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Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia mini ReviewThe Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini is adorably tiny, but promises to be packed with smart-phone features, thanks to its Android operating system. Its 3-inch touchscreen also means this compact phone looks thoroughly usable.

The box contains:

  • Sony Ericsson Xperia mini
  • Wall charger with detachable microUSB cable
  • MH410 GreenHeart handsfree
  • 2GB microSD card
  • Additional back cover in different color
  • Lots of papers

Design:

In reality, what this means is you get a small 3″ capacitive display running at 320×480 resolution. It’s surprisingly sharp and bright, though, with icons and text easily readable even outdoors in bright light.

The power button sits on the top edge of the phone. The left-hand side is featureless apart from an arbitrary silver strip, while the other edge has the volume up/down rocker and a very nice, soft-touch camera button.

Sony Ericsson Xperia mini ReviewSony Ericsson Xperia mini Review

Sony Ericsson has torn up the design rules and placed the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom of the phone, which is also where the USB connector sits.

The big, physical Home button is easy to find without fuss, while the new capacitive Back and Menu buttons are large and easy to find without having to think about it.

Above the screen sits a proximity sensor, allowing the phone to deactivate its touchscreen while making a call, to stop you embarrassing yourself by pressing “end call” with your ear.

The back has a nice, matte, rubberised coating, so it’s grippy and sticky in the hand. Despite its size, the Xperia Mini is a perfectly usable smartphone.

Features:

Small in dimension, big on experience. The Xperia mini fits in your pocket, so you never miss a thing. Record your memories in HD video. Change your status and chat with your friends. Love music? Have a favourite game? Personalise the four corners of the home screen with 16 apps. But first you’ll need to choose from over 250,000 on Android Market.

Interface:

The Sony Ericsson Xperia mini runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Sony Ericsson have that covered with the Timescape UI. The mini inherits the corner-based homescreen from the previous generation of minis, but Sony Ericsson have done some extra work on it.

The corner UI aside, the rest of the interface is pretty much similar to what we saw in the Arc, the Neo and the Play – though resized to fit the HVGA resolution.

Sony Ericsson Xperia mini ReviewSony Ericsson Xperia mini Review

You pinch to zoom out on any of the 5 homescreen panes and a new pane sets in with a cool transition effect to display all of your active widgets.

Now let’s see about the four corner tabs on the homescreen. They can host up to four shortcuts each, as easy to assign as a simple drag-Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Reviewand-drop. You drag an icon over another and a pop-up appears, prompting you to select a name and layout for the new folder.

Messaging:

The messaging department of Android values simplicity in design and is very easy to use. All SMS/MMS communication is organized into threads.

Each thread is laid out as an IM chat session, the latest message at the bottom. You can manage individual messages (forward, copy, delete) and even lock them (against deletion). You can use search to find a specific message in all conversations.

The Quick Contacts feature only works in separate messages, not in the whole thread. You can also activate delivery reports.

Camera:

There’s a 5-megapixel camera on the Sony Ericsson Xperia mini – a respectable offering for the mid-end zone. Thankfully, the shooter is

Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Camera Sample

also capable of recording 720p video. The interface is again very playful, in tune with the rest of the software on the phone.

Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review

Music:

Sony Ericsson’s music player is very friendly, with big buttons for easy navigation. You have lots of different goodies to play with, like equalizer settings and the xLOUD option, which should enhance the loudness of the speaker.

Connectivity:

The Sony Ericsson Xperia mini has the full set of connectivity options: quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band HSPA with download rates of up to 7.2 Mbps and upload at 5.76 Mbps.

It offers Wi-Fi (b/g/n) with DLNA support, USB v2.0 and Bluetooth 2.1. If you want to use the phone for DLNA, you should use the dedicated Connected Devices application.

Memory:

The inbuilt storage is 400MB only, though additional storage can be added with a microSD card. The phone ships with a 2GB memory card, which has only 750MB of free space.

Battery:

The Xperia Mini features a 1200MaH battery, which is at the lower end of what we’d expect to find in a modern smartphone but understandable in a smaller unit.

Sony Ericsson itself rates the battery as good for 4.5 hours of talk time, or a ridiculously optimistic 340 hours of standby time according to the weird rules by which that’s calculated.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Specification

General
Status Coming soon
Announced May 2011
Network (2G) GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900 / GSM 850
Network (3G) HSDPA 850 / HSDPA 1900 / HSDPA 2100
Form factor Block
Antenna type Internal
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review
Size
Weight 99.0 g (with battery)
Dimensions 88.0 x 52.0 x 16.0 mm
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review
Display
Type Graphical
Coloured Yes, LED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 3.00 inch
Resolution 320 x 480 pixels
- Scratch-resistant surface
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Multi-touch input method
- Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
- Timescape UI
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review
Memory
Shared memory 320 MB
- Photocall
- 512 MB RAM
- microSD, up to 32GB
- 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm QSD8255 Snapdragon
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review
Ringtones
Polyphonic ringtones Yes
Ringtone profiles Yes
- MP3 ringtones
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review
Networking
HSDPA speed 7.2 Mbps
GPRS Yes, Up to 86 kbps
EDGE Yes, Up to 237 kbps
WLAN Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
USB Yes, 2.0 microUSB
Bluetooth Yes, 2.1 with A2DP
WAP Yes
Browser Yes, HTML
Email client Yes
- Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
- HSUPA 5.76Mbps
- GPS with A-GPS support
- Digital compass
- Push email
- Instant Messaging
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review
Features
Vibration Yes
SMS Send / Receive
MMS Send / Receive
Camera Builtin, 5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, image stabilization, smile and face detection, touch focus, video (720p)
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Games Yes, (changeable)
Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Calculator Yes
Calendar Yes
To-do list Yes
Voice memo Yes
T9 Yes
Multiple numbers / contact Yes
Handsfree Yes
Headset jack Yes
FM Radio Yes
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review
Standard Battery
Type Li-Ion
Amperage 1200 mAh
Standby time GSM: 340h / 3G: 320h
Talk time GSM: 4h 30m / 3G: 4h 30m

Performance:

Web use is good considering the limitations of the screen size. The 1GHz processor, proper multitouch zooming and simple text reflowingSony Ericsson Xperia mini Review really make the best of the 3″ display, plus text is sharp and perfectly readable, plus Flash support is a bonus.

Conclusion:

The camera output is a little crazy. Trees don’t just come out green, they come out luminous, fluorescent, bright, electric green, with reds and other strong colours often equally over-emphasised. It can make you photos look like they’ve gone through some sort of psychedelic hipster filter.

PRO:

  • Different, ultra-compact design
  • Custom UI full of little treats

CON:

  • Camera could be better
  • Soft-touch coating on the back doesn’t feel good

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 2.3.3, Build: 4.0.A.2.368

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