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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini

Small and incredibly packed with features, this tiny touchscreen phone is big on convenience. Seriously considered as the best phone for its size, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini is a mouthful, but as an ultra lightweight it will disappear inside the palm of one’s hand. It brings real-time tweets, profiles and shout-outs to the homescreen, and keeps a notification row for battery status, messages, calls,  plus other events. One doesn’t need to squint hard to see how valuable and remarkably efficient this mini handset is.

 

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini differs from its bigger version, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, in size, camera, and keyboard features. SE Xperia X10 has a virtual QWERTY and is one of Sony Ericsson’s biggest handsets. It also boasts an 8MP camera with LED Flash. Also part of the Xperia range, SE Xperia X10 mini pro has  the same dimensions as the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini, except  from the sliding, hardware QWERTY, which makes it bulkier in depth.

Merely 88 grams  in weight, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini is an undersized handset that has fewer hardware keys, boasts a scratch resistant 83mm x 50mm capacitive touchscreen, and is 16mm in girth. It comes in a glossy black tint, plastic body and a rubber backside for good grip lock. Other jacket colors include Pearl White, Pink, Lime, Red, and Silver. The front side is all 2.55'' in hypotenuse length.  The connector for the earpiece,  LED status, and proximity sensor are all situated at the top. Three slit-shaped function keys at the bottom consist of Menu, Home, and Back.

The top part of the unit is the deep-pressing power button, which  also acts as the screen’s  key lock. The bottom side has the microUSB port with a removable cover and the standard 3.5mm plug-compatible audio jack. The left side is completely bare  apart  from the small groove for removing the battery cover. The right side of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini has 2 protruding keys, the volume and the shutter. At the back  is the loudspeaker, a 5megapixel camera lens, and the LED flash. Underneath the back cover reveals the sim card slot, microSD card slot, and the non-replaceable battery. If the battery crashes, expires, or malfunctions, one has to buy another Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, which seems a little unreasonable than to just get another phone altogether.

Features (/10)

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini runs on Android OS 1.6 and uses the Timescape UI plug-in. The 5megapixel camera with flash definitely delivers. Photos are decent, even with a challenging light source. The fundamentals are covered despite its limited camera features: gallery, camera/video, flash settings, and scene modes. Video results are a bit less impressive in spite of the 30fps frame rate.

Web browsing requires getting familiar with the zoom controls. Apart from Flash, the browser functions are all well and good.  However, due to its small screen size, every page needs to be zoomed in, and paned. All other browsing help keys are hidden: the address bar, refresh, back/forward, bookmarks.

Basic phone necessities are covered: SMS, MMS, email, call register, radio, video, camera, and of course, integrated social networking widgets. Twitter or facebook updates appear on the screen alongside all other notifications, emails, or missed calls, which can be filtered by type. Each widget occupies one homescreen. This gives ample space for each application to run its function at maximized view. The default homescreen has icons placed on its 4 corners: the New Message composer, Music player, Contacts, and Call registry. The topmost row is lined with tiny icon indicators: signal, battery life, clock, Bluetooth, and others. Depending on the homescreen, the top row indicators change as well. 

With no hardware or virtual QWERTY, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini is equipped with a standard keypad with multi-tap virtual buttons. The messaging screen is kept simple, direct, but with very limited  characters per message (160).

Same goes for the music player. The bare essentials are the standard for this mini wonder. It has rewind, play, pause, fast-forward, and stop functions. Songs are categorized based on the most played, recently added, and rarely played. A quick link to Youtube or Google allows the user to do some song searching.

Connectivity (/10)

There is no doubt that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini will perform its main function: making calls and sending SMS. Call reception is clear. While surfing the net, the SE Xperia X10 mini runs on a modest speed, which ranges from 32 to 48 kbps GPRS, and on 236.8 kbps with Class 10 EDGE. It utilizes GPS receiver with A-GPS, and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. It also detects WiFi 802.11 b/g and depending on the WiFi offered speed, it will also accommodate internet browsing and sending emails.

Performance (/10)

Considering its size, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini can amazingly hold up its own against phones twice as big. It runs at a respectable speed on WiFi or Bluetooth. The camera’s 5megapixel with flash and maximum image resolution of 2592 x 1936 doesn’t disappoint. The music player performs effortlessly, and even connects to YouTube for instant song seeking. The video may be bland, and most features offer limited options, but this mini marvel will do more than impress users with all the preferences it delivers, to completely overlook the shortcomings.

Depending on the user’s preference, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini’s size is either an advantage or disadvantage. Others may prefer the much larger Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, which is more comfortable for users without tiny thumbs. SE Xperia X10 mini is so small its size comes as a luxury to those who hate lugging bulky phones.

Value for Money (/10)

If one believes that a phone’s motto should be ‘the smaller, the better’, then this compact handset is perfect. It is the summary of what a concise phone should be: uncomplicated, fully functional, lightweight, and ultra diminutive. It has a little bit of everything. Money-wise, it would’ve been worth every penny if the battery had  an option to be replaced. Phone units are not eternal and it should be designed to adapt to users’ needs, not the other way around.

Pros

  • Conveniently small
  • Integrated social network widgets
  • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash
  • 1:1 ratio of homescreen per widget
  • WiFi, Bluetooth connections
  • Accelerometer

Cons

  • No QWERTY
  • Messaging characters limited to 160
  • No flash support
  • Battery is irreplaceable
  • Video recording needs improvement
  • Relies on Zoom due to very limited screen size (web browsing)

Price

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Opinions

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Rating

Style: 8.6
172
Technology: 8.4
167
Efficiency: 8.4
168

Total votes: 176 | Hits: 24706

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