IN Technology

Setting up Sony Ericsson Xperia For the First Time

posted Saturday, December 6th, 2008

I have hard reset my Xperia so many times now that I’m sure I have memorized all the steps now. And don’t worry it wasn’t because Xperia has problems, I was just tweaking, testing and playing with the registry. Read on to save yourself all the time I have spent testing things out for you.

Align Screen

This is the first thing you will need to do in order to get your phone working. Make sure you use a stylus. Using your fingers is not a good idea as you will find the screen very unresponsive after that. I found out the hard way.

The second thing you have to remember is that the pressure with which you use the stylus also gets recorded and used to determine screen sensitivity. So make sure to tap the screen as lightly as possible and you will have a more responsive screen.

Remember you can always re-do this: Start > Settings > System > Screen

Set up Phone and Data Connections

The phone will automatically configure your provider. Next click on the Comm Manager icon from the top bar. From here you can turn on data connections or Wi-Fi. If you choose to turn on Wi-Fi, the phone will find wireless connections and ask you for any needed security settings. That’s it! You are done.

If you prefer to use Wi-Fi make sure you enable it manually as currently the phone chooses to use GPRS over Wi-Fi if it cannot find a data connection. SE is working on a fix.

SPB Mobile Shell Panel

Make your life simpler and download the SPB panel asap. Click Start > Internet Explorer or Start > Programs > Opera. Click Panels. Next download and run the SPB cab file. The panel is now installed but you still have to select and display it on your panels screen.

Go to the panels screen, click the bottom right icon. Choose the panel position and choose SPB Shell.

This interface is finger friendly and makes it very easy to browse the basic windows settings.

Hot Fix for Sending POP and IMAP E-mail

This is a must if you plan on sending and receiving emails.

WinMo Settings

Next I am going to cover the basic settings for Win Mo 6.1 so this can apply to all Win Mo 6.1 phones. You can get to the settings via Start > Settings or use the first tab on SPB shell and then settings. These are some of the settings I change:

Personal (Start > Settings > Personal)

Buttons: I set the left key to rotate the screen and the right key for one of the programs I installed – Voice Command.

Input: Choose your input method and word completion settings according to your preference.

Menus: You can choose up to 7 programs to display in the start menu.

Owner Information: Self Explanatory.

Phone: There are two main settings I change here. One is the default ring (more detailed options are under Sounds and Notifications). Next make sure automatic pick up is off under More (unless you want it on). Last setting is advanced. I prefer not to send messages to calls that are being rejected. Beats the point of rejecting them IMO ;-) Not to mention any xyz person can be calling and I, for one, do not want to send messages to them. I also turn off the option of adding every incoming number to my phone book.

System (Start > Settings > System)

Clear Storage: In case you want to go for a one click hard reset.

Clocks and Alarms: Set your current place and time. Set up to 3 alarms . Under ‘More’ I prefer to display the clock in the title bar and choose the option to turns alarms off if device is silent.

Error Reporting: I turned this off. It was just annoying for me.

GPS: I just select manage GPS automatically from the third tab here.

Illumination: Events for which you can turn screen illumination on or off.

Key Lock: I prefer to wake up the device using the power button only. But you can set it to any key as well.

Microphone AGC: I have this enabled.

Power: Here you can see battery consumption. Later in this post I will show you an easier way. You can choose to tun off phone charging when connected via USB although I don’t get why anyone will want to.

I have auto adjust backlight on although if you turn that off and set your backlight to the minimum you can live with, you will most probably save more battery.

Use advanced to set the turn off time for the screen. I find 1 minute to be sufficient. Just don’t check the turn off device. It is after all a phone, too.

Regional Settings: Set your preference for time, date, currency format etc. I prefer a 12 hour clock so in order to get that you need to choose hh:mm:ss tt for time style.

Screen: You can re-align the screen and also choose the text size. I slide the bar all the way to the largest. I have also enabled ClearType.

SPB Mobile Shell: Choose the animation. You can also set the city for the weather settings here.

Connections (Start > Settings > Connections)

Connections are pretty simple to set up. Pick one and set it up.

Some Tips

  1. SMS Delivery Receipts: I prefer receiving these. Go to Start > Messaging. Next Click Menu > Options > SMS/MMS and choose receive delivery receipts.
  2. Copy/Paste: I felt like such a dud because I just could not find the paste option in File Explorer. Turns out it is the last option in the menu and I just didn’t see it as I was either covering it with the stylus or my finger. So just in case you are like me… :)
  3. Camera Photos: Since Xperia does not have a lot of internal storage it is best to save all data on your storage card. You can change the default location by going into the camera. Click the settings tool button in the bottom right. Press the down arrow bottom right again. Click the icon in the top left corner. The fourth setting is the one you need to set. Change the Save To option to Card.

