As far as fun phones go, with the Xperia X10 Mini there’s never a dull moment. It’s petite and ready to party. Take a closer look.
Here’s what I liked - it’s small and easy to operate with just one, hand and comfortable to hold thanks to the 'Human Curvature' form. The 2.5-inch (240 x 320 pixels) capacitive touchscreen is scratch resistant. It’s lightweight and can fit just about anywhere. A 3.5mm handsfree socket is located at the bottom near a micro USB 2.0 port neatly hidden by a flap. Volume keys are on one side just above the camera button. A hot swap for the microSD card as well as the SIM are located under the rear panel which incidentally comes in a variety of colors, three of which are included in the package. The battery of this handset cannot be removed so if the handset hangs there’s no quick fix.
The one issue was that I was unable to use most other handsfree kits and stand-alone earphones with the Mini. The bundled set (canal type) though is comfortable to use.
Features and Performance
The Android OS (v1.6) runs on the Mini’s Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz processer making the UI extremely zippy. Sony Ericsson’s TimeScape UI (seen in the X10 ) works well here. The Four Corner UI is convenient and simple to set up and use. It offers multiple desktops but can only have a single widget per page. The UI is smooth and easy to navigate easily with just your thumb. It’s well designed. And looks and feels very much QUALCOMM’s Brew Platform rather than Android.
Music quality is great. The player is simple and capable of providing loud and clear tones even without any settings. The Infinity button enables you to get additional information on each track from corresponding YouTube videos to other data with the press of a key. The FM radio didn’t work out too well. Reception was not very good even in areas where I usually get great reception. TrackID is also available for getting data on songs via external source or the radio. The handset supports 3GP and MPEG4 files even if they’re in iPhone resolution. Of course the screen size and resolution doesn’t make it easy to watch for too long, irrespective of how clear it is. A couple of games have been preloaded and of course if you want more, the Android Marketplace is a great place to look.
This tiny handset is just loaded with connectivity options. It’s a 3G enabled device that also supports EDGE as well as Wi-Fi where available. Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP is also an option. If that’s not enough, the X10 Mini also packs in GPS with apps like Google Maps, GeoTags and WisePilot. Although the small screen once again becomes an issue, the handset handles the GPS software really well without any issues.
The Android browser is great and it’s zooming in feature is a real blessing. Push email is available and it’s also really simple setting up your POP and IMAP email accounts. Syncing your contacts with Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts is a bit of a tedious task, seems like only HTC has got that part nailed down firm in terms of convenience. Sony Ericsson has also thrown in Road Sync apps for backing up your data, email etc.
These include a calendar that can sync with your Gmail account, a timer, alarm clock, calculator and those few extras that all mobiles phones would have. Nothing that really stands out.
Once again this small handset surprised me. It manages to include a very capable 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash onto its tiny body. I was unable to access any of the settings except for the Scene mode (4 presets including Macro and Sports), the flash and switching between the video and still. According to Sony Ericsson, a tap on the display should bring up a settings menu but no amount of taps or harsher knocks helped with this particular piece.
The image quality is great. The photos, even in this dull season, came out really well with colors and clarity that do justice to the price of this phone. Unfortunately not being able to access the camera settings meant I didn’t have too much control. The option to geotag images is available via the settings menu but there’s nothing else. Nevertheless it performed very well.
The handset’s 950mAh battery allowed me to use the device for over a day and half with everything left on for emails to download, geotagging for images, and of course the occasional call, message and IM. Talk time averaged in at over 3 hours and 15 minutes which is quite impressive.
The Bottom Line
The price tag on the X10 Mini is Rs. 16475, which may seem a little steep, but for all this handset has to offer, it really isn't. If you’re looking for a handset that does everything, is easy to use and is as cute as button, you can’t go wrong with the X10 Mini. It’s true what they say, good things do come in small packages. Sony Ericsson got it right with this one.