A few months ago I made myself the proud owner of a SE Xperia X10 Mini Pro and have recently updated the software to Android 2.1 Eclair. Though I've been very satisfied with Android 1.6, I could certainly tell that there was room for improvement.
The first thing I realized after setting up the phone for the very first time, was that it only really wanted you to use one Google account. Since my main Google account is an Apps account, this poses some problems. YouTube, Buzz and some more services were not completely supported. Also, being involved in several projects gives me several email addresses. Most of then happen to be handled by Google Apps - and Android 1.6 was not helpful.
Enter Eclair. I can now add as many Google Accounts as I want, and every service I've tried allows for easy switching between accounts.
Another great annoyance I had on the old Firmware was the dodgy WiFi. It kept disconnecting, and often had problems getting back online. Leaving me on a 3G network, or even a slow mobile EDGE or something slower when there is no 3G available. Again, enter Eclair. That problem seems to be completely gone. While on the topic of networks. The phone now supports HSDPA.
Over to the fancy stuff. Facebook integration has been greatly improved. For starters, I can now open my friends list. This used to trigger a crash, something about com.facebook.katana having been killed. Other than that, the default installed version of Facebook has now includes Places. But I can't comment more on that, as it isn't available in my region, Denmark, yet. If you're one to click a bit too quick, it might look like this is it. Don't be deceived.
You can now have Facebook synchronise with your contacts. Depending on what options you select, you will find your Facebook friends appear in your address book and existing contacts will get Facebook profile information added to it. Including profile pictures.
YouTube has also undergone some serious improvement. Well, sort of. In the YouTube settings you can now select to always want to see the high quality version of videos. Quite good, if you have a good data contract or usually are connected to a WiFi network.
Also the screen lock has been silghtly improved. I use a pattern to unlock the phone, and sometime want to know what time it is. I guess I'm not the only one to use a phone like that. I almost started to consider disabling the unlock pattern, as the 1.6 firmware would hide the clock until I unlocked. This is no longer the case. And one can now also mute and change volume with the screen locked.
But not everything has seen the big improvement. The alarm clock still doesn't allow you to change the snooze interval. And there are still Apps which are not available, or that simply don't work. And the Navigation is still not quite as good as I would like. I still got sent in the wrong direction, it didn't really give me a sensible new route and the Text-To-Speech really can't make sense of Danish street names. My suggestion: Let the user only choose a default language to use, and then embed language information in the instructions. And add more language packs. I know there's TTS Extended, but though it installs I can't get it to work.
Oh, and when using Goggles or Neoreader the Flash still doesn't turn in. Major bummer!
(note: I originally had the Dutch version, but upgraded to Nordic. This gave me a nordic keyboard layout, while I have the physical keys of the Dutch keyboard. So, I tried to draw the differences on the keys with a marker. Which didn't really work all that well. But at least I can now write the Danish , and which didn't appear possible in any way with the original Dutch firmware.)
Has it improved? Absolutely. Is it perfect? Not quite. There are still a lot of things which could be better. But I am certainly even more satisfied now than I was before.