Basic Software

Some basic softwares that I find to be a must.

Battery Indicator: This is the best battery indicator out there. It adds a very thin bar across the top of your screen. This is a must have as you can tell your battery status at a glance.

Xperia Tweak 2: Adds some very useful tweaking options for your Xperia.

  • Disable conversation-style SMS/MMS (nah, I prefer threaded)
  • Disable security warning @ installations (disabled as it was a pain)
  • Disable screen turning off during call (disabled so I can use the screen)
  • Show SIM-contacts in contact list
  • Disable “message sent” notification (disabled)
  • Change popup menu font size (I set mine tio 950)
  • Ability to change the default system browser (set to Opera)
  • Built-in application for changing the sort order of contacts from “Lastname, Firstname” to “Firstname Lastname” (this one’s a relief)
  • Built-in application for changing the phones overall font (except some applications) (read below for more info)
  • Some LED illumination tweaks (in case you want to)
  • Ability to disable phone screen lighting up when an incoming message is received (saves battery)
  • Ability to choose default panel to load after restart (haven’t tried yet)

Just a word of warning. If you increase the font from default to a wider font, say, Verdana, you might notice that some screens are spilling out in portrait mode. I had to go thru one hard reset to figure out the problem was changing the font.

Advanced Configuration Tool 3.3: If you are not too much into tweaking you might find this to be a bit complicated at first sight. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Just go over everything one by one. I find the Locations option to be the best as it lets me configure my music, photos and document folders.

HTC Ports: The four main files you will find in the main post are:

  1. Keyboard: Definitely recommended as the Xperia keyboard is too small and requires stylus use. This one has a full QWERTY Keyboard as well as a Compact QWERTY option.
  2. Volume Control: Another recommendation. The default Xperia sound control is ugly to say the least. This not only looks good but makes it easy to set the volume.
  3. Comm Manager: I haven’t tried this as I am quite happy with the default Xperia Comm Manager.
  4. Phone Dialer: This one’s a mixed bag. I wanted to have a better notification screen which this does but it also replaces my default Xperia dialing pad and logs interface. I really like the brushed metal look of the default version. Plus I find the slide to accept call on the HTC a bit annoying. So for me this had to go.

Power SMS: A very useful software especially for backing up your messages.

Main Features:

  • Note to Self
  • Group Message
  • Auto Reply
  • Schedule SMS
  • Cool Stats
  • Backup & Restore

VIP PIM Ringtone: One of the first things you want to do with your phone is add contacts and then you may want to set up their ring tones. This freeware utility lets you set ring tone by category thus saving you the trouble of setting for each individual contact.

SMS Reports Eraser: If you turned on the delivery receipts, then after a while you will find them piling up and becoming completely annoying. The software deletes these notifications after a set time. It can also replace the default text notification with a voice notification.

S2U2: I love this utility. It replaces the default incoming call notification with a slide to answer panel and a larger caller ID screen (and I get to keep the Xperia dial pad). It also has a slide to unlock screen and a great many options on when to lock your phone. I have set it to lock it when the screen goes blank. Now I don’t have to do it manually each time. What a relief! Just make sure to use RawBuffers only for graphics to get this to work flawlessly.

These are just a few of the basic tweaks, settings and softwares that are good to start out with.

Coming Soon: Additional Softwares for Xperia. All tried and tested so rest assured they will all work.

  • Nick

    Nice summary, I found it very helpful, thanks.

  • Anne-Marie

    Thanks, this was great. As a complete newbie to WM’s this was a fantastic guide to help me figure out what I wanted and how to get it. You’ve saved me hours. Good work.

  • Erum Munir

    Glad to help :)

  • Mark

    I just received my first Windows Mobile Xperia, and your explanations really helped me get through the first day. Thanks for all the tips!

  • Jane@sony ericsson backlight

    Hello Erum,

    Thanks for all the tips, I have a problem with my x1. How I do I get it back to sliding the phone before you see the back light. I don’t know what I did but my backlight is always on causing my battery to die only after a few hours.

