Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini review: Shrink to fit

GSMArena team, 03 June 2010.

Introduction

It took a while before mobile phones became portable not only in name. At one point, small size alone made a phone something special. Calling and texting were all there was and twelve buttons were nonnegotiable.

Those times seem prehistoric now that a contemporary smartphone is expected to do all but the dishes. There we are – 3.7” touch screens are now the norm. It sounds like pushing the limits of portability but most people won’t mind as long as there’re virtually no limits on functionality. With nearly desktop-like browsing, video and TV – displays are only supposed to get better, crisper… and bigger. Who would want it the other way? Small touchscreen doesn’t make sense.

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Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini official shots

Now, everyone’s entitled to an opinion. And Sony Ericsson are keen to disagree. Small touchscreen may be against the simple logic, but just don’t rush to judgment yet. Not till you’ve seen the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini. It has more smartphone powers than most users will ever need. It’s a little sweetie, and it’s cool and gadgety too. Just don’t let the size fool you.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • 3G with HSPA
  • Customized Android OS v1.6 with Timescape UI
  • Ultra compact body
  • 2.55" capacitive touchscreen of QVGA resolution
  • Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz CPU
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and VGA video recording
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Built-in GPS receiver and digital compass
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate and turn-to-mute
  • Standard miniUSB port for charging and data
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • microSD card slot with support for up to 8GB cards (2GB card included)
  • 3.5mm-compatible audio jack
  • Direct access to the official Android repository

Main disadvantages

  • QVGA resolution doesn’t do Android graphics justice and limits the number of compatible apps
  • Battery not user replaceable
  • Limited Android homescreen functionality
  • No smart dialing
  • Typing long messages is very hard on the small screen
  • No Bluetooth file transfers from the gallery
  • No Flash support for the web browser
  • Very basic camera interface

So, long story short, crowds probably won’t be flocking to the shops to replace their full-sized XPERIA X10 units for the mini version. The X10 mini doesn’t have it all and isn’t the ultimate smartphone, but all is not what everyone needs.

The X10 mini is easy on your pocket – and we don’t just mean size. The phone uses less expensive hardware – low-res screen, a midrange CPU. But if you think of it, it’s not just blatant cost-cutting.

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The XPERIA X10 mini at ours

It looks like they made the right choices and in the end you don’t have to pay for something you cannot use anyway. Anything higher than QVGA wouldn’t have made much difference on a 2.55” screen (which is the most you can fit in a phone this small really). Anything faster than the 600 MHz Qualcomm CPU is simply unnecessary given the low pixel count.

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