Xperia X10 mini: Reviewed

THE Xperia X10 mini is a surprisingly small phone. Its width and length is almost the same as that of a credit card and it weighs just 88g.
If you put it in your pocket, there will still be lots of space to put other things with it. However, you will risk scratching the front of the phone as it is made of glossy plastic.
There are seven buttons on the phone for accessing functions such as menu, volume control and camera. They are quite small but easy to access - however, it might pose a problem for those with big hands.
As a phone, the Xperia X10 mini functions well. The speakers were clear and loud and the speaker phone function worked really well.
TINY: The X10 mini's width and length is almost the same as that of a credit card.
Looking through your contacts is a bit of a chore because the small 2.55in screen only allows a few contacts to be displayed at once. For faster access you can set up a favourites list with up to nine contacts.
Text input is done via a virtual keypad and not a Qwerty keyboard like on the Xperia X10. It also comes with a T9 dictionary which makes it easy to use the keypad. Also, there are tabs for easily accessing symbols and numbers.
However, it's always easier and faster to type on a physical than a virtual keypad.
Speedy smartphone
The touchscreen is responsive and detects finger gestures without any noticeable lag. The X10 mini runs on the Android 1.6 operating system just like its big brother, the X10. Sony Ericsson has skinned the user interface to better suit the smaller screen. You can only have one widget per homescreen and assign four functions to the corners of the screen.
NIFTY: Hitting the arrow button at the bottom of the screen will bring up a panel of icons arranged in a 3 x 3 grid.
There is also a nifty feature for viewing all your widgets - hitting the arrow button at the bottom of the screen will bring up a panel of icons arranged in a 3 x 3 grid.
The phone comes preloaded with apps for accessing Gmail, Google Talk, Google Maps and YouTube.
Most of the apps are good but the X10 mini's small screen is not made for viewing videos. The low resolution of the screen also made the videos appear pixelated.
You can get more apps from the official Android Marketplace but you are currently limited to only free ones on the local store. This severely limits your choice and there is no word yet when it'll become possible to purchase apps.
Another experience that is ruined by the small screen is surfing. The 2.55in screen is just not big enough to view a site comfortably - in default view the text is too small and too easy to accidentally hit the wrong link.
After a while, constantly using zoom becomes tedious to surf the Web.
You can view websites in portrait or landscape mode but it isn't going to help much.
The media player on the Xperia X10 mini is identical to the ones found on Sony Walkman phones. It plays both songs and MP4 movies but the clips appear pixelated just like YouTube videos.
CLICK HAPPY: The phone's 5-megapixel camera shoots pretty good pictures and records decent videos (for a phone).
The phone has a 5-megapixel camera that shoots pretty good pictures and record decent videos (for a phone). Also, the macro mode was surprisingly good and is able to capture detail very well.
In terms of battery life, the Xperia X10 mini lasted two days of intensive testing before the battery needed a recharge.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini is an impressive phone for its size. Its 5-megapixel camera is good, the virtual keypad is easy to use and the speakers are loud.
Plus, the battery life is rather impressive for a phone of its size.
However, the phone's small screen makes it difficult to do a number of things.
Surfing the Web is tedious as you have to constantly use the zoom feature and watching videos is no fun as they appear pixelated.
Currently, the local Android Marketplace only allows free apps to be downloaded which hampers your ability to customize the X10 mini with your choice of apps.
On the bright side, the X10 mini is one of the better priced Android phones around.
Overall, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini is a decent smartphone as long as you are fine with the small screen.
Pros: Good battery life; loud speakers; small and lightweight.
Cons: Small screen; not great for surfing or watching videos.
(Sony Ericsson)
3G smartphone
NETWORK: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA 900/2100
OPERATING SYSTEM: Google Android 1.6 (Donut)
DISPLAY: 2.55in (240 x 320-pixels)
CAMERA: 5-megapixels with autofocus, LED flash
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, WiFi, micro USB
STANDBY/TALK TIME: 360 hours/3.5 hours
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 83 x 50 x 16mm
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