Today we are reviewing the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini which is a truly amazing miniature smart phone which is running the android operating system. The Xperia X10 mini is a smaller brother to the next to the Xperia x10 that debuted on the Rogers network back in a April of earlier this year.
This device is very small in size with the dimensions 83X50X16mm and weighs in at a total of 88 g, this phone will sit in the home of your hand quite nicely. It is about half the size of the average smart phone but don't let its small size fool you, this is a full featured smart phone. It has a very nice piano black finish with sleek chrome buttons and a flat black finish on the back of the phone. It has a back button on the front, home button, settings button, volume rocker and camera button located on the right hand side of the phone. When I first looked at this phone I was amazed how small it was, this is probably the smallest form I have ever seen. It also is a very sharp looking phone that will catch the attention of anyone who sees it.
The x10 mini is powered by a Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHZ processor, which actually handles the software on the phone very well for smooth and seamless functionality. We did notice that with certain games did seem a little underpowered but there are different variables that could cause this issue like GPU for the OS. The issue was not present unless you are using graphic intensive application. It has internal memory of 128MB which is fairly small but has micro SD that is expandable up to 16GB. The phone comes with most android smart phones hardware features clued in WI-FI, bluetooth, micro USB, 3. 5 MM jack, stereo FM, GPS. While the phone did seem a little underpowered as you read the rest of this review you'll see that this phone probably has accurate power based on its usability.
Due to the size of this phone obviously the screen display is fairly small at a size of 240X320 pixels for a total of 2.55 inches of screen space, on a TFT capacitive touch screen 16m colors. It has a scratch resistant surface, accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate and timescape UI. Considering the size of this screen that has a very vivid and sharp display. Unfortunately the size of the phone does have a drawback can make reading and writing difficult on this phone with such a small screen size. Also the size of the screen limits the full experience of the android all operating system and applications due to the screen size. I found using some of my favourite applications and surfing difficult on the screen size right away, while it does have a crisp clear picture it becomes quite obvious that you will not be able to use this smart phone the same way you might with the phone with a larger display.
The phone comes with Android operating system 1.6 which is an older version of the software but unfortunately Sony has not updated their phones as of yet to 2.1 or even the latest version of android 2.2. From what Sony has said they do plan to upgrade the software to 2.1 later this fall but there has been no word on whether or not they will upgrade to 2.2 anytime soon. For most people probably would not know the difference but android enthusiasts would be very disappointed at the lack of software updates that has taken place at the Xperia models from Sony. Nevertheless the operating system does run very smoothly on the phone and will handle most of your means there are definitely times when you feel lag but it may not be android software related and could be related to Sony's unique user interface which can be laggy at times.
It comes with a standard Android and Google software but one of the great features Sony's Xperia android handsets is their custom user interface. It is of very fresh and cool design that is definitely different than most user interfaces we see on android smart phones. The design is pure eye candy and probably one of the best designed in terms of looks and has some great functionality. Because it is so new though it is still a little rough around the edges in terms of laggy and buggy but hopefully with future software updates these will be ironed out. It definitely gives awhile factor when using this phone how nice the user interface is designed I think with future updates they definitely could have a winner on their hands down the road. It is simply laid out so that you and the average user can get the hang of this phone quite quickly.
One thing about this phone is that there is no shortage of applications, comes with mobile applications and as well a fully loaded suite of applications from Sony, some of them are just demos and some are full functioning applications. Rogers has also included the urmusic, shopping, zoom pass, ring tones and rogers my account. Sony added to this midnight bowling, facebook, youtube, roadsync, uno, FM radio, peggle and wisepilot. Plus you have the standard google android applications that come with every phone such as gmail, android market, gtalk, maps, alarm and calendar. Also Sony has part of their custom UI timescape which allows you to keep in contact with all your social media, emails, text messages, pictures all conveniently located in one application that you can scroll through in a 3D effect. Due to the size of the screen you obviously don't get the same effect you would with a larger screen using some of these applications. They also have a different layout style than the typical android phone where applying widgets to screens is obviously a little more limited due to the screen size and you can only put one widget per screen. Also scrolling on the screen is limited because of the size and which you can only scroll to the right hand side has only one which it is allowed per screen but you can put as many widgets as you want but you are limited on how you view them because of the scrolling. Some applications are limited in terms of gaming and graphic contents applications due to screen size and lack of process power some applications can seem a little buggy. Overall for the average user phone comes with plenty of options and applications to keep you amused and also gives you a true android experience even if it is a little smaller.
With the smaller form comes a smaller battery that's pretty well common sense, comes with the standard battery LI-PO 950 mAh which is rated for the standby time of up to 360 hours and talk time of up to 3 and 1/2 hours. The standby time is nowhere near what Sony would like to be or claims its top time is also fairly short, using applications and surfing will obviously drain those batteries quicker as well. One of the other major issues for this phone that could become a potential problem as the phone becomes older is that it does not have a replaceable battery and without long term review we're not able to first see issues that may arise in the future.
I won't pull any punches on the keyboard and sugar-coat it, due the screen size it has a different smart phone keyboard much similar to the older style cell phones but a little modified. I found the keyboard difficult to use and honestly a royal pain. The first thing I did when I got this phone was download an application to replace the stock keyboard on this phone and I suggest you doing the same as this phone we'll definitely dampen your ability to type fast. I installed a new keyboard application right away and made the phone a lot more user friendly this was a complete failure on Sony's part to include a functional keyboard.
Camera and Video
One of the strong points of this phone is that it comes with a 5 MP Camera ,2560Ñ…1920 pixels, Autofocus, LED flash, Geo-Tagging and does video in [email protected] FPS and has video light as well. One thing Sony has always done well is cameras may have brought not technology over to their android series of phones which has resulted in excellent picture quality.
Call quality is actually very good for a form of this size and surprisingly louder than I anticipated and is definitely not an issue on this phone.
- Small and compact
- Sleek design
- Screen size
- User interface
- Outdated operating system
- Conclusion and Final Thoughts
This is a very cool looking phone it is so small it's in your pocket very nicely and look sharp best of all it runs android operating system. For people that had larger sized smart phones it would be quite an adjustment to scale down in size. For those of you that never had an android or a smart phone or don't really use a lot of the features this phone would be for you as it certainly has best of the bold worlds between being compact and the usability of the smart phone. Sony has deftly came up with a unique handset line that has a sleek finishes great user interfaces in terms of looks. We still however need to iron out the bugs and make things run a little bit smoother before they can compete with a higher and android smart phones that are on the market. Sony is fairly new to the Android smart phones and with their first line of handsets we definitely see the potential that in a few years they will have some great smart phones and be a serious player in the Android handset market. The X10 Xperia Mini has been priced right for as low as $29.95 on a three year contract from Rogers for what is potentially the first compact smart phone on the market. As they say good things come in small packages but there is a draw back to that theory cause at the end of the day it's still small....