The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 came and left our labs a few months ago failing to win our hearts. It was a decent phone, but a couple of flaws couldn't be overlooked. Plus, now with quality competition the game has become even tougher. For those who feel the X10 felt like a slab in the pocket, Sony Ericsson offers you variety with the X10 Mini.
When I first set eye on this phone, I exclaimed "Oh my god, they really meant it by calling it the Mini!". This cute little phone has the internals of an HTC Legend with certain compromises that allowed SE to cram it into a shell this small. So is this a classic case of form over function? Or has Sony Ericsson managed to maintain a fine balance. Read on to uncover the truth.
Design and Build
The big brother X10 was quite a handful with that humongous 4-inch screen. The X10 Mini on the other hand is really tiny in comparison. It reminded me of that tiny Bipasha Basu branded Panasonic A100 from ancient times. The phone easily fits in the palm, and the pointy edges of the X10 have been curved off in the X10 Mini, providing a better feel. At under 90 grams, the phone packs in so much inside as is still quite light. The build quality is pretty good. With limited space to play with, SE withdrew the privilege of a removable battery in the X10 Mini; just like the iPhone. As a consolation, you can change the back cover and you get a variety of colors to choose from. They've even thrown in a few in the package itself, so you can start matching the phone to your daily apparel from day one.
The screen is much smaller at 2.55 inches, which is even smaller than your typical 2.8-inch Samsung Corby. Fortunately, being of capacitive nature, the finger response is pretty good. The swift UI also deserves appreciation, but more on that later. My initial skepticism about usability of a touchscreen this small was completely washed away. But it sports a QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) resolution which in comparison to today's HVGA (320 x 480) phones feels pale. It also could be because of the 65K color limitation of Android 1.6 that's making it look that way. The brightness also isn't too satisfying; we preferred keeping it at max. For a touchscreen, the real estate felt a little too small to browse full-fledged websites. But it is fine to act as a viewfinder to the camera at the back. All in all, it's a responsive screen but not as crisp and readable as bigger Android phones.