty well-designed anyway, with little piles of photos representing each folder.

Xperia inside Facebook gallery

The Facebook photos are downloaded from the web automatically, whenever you have an internet connection. Thumbnails are cached on the memory card in the handset, but it appears that only low-res thumbnails are cached of all your pictures; to get full-res versions you have to have selected them at some point when you have an internet connection to get them cached.

We couldn’t find the files anywhere on the memory card when we looked, and nor are we sure how many photos it will cache and what happens if you have thousands of images on Facebook, bu for our relatively small collection of a few hundred it worked well. For each image from Facebook you can also see any comments that have been made on it, and you can Like it using a simple single button press.


The calendar also benefits from Facebook integration, with Birthdays and events appearing. Unfortunately, the Xperia calendar is pretty poor, and you have to drill down into each day from the monthly view to see events. We prefer the excellent Touch Calendar, which lets you zoom in and out while scaling the text of the entries in each day to show as much as possible – Touch Calendar can also show the Facebook calendar, so Sony Ericsson needs to step up its game in this area.

Xperia inside Facebook contacts

Facebook also integrates with your contacts. On the surface this looks great, with Facebook contacts appearing in your contact list, go into these and you get the person’s Facebook image and you can see their interests listed on the site, plus there’s a photos tab so you can browse their public photo folders.

It all works really well, but it’s a little let down by Xperia’s own time-consuming contact integration method – where you have to manually join contacts by holding a long press and then selecting join. This can be very time consuming if you have 3 or 4 entries (phone, Facebook, Google and Exchange) for many individuals, and some sort of automated system would be really handy.

In conclusion then, Facebook inside Xperia has some very useful additions, some of which are perfectly formed (the gallery), some of which need some slight tweaks (such as liking music) and some of which could be great but are let down by less than stellar design in the Xperia take on Android (contacts). Still, for Facebook fans there’s a lot to like here, and it’s a definite step forward for Sony Ericsson’s range of handsets.

Pages: 1 2

Read more