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Why size doesn’t matter

tech-reviews Updated: Jul 13, 2010 18:38 IST
Shayne Rana
Shayne Rana
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

There is never a dull moment with the Xperia X10 Mini. It’s fun, petite and ready to party. Take a closer look.

Form Factor
It’s easy to operate with just one hand and comfortable to hold, thanks to the Human Curvature form. The 2.5-inch (240 x 320 pixels) capacity touchscreen is scratch resistant. It’s portable and can fit into your pocket easily.

A 3.5mm handsfree socket is located at the bottom near a micro USB 2.0 port neatly hidden by a flap. Volume keys are on one side, just above the camera Sony Xperiabutton. A hot swap for the microSD card as well as the SIM are located under the rear panel, which comes in a variety of colours.

But you can’t remove the battery of this handset. So if it hangs, there’s no quick fix. I was unable to use most other handsfree kits and stand-alone earphones with the Mini. The bundled set (canal type) is comfortable.

Features, performance
The Android OS (v1.6) runs on the Mini’s Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz processor, making the UI extremely zippy. Sony Ericsson’s TimeScape UI (seen in the X10), works well here.

The Four Corner UI is convenient and simple to set up and use. It offers multiple desktops but can only have a single widget per page. The UI is well-designed and easy to navigate.

Media
The music quality is great. The player is simple and provides loud and clear tones, even if you don’t alter the settings. The Infinity button lets you get additional information on each track from corresponding YouTube videos with the press of a key.

The FM radio didn’t work out too well. Reception was not very good even in areas where I usually get great reception. The handset supports 3GP and MPEG4 files, even if they’re in iPhone resolution.

Of course the screen size and resolution doesn’t make it easy to watch videos for too long. A couple of games are preloaded. If you want more, the Android Marketplace is a great place to look.

Connectivity
This tiny handset is loaded with connectivity options. It’s a 3G-enabled device that supports EDGE as well as Wi-Fi where it is available.

Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP is also an option. If that’s not enough, the X10 Mini also packs in GPS with apps like Google Maps, GeoTags and WisePilot. Although the small screen once again becomes an issue, the handset handles the GPS software really well.

The Android browser is great and its zoom feature is a real blessing. Push email is available and it’s also really simple to set up your POP and IMAP email accounts.

Syncing your contacts with Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts is a bit tedious. Sony Ericsson has also thrown in Road Sync apps for backing up your data and email.

Other features
These include a calendar that can sync with your Gmail account, a timer, an alarm clock and calculator.

Camera
This small handset has a very capable 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash. I was unable to access any of the settings except for the Scene mode.

According to Sony Ericsson, a tap on the display should bring up a settings menu but no amount of taps or harsher knocks helped with this particular piece.

The image quality is great. The colour and clarity of the photos justify the price of this phone. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much control since I wasn’t able to access the camera settings.

The option to geotag images is available via the settings menu but there’s nothing else. Nevertheless, it performed very well.

Battery
The handset’s 950m Ah battery allowed me to use the device for over a day and half. I downloaded emails, used geotagging for images, and of course, made the occasional call, sent texts and used IM.

Talk time averaged in at over three hours and 15 minutes, which is quite impressive.

What we like
Easy to handle
Comfortable design
UI is smooth and well designed
Audio quality for calls
Music is good
Great camera and good battery life.

What we don’t:
Couldn’t use other handsfree kits with this piece, camera settings were inaccessible on this particular device.

Verdict:
The X10 Mini costs Rs 16,475, which may seem a little steep. But for all the features that this handset offers, it is not a high price to pay.

If you’re looking for a handset that is efficient, easy to use and cute as a button, you can’t go wrong with the X10 Mini.

It’s true what they say, good things do come in small packages. Sony Ericsson got it right with this one.