Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini smartphone

A fully featured smartphone in an incredibly tiny package, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini is an Android phone with an impressive design.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini
  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini
  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini
  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Fully featured Android smartphone, stylish design, good performance, customisable home screens with widgets, excellent custom UI

Cons

  • Tiny display limits certain functions, mediocre text entry, not great for mobile browsing

Bottom Line

Sony Ericsson deserves kudos for managing to produce an Android handset that's so tiny but still fully featured. However, we feel the XPERIA X10 Mini is a little too tiny to be considered a practical, everyday mobile phone.

Would you buy this?

In a day and age of touchscreen smartphones with extra-large displays designed for multimedia playback and Web browsing, a mobile phone smaller than a credit card seems so 1999. Sony Ericsson doesn't think so though: its latest Android phone, the tiny XPERIA X10 Mini, is a fully featured smartphone in an incredible tiny package. At face value the XPERIA X10 Mini seems impressive, but its size means it has too many limitations.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini smartphone looks like a prop out of the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! — it's absolutely tiny. Though it is a little thick, it feels short and stubby in your hand and the rounded back it shares with the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 means that it is comfortable to hold. Although the tiny size and quirky design are appealing, we think the XPERIA X10 Mini would be easy to misplace.

Despite its tiny dimensions, the XPERIA X10 Mini isn't poorly constructed, especially considering its inexpensive asking price. The rear battery cover is replaceable and Sony Ericsson includes three different colours out of an available seven in the sales package.

The main drawback to the small size of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini is the display. To be fair, it does a reasonable job considering the limited real estate, but the 2.5in screen lacks the clarity, colour and sharpness of larger screens and often feels cramped. This makes it ill suited to text messaging, as there is no option for a QWERTY keyboard layout on screen. The on-screen keyboard is best reserved for the odd, short text; its small keys and tiny feel easily frustrate.

Like its big brother, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini has a custom interface overlay called Timescape: a central timeline of events on both your phone and social-networking sites. In a similar manner to the Motoblur UI seen on the Motorola DEXT smartphone, Timescape keeps a timeline of status updates on Facebook and Twitter. However, it goes one step further than Motorola by also including communications on your phone — missed calls and SMS and MMS messages. These events form 3D tiles that appear to be stacked on top of one another — the idea is that you simply flick your finger up and down the "spine" to scroll through everything. Despite the appealing look and feel, we feel Timescape is of limited usefulness, as it doesn't show enough content on each tile. Although you can update your Facebook and Twitter status from Timescape itself, tapping a Facebook update takes you to the mobile browser version of Facebook, rather than the Android Facebook app installed. There is also no way to automatically link your Facebook contacts with those in your address book — you need to link contacts individually and this is a time consuming process. Timescape also lacks some advanced features, such as support for multiple Twitter accounts and URL shortening when tweeting.

Fortunately, Sony Ericsson has done a superb job with the rest of the XPERIA X10 Mini's user interface. Unique to this handset are four customisable shortcuts at each corner of the home screen for quick access, and an unlimited number of home screens you can add widgets to. Though you can't add shortcuts or folders and can only add a single widget per screen, the screens can be rearranged as you please, so Android's scope for customisation is still evident here. Throughout the interface you'll find tweaks that perfectly suit the small screen — from a single swipe up the screen to access the main menu, to re-designed, custom menus and command boxes that make ease of use a real highlight.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini's size hasn't impacted on its features, with most of Android's regular functions available including the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini also possesses good performance, with no sign of lag or slowdown during general use. The smartphone currently runs the older 1.6 firmware of Android, but Sony Ericsson has promised an upgrade to version 2.1 at the end of Q3 this year. An update to Sony Ericsson's custom user experience platform (UXP) will also be provided at the same time, adding new features and improving the performance of the Timescape application and custom user interface.

The included browser does a reasonable job considering the tiny display, but text looks blurred unless it's zoomed in very close and clicking links can be frustrating due to the size of the screen. Like the XPERIA X10, the XPERIA X10 Mini doesn't support Flash or multitouch technologies, but on such a small display, multitouch isn't practical and is therefore no real loss.

Other features of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini include a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, a built-in accelerometer, a digital compass and a GPS receiver. The X10 Mini also has a microSD card slot for extra storage, located behind the rear battery cover.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini is available through Optus in Australia, but can also be purchased outright and unlocked from online mobile phone store MobiCity.

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?