Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini review

Full review: Small, but mighty Android mobile

Image 1 of 3 Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini back
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini back
Image 2 of 3 Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini front
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini front
Image 3 of 3 Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini side
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini side

The smallest Android phone in the world packs a fairly mighty punch

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is the brand’s second attempt at the Android game, but this time it’s decided smaller is certainly better.

The world’s smallest Android phone – and close to the smallest in the world, with a 2.2-inch capacitive screen and 83 x 50 x 16 mm dimensions – is still packed with enough tech to take on some much bigger models.

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More on Sony Ericsson:

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro review

Sony Ericsson X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro: hands on

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Android review

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 full review

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Sony Ericsson is using its TimeScape UI here once more to make the Android 1.6 interface its own, but it’s added a touch of innovation to proceedings with customisable icons in each corner.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini: Screen

The tiny screen is remarkably responsive, and the phone itself operates swiftly – much faster than you’d expect from a phone this size and one that costs around £200. The screen still struggles in bright light, like most phones do – but a little toggle to raise and lower the brightness sorts this out if you’re struggling outdoors to knock out a bit of FourSquare checking in.

Like the innovative UI, Sony Ericsson has been clever with the keyboard too. While there’s no QWERTY offering, the T9 predictive text, like the mobile phones from the turn of the century works well – and little touches like swiping left and right to open the symbol or number options is slick too.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini: Internet and media

Following the decent UI comes a very responsive browser – the processor easily deals with full HTML, although Flash isn’t supported. Android’s WebKit-based browser has always been one of the best and swiftest, and while the Xperia X10 Mini works best on mobile-optimised sites, it can handle the heavier stuff too.

The Xperia X10 Mini isn’t a bad little media player either – only a 2GB microSD card is a little stingy, although it makes sense for the price – and while you’ll never watch much video on the tiny screen, the well-placed 3.5mm headphone jack makes the music player a fine iPod alternative.

It produces a very even sound, although it does struggle a little bit with bassier tunes – but the decent MediaScape experience means you can easily buy more music for the same artist or even search YouTube for related videos.

The battery lasts around one and a half days, which isn’t ideal for daily charging – but does give you a little wiggle room to play with if you want to hammer the music player. The battery is also oddly locked in – but we found very little reason to have to reset the phone by ripping out the battery.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini: Rivals

There aren’t many phones out there to rival this ridiculously pocket-friendly device, especially in the price bracket – not only is it teeny, but a selection of interchangeable back covers mean it will attract an even wider range of users.

It’s certainly no rival to the larger Xperia X10, and the likes of the Motorola Milestone and Motorola Dext are much more messaging friendly. Even the smaller HTC Wildfire isn’t really a competitor, despite having a similar processor and price point, as the X10 Mini is all about small size.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini: Conclusion

What’s more interesting is that Android actually works on this smaller phone – it sits in the palm well, it’s light and easy to use, and the little customisations are very clever indeed; in fact it’s far more successful than recent offerings like the Sony Ericsson Vivaz and Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro.

The only question we have is why it’s so thick – the forthcoming Xperia X10 Mini Pro, with a full QWERTY keyboard is only 1mm thicker. So why not make this little wonder so much thinner and more attractive?

But that shouldn’t take away from an excellent and surprising effort from Sony Ericsson – small is powerful and anyone after a cool smartphone at the cheaper end of the scale should definitely check it out.

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Specifications
OS: Android 1.6 with TimeScape overlay
Processor: Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz
Storage: 128MB internal. 2GB microSD card
Screen: 2.55-inch QVGA capacitive LCD
Connectivity: Bluetoothv2.1 with A2DP, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, aGPS,
Camera: 5MP with flash
Video: VGA @ 30fps
3G Talk time: 210 mins
Dimensions: 83 x 50 x 16 mm
Weight: 88g

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