    I want to set it back to the backlight off but comes on when I slide the phone

    Thanks in advance

  • Erum Munir

    Backlight settings are under Start > Settings > System > Power

  • http://none steve

    Thank you for a well detailed, explained and extremely helpful page on tweaking the xperia.
    by far the most helpful web page i have found so far.
    the only comment i would make is the links to some of the ad-ons are no longer active or the programs have been deleted, but once i knew what i was looking for it wasn’t difficult to find them elsewhere.
    the LVMtopbatt battery indicator is great, lord only knows why SE have not included a battery indicator on the front screen of the X1? but this little program is perfect, although it doesnt appear by default when the phone is booted up.
    The keyboard is another awesome add-on, it includes a “phone style” layout which is really usefull after years of using a numerical pad for texting it was taking ages to get my head around a qwerty layout for quick texting, again this set up should have been included in the basic X1 layout since it still is a phone,
    thanks for saving me a lot of surfing to find all of these goodies.

  • Online Fashion Shopping

    Thats cool. Thanks for the pointers. I don’t know much about mobile phones. I guess that would help me a lot. Hope to see your new updates soon!

  • bhavesh

    hiiiii mate
    well just want ur favour tht this information is very helpful but had but i want to know tht from which site or how can i download the games for this mobile

  • Erum Munir

    Steve, Glad to have helped. I’ll check out the broken links. Those can really start adding up over time. Ow!

  • Erum Munir

    For games try Astraware and Freeware Pocket PC

    Lots of nice games at these two sites.

    You can also find some at Handango

  • Nina

    Thanks for all the info! Very helpful!
    I just got mine today and while i was playing around with it i set up the password for the phone lock. I realized how annoying it is to type in the passcode every time after the phone locks itself.
    I’ve looked everywhere but i cant seem to disable this lock, is it even possible to disable it? cause i really dont want it anymore lol

  • Erum Munir

    The locking mechanism can be very irritating to say the least. Go to settings > Lock. Thee should be an option to check off the lock mechanism there. It might lock the phone first. Unlock and it should take you to the options.

    Let me know if that doesn’t work and I’ll see if there is another way to get to the option.

  • Nina

    Sweet, i finally got into the options menu. Had to type in the password in “lock” and press enter on the keyboard instead of “unlock” on the screen and it brought me to the options screen. Thank you!

    Also, one more thing.. i’ve noticed that for my text msgs, all my replies have their time stamp to be 4 hours slower. I cant seen to find an option to change that cause shouldn’t it technically follow the time on my phone? I dont even know where that time came from.
    For example, i’d send a text at 5:20 and the reply text i get a minute later would be stamped as 1:21 =s
    thanks again!

  • Erum Munir

    Is the phone showing the correct time on outgoing messages and showing the incorrect one on incoming ones?

    The time on the reply might be related to your cell provider’s clock. Although that should not have a 4 hour time differential either. May be give them a call and ask.

  • Ruben

    I like the tips given here and I plan to try them on my Xperia.
    I would also like to know if I can use copy/paste option while sending SMS/MMS.

  • Erum Munir

    Yes, you can use the copy/paste function which is such a relief :)

  • cee

    hi mate. excellent job. Im stuck trying to unlock it. I cant enter any letter but just numbers, after activating the phone lock. -(. Thanks

  • Erum Munir

    You mean you cannot enter any numbers … using the on screen keyboard or the physical one? That is really strange.

  • Odette

    I’m having problems with certain panels not showing the correct time. The Sony Ericsson Panel 1 and 2 are the only ones show the time as 1 hour behind. How can I fix that?

  • Azzy

    hi, can anyone please help me with this
    ok so i have set my tones properly but whenever i receive a txt msg my phone doesnt ring it just flashes a light and shows displays the txt, sometimes it rly pisies me off because when my phone is in pocket and i receive txt and it doesnt make any sound =( please help me hoe to set this !! pleaaase

  • hielanwolf

    (quote)Use advanced to set the turn off time for the screen. I find 1 minute to be sufficient. Just don’t check the turn off device. It is after all a phone, too.(quote)

    still getting incoming calls/ messages when device turned off
    massive savings on battery life

  • Birmingham Accountants

    I much prefer my G1. Got all the apps in the Market which just make it even better.

  • Erum Munir

    That is good to know. I will try that.

  • Hashmi

    hey Erum

    can you please help me in increasing my ear piece volume of xperia x10 and also the speaker phone volume?
    i need step by step information
    i dont know anything about registery etc. can you please
    is my email id please help

  • Erum Munir

    Anyone interested in purchasing a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1i?
    See this post

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