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Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini review

Slightly larger but still tiny, is 2011's Android update a big winner?

Sony Ericsson has included the same corner-based user interface that worked to such good effect in last year's X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro.

We should say the 1GHz processor, combined with 512MB of RAM, makes the response under the finger lightning quick - you certainly won't be disappointed.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

As well as your five standard Android Home screens to scroll between, each page comes with a customisable icon in the corner. You can stick anything you want in here, simply by dragging a shortcut in from the phone's main applications screen.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

New, and actually quite exciting, for 2011 is the addition of multiple icons in these corners, so you can have up to four items in each slot. This is a really nice system.

We felt oddly compelled to organise everything, creating one corner for camera, gallery and imaging apps, another for calling functions, plus one containing web apps and social applications.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

Also, it's now possible to add icons and shortcuts to the Home screen itself, standard Android style, something last year's X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro didn't allow due to their absolutely tiny screens.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

If you need a better look at everything, a two-fingered pinch of the screen explodes your widgets out into a very nice floating overview mode - pressing again on one of these takes you to its corresponding Home screen.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

While putting this review together, Sony Ericsson pushed out a software update for the Xperia Mini, which added a collection of visual themes.

Accessed through a long-press on the Home screen, this adds a new background image to the phone and also changes the colour of the app drawer and menu pages. It all looks swish and well designed, certainly much jazzier than the ageing HTC Sense interface - although we're sure a few HTC fans will disagree.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

We're not huge fans of Sony Ericsson's power and connectivity management icons, though. The standard Android power strip widget that's used to toggle functions on and off has been removed, leaving you to create your own via a collection of chunky icons. It's versatile, but we do prefer the boring old Android strip.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

There are plenty of widgets, both as part of Android and supplied by Sony Ericsson. You now get a fashionable weather station and mini forecast widget, plus the usual old Timescape social media widget returns.

Sony ericsson xperia mini

Fans of Timescape will like the way it's been expanded. As well as supporting Facebook and Twitter status messages, it's now possible to install plug-ins that add extra functionality.

There's one for Gmail, for example, which lets your Google messages appear in the widget's timeline as well. Timescape is now bordering on the useful - something we'd have never dreamed of saying when we reviewed the first version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory320 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXPERIA
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time4.50 Hour
Product Modelmini
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)99 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height88 mm
Width52 mm
Depth16 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time340 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA mini Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Product LineXPERIA
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number1248-8667
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Whale about to flick its tail? Watching a great game? Catch it all with Xperia mini - the world's smallest Android powered smartphone with HD video recording.

HD video smartphone with 5 megapixel camera

Enjoy all your entertainment in crisp colours and high contrast on the 3" Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Your HD video recording smartphone comes with a photo flash and auto focus too - your pics stay sharp and bright, even when you snap them in the dark.