The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini is perhaps the smallest smartphone that landed on my hands for review.
Yes, this is a mobile phone. In fact, its a smartphone running Android 1.6. This thing is just 8.3 x 5.0 x 1.6 cm and weighs 88 grams. It has a 2.55 inch touchscreen that gives you 240 x 320 pixels (QVGA). The form factor is very interesting. But do not be fooled by the small form factor. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini comes with almost everything that your usual smartphone has. 3.5mm Audio Jack, MicroUSB port for charging and data transfer. WIFI, Bluetooth, AGPS, Digital Compass and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera. Pretty good for a phone this small.
Oh, the battery is non-removable. I guess it’s hard to make a removable battery when you have such a small form factor. Not much an issue here since there is another popular smartphone out there that doesn’t have removable battery too.
And since the X10 mini only has a 2.55 inch screen, the user interface need to be well designed or it will be difficult to use. And I must say that Sony Ericsson did a very good job with the user interface. The 4 corners on the main screen is used for shortcuts. You also have the usual Android widgets. The only thing is, there can only be 1 widget on 1 screen. I’m perfectly fine with that. To access your applications, just slide upwards on the screen to pull out the application menu. The interface is pretty simple and easy to use. And it’s pretty responsive too. Credits to the Sony Ericsson team doing the user interface. Before trying out the Xperia X10 mini, I didn’t know that you can have a good user interface on such a small screen.
There is no full size virtual Qwerty keyboard on the Xperia X10 mini. It can’t fit in. So you are stuck with the virtual number pad for text entry. Since I have been a candy bar phone user for 10 years before switching to a smartphone, I have no problem using the virtual number pad to type SMS. But it is certainly not something you might want to use to type a long email or blog entry. You can try, but I’m sure you will not do that for long. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini is more suitable for content consumption rather than content creation. For those who wants to type more, Sony Ericsson will be releasing the Xperia X10 mini Pro in July 2010 which comes with a slide out physical Qwerty keyboard.
As I was trying out this phone during my review, I can’t help but fall in love with it. The phone is elegant, simple yet power packed. All thanks to the Android operating system. If Sony Ericsson were to put another operating system on this form factor, it would be a completely different story. The user interface also played a huge part. The phone’s form factor is very interesting. I can basically visualize myself hanging this phone on my neck with a lanyard. Imagine finding places with Wikitude, searching for something I see using Google Goggles, finding cheaper store using SavvyShopper or Star gazing using Google Sky Map. The small form factor makes this the perfect phone for all these. It’s a pity that the X10 mini isn’t running on Android 2.2. The WIFI hotspot would be a good feature for this a phone in this form factor.
But the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini isn’t a phone for everybody. I think Sony Ericsson is trying to target a niche market here. The girls will like this phone a lot. Those who consume content more than they create will find this phone good. But for me, although I love it, it just don’t fit into my lifestyle since I’m a content creator. Maybe it would be a good secondary phone for me. Hang it on a lanyard and run applications like Latitude, Twitter, Google Goggles, SavvyShopper, Wikitude, Sky map etc etc.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 comes with 2 covers. You can choose between Black cover and Red cover OR White cover and Lime cover. I think I saw a pink cover somewhere. I guess it is sold separately. Think the pink cover will be a hit among the girls. As for me, you know lah, I hate pink gadgets.
A small yet powerful phone.
Small form factor
Simple and responsive user interface
Android 1.6 (will be upgraded to 2.1 in Q3 2010)
Virtual Number Pad for text entry