A new member of the Xperia smartphone family has just been announced by Sony Ericsson. The Xperia X8 is said to take the best features from the X10 and the Mini's, but will be introduced at a wallet-friendly price point. Amongst the Android-running smartphone's ease-of-use features are a one-touch application launch menu, a combined social networking timeline, and a camera with direct upload to Facebook.

At launch, the 3.9 x 2.1 x 0.6 inch, 104 gram Xperia X8 from Sony Ericsson will either be running Android 1.6 with a subsequent upgrade to Android 2.1, or will come with Android 2.1 already running - actual details are yet to be confirmed. It will sport a user interface similar to the Xperia 10 Mini, with the four-corners shortcut menu system for customized single-touch application launch, and a Timescape feature which combines social networking feeds into one handy timeline.

All of the action is placed at the user's fingertips on a 320 x 480, 16 million color, 3 inch HVGA display. The scratch resistant, capacitive touchscreen also sports a handy autorotate feature. There's pan and zoom functionality within the WebKit browser, push email and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, and of course access to thousands of apps available through Android Market. A-GPS, Google Maps with Street View, Google Latitude and a limited release trial version of Sony Ericsson's turn by turn navigation application, Wisepilot, also feature.

The X8's 3.2MP camera supports direct upload to Facebook, geo-tagging and video recording. The company's own photo album application allows users to painlessly browse through image libraries, while NeoReader barcode scanning offers quick product identification possibilities. Photographic and video content can be stored to the included 2GB microSD card, which is expandable up to 16GB. Music is available via the PlayNow download service and the company's own media player.

The smartphone supports GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS HSPA 900/2100 and UMTS HSPA 800/850/1900/2100 networks, is powered by a 600MHz processor and includes a 1200mAh battery.

The company's blog has hinted at a sub-EUR200 (about US$245) price point but that's about all that's being said at the moment.

Sony Ericsson also took the opportunity to announce that the X10, X10 mini and X10 mini pro smartphones will shortly be upgraded to Android 2.1 operating system and receive high definition recording functionality. The X10 will receive further enhancements a bit later on, including the facility to connect to televisions.