Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 completely lives up to its promise of a superphone. The X10 Mini is exactly what the name indicates – a smaller version of the X10. The original X10 is a spectacular Android phone although it is quite large, so a mini version must be a good thing or hasn’t it?
The X10 Mini design is identical to its big brother even down to the three silver buttons under the screen. It is a considerably smaller phone and weighs a svelte 88g that provides a very compact and lightweight device. Maybe the lightest and most compact smartphone available on the market. Indeed it’s tiny even when compared to non-smartphones. Sony Ericsson states Mini and they certainly do mean what they say!
Small and compact dimensions comes at a price – a tiny screen. It’s a mere 2.55 inches and this makes it perhaps the smallest touch screen ever used.
Unfortunately this fact doesn’t aid to make the phone easy to handle. Although the bright and sharp screen has an acceptable resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, it’s just physically too small capture sufficient images on the screen. Even enough space for a virtual QWERTY keyboard is not possible. The icons and buttons though are large enough to press and the very responsive capacitive screen does assist adequately. Sony Ericsson’s interface screens is excellent, such as Timescape, which joins together Facebook updates, tweets, texts and missed calls so you have no need to keep moving from app to app.
Facebook and Twitter apps work very well. The logically displayed screen with icons in all four corners provides you one-touch access to user-defined functions such as music, camera, contacts, etc.
Customise the layout and add widgets to your screens is not difficult although there isn’t sufficient space to add too many. Android and Sony Ericsson’s customisations certainly make a lot out of the small screen focus although even more is desired. The struggle is greater on a bright and sunny day. The small screen tends to make the phone feel somewhat toy-like. Some users perhaps discover it to be small to hold when phoning. This is of course an unavoidable result of making the device physically petite so you have to consider advantages vs disadvantages.
What else does this super-compact smartphone offer? It offers a 5 mega pixel camera with autofocus and flash. It records video at VGA resolution plus a video light although it doesn’t sustain video calling.
An excellent media player is included in the X10 Mini with a 3.5mm audio jack so that you can use your own headphones. Support for Bluetooth stereo headphones is incorporated. You can search for a song on Google or Youtube with one single click. Included in the package are an FM radio with RDS. TrackID (search for the name of a song) and PlayNow (download ringtones, etc) are available also.
Value for money to start with is the built-in memory of 128MB to which you can add microSD memory cards of up to 16GB. A 2GB card is part of the deal.
5 star rating in connectivity is our view with WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and a 3.5mm audio jack. The mobile has fast internet access over 3G with HSPA affording a maximum download speed of 7.2 Mbps.
The phone is in sync with your PC including syncing your email with Microsoft® Exchange email server. However the Android system really desperately wants to sync with Gmail. Web browsing isn’t a terrible experience in spite of the small screen but you’ll find yourself scrolling up and down and zooming in and out rather too much. Zooming isn’t as simple as you would like because it means clicking zoom buttons because it has no pinch-to-zoom capability. There’s no Flash support either. Mind you the upside is that YouTube videos are fully supported via a dedicated app.
The battery lasts sufficient time because the tiny screen helps to conserve energy and it should last a couple of days’ use between charges. Remember though that the battery is not able to be replaced. The processor is a 600 MHz Qualcomm CPU and not the fastest on the market. However,it is sufficiently fast for the screen size. You will discover that the X10 Mini responds avidly to your touch.
In summary the X10 Mini is a super-compact smartphone that gets top rating for overall look and “cute” appeal and punches of buttons with plenty of high-spec features.