Xperia X10 Mini Review
- Small form factor & single handed operation
- Social networking ease and Timescape
- Android OS at a good price, getting Q4 update to 2.1
- Alphanumeric on-screen keyboard
- Average camera
We found Xperia X10 Mini smaller in size, but in no ways smaller in might. If its small size and alphanumeric typing does not bother you, go get this phone.
When we previewed the Xperia X10 Mini (also known as E10i or Robyn), we talked about how we'd love to load the device and test its mettle. How SE managed to shrink the mammoth that was 'Xperia X10' and still have the 'mini' version inheriting many of its powerful specs, is truly commendable. But, did this little warrior hold his ground or did it crumble under the stress we put it under? Read on to know...
Unboxing - surprises await
The 'Mini' (as we call it from now) came in a beautiful red box. Unboxing it lead to some very pleasant surprises. Even though we had a little hands-on with the phone earlier, seeing the phone again brought a smile to our faces. But our silly grins didn't fade there, as we were surprised to find three different additional back covers packed along. This is something very rare these days, but it's nice to pimp our phone with a red, grey or white cover, once in a while. Although the front remains black, the different avatars suited the little Xperia. The bundled headphones were also our favoured, in-ear plugs. And they had extra changeable plugs too. It is very easy to lose these plugs, so the extra pair was a boon, also because they are a different size from the default ones. A microUSB data cable is bundled, along with an AC-to-USB adaptor. A full look at the accessories pointed to some very considerate measures by Sony Ericsson. We hoped for more of the same as we cradle the phone in our hands.
Form factor - the tiniest Android ever
The form factor of the device is, without doubt, its USP. For quite a while now, the smartphones have been following the upward path on the size chart, though there has been an effort to make them thinner. This is where the Mini is path-breakingly different, and that was the cause of our joy when we saw it. We just got so used to big bulky smartphones that this 83 x 50 x 16mm phone was a welcome relief, especially considering the fact that it is an Android phone. It is in fact the smallest Android phone yet! But it is no wonder with its size, that the screen size is a paltry 2.5 inches, which renders the phone useless for movies and many games. Also, its resolution of 240x320 is poor. The shape of the phone is again the 'human-curvature' design that SE has been using recently in many of its phones, including the Vivaz and the Xperia X10. The front panel has the piano black finish of the X10, while the back panel is matte-black. The additional back panels are all glossy. Below the screen are three buttons dedicated buttons for 'options', 'application menu' and 'back'. The back panel of Xperia X10 Mini is relatively easy to remove, a problem we have faced with many recent phones. Beneath the hood was another surprise. The battery of the Mini is non-removable. That might be a problem if are one of the few who like to carry additional battery packs, but we are happy because this makes both the microSD(2 GB bundled, upto 16 GB supported) and the SIM hot-swappable! Although we feared it might happen, the phone didn't hang up even once during the review, else we might have had to get out our screwdrivers. The volume rocker and the camera button are at usual-SE-position on the right edge. The power/screen lock button is on the top, while the microUSB+charging point is on the lower edge, along with a 3.5 mm audio jack, with support for proprietary headset, similar to the one in Sony PSP.
While unveiling the phone, SE touted the phone as "one-handed compact touch" phone. This claim was ringing in our minds as we dived into the interface test of the phone. Our interface test is next....
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