Sony Xperia Miro review

Sony's second budget handset in as many months - does it do enough to stand out?

Sony Xperia Miro review
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Sony Xperia Miro review

Whenever a phone comes with as little storage as the Sony Xperia Miro (just 2.2GB of useable space), we're tempted to assume that its media experience is going to be lacking, since there's not going to be room for much media on there.

In this case, that would be a mistake.

There's a media folder right on the dock, and that can be taken as a statement of intent. This is a phone that wants to do media well.

Walkman is perhaps the most impressive of the Sony Xperia Miro's various media apps.

Sony Xperia Miro review

This of course is the music player, and you couldn't ask for much more from a bundled app.

Tracks can be sorted by song, artist or album and played individually or shuffled.

Playlists can be created and accessed with ease, and playlists for newly added, most played and never played songs are included out of the box. You can also favourite songs.

There's an option to search for music and a SensMe option, which enables you to pick a style of music, for example 'mellow' or 'emotional', and it will attempt to play music from your library that fits that style.

You can also access Sony's subscription-based Music Unlimited service from here, though, oddly, the app doesn't appear to be included on the phone, and clicking on it for the first time just directs you to download it from Google Play.

Sony Xperia Miro review

Music that friends have shared on Facebook can also be viewed on the handset, though generally the Sony Xperia Miro just gives you a link to play the song on YouTube, for example.

It's surprising that Sony has integrated Facebook at all though, given that it omitted it from the contacts and messaging apps, where it would have been an obvious fit.

Once you play a track, the associated picture all but fills the screen.

Meanwhile, below it you get the standard, play, pause, next track and previous track controls.

Sony Xperia Miro review

There's also a bar showing how far through the song you are, and dragging that will jump forwards or backwards in it.

The more interesting options are slightly more hidden away.

Long-pressing a track image enables you to like it on Facebook, while tapping a button on the top-right enables you to search for the video on YouTube, search Google for the lyrics and find artist info on Wikipedia.

Hitting the menu key enables you to turn shuffle and repeat on or off and edit the track info.

More significantly, though, it enables you to access a sound enhancements screen, where you can mess with an equaliser to tailor the sound to your liking.

Sony Xperia Miro review

Or if that sounds too much like hard work you can select from one of a number of presets, such as 'easy listening' or 'bass boost'.

If you're listening to music through headphones you can also customise the surround sound experience, making it sound like a studio or a concert hall, for example.

On the other hand, if you're listening to the music through the Sony Xperia Miro's speakers, you can turn xLOUD on or off.

Sony's xLOUD system boosts the volume without distorting it and the result is pretty good, producing fairly loud and clear music.

Sony Xperia Miro review

There's also a widget for the player, enabling you to perform basic functions from both the home and lock screen.

Next up is the video player, and while it's not quite as full featured as the music player, it still does a fairly good job.

When you first open it you're presented with thumbnails of all your video files.

Tapping one will bring up the run time and file size, along with information on it provided by Gracenote (assuming it can find any) - this takes the form of a synopsis or description, a cast list and the year of production.

From there you can tap on the play icon to launch the video. Options here are limited to play, pause and stretching it to fit the screen.

As with the music player, there is also a progress bar that you can drag to jump ahead or back in the video.

Sony Xperia Miro review

Pressing the menu button enables you to turn xLOUD on or off if playing it through the speakers, turn surround sound on or off if played through headphones, or share the video via Bluetooth, Facebook, email and more.

You can even upload videos to YouTube from the player.

Sony Xperia Miro review

You can also use DLNA to stream the video to other supported devices on the same network.

Actually watching videos on the Sony Xperia Miro is a bit of a disappointment, since the screen is still on the small side and the low resolution becomes even more apparent.

Sony Xperia Miro review

It's also less comfortable to hold for extended periods than its little brother the Sony Xperia Tipo, thanks to the comparatively sharp corners.

Its light weight feel does help it out here though, meaning that at least it won't weigh you down.

The Sony Xperia Miro claims to support MP4, MP3, eAAC+, WAV, H.263 and H.264 files.

And for the most part it seemed to play them fine.

The only exception was that the video player didn't want to play one of our MP4 files.

Sony Xperia Miro review

But if you run into any trouble there are always alternate players available from Google Play, and some of these genuinely support just about anything you can throw at them.

Photos are accessed from the album, and this sorts them by date.

You can also view a map from here, and any photos with location data will be tagged on this.

By default it uses a 2D map, but you can also toggle a 3D view, giving you an image of the entire globe that can be rotated to find your photos.

Pressing the Sony Xperia Miro's menu key when viewing an image gives options to set it as your wallpaper or assign it to a contact, rotate it and crop it or view a slide show.

Sony Xperia Miro review

More impressively, there's also a built-in photo editor that's accessible from here.

It's not that in-depth, but it still packs in quite a few options.

You can auto-fix an image, which does a reasonable job of brightening and cleaning up images.

If you want to get more hands on, you can add highlights and effects, change the saturation and remove red eye.

Finally there's the FM radio, and this was a bit of a weak link simply because it failed to pick up a lot of the stations we'd have expected it to. We're not sure why that is, but it was certainly disappointing.

Sony Xperia Miro review

Once you actually do find a station that it can play, you have a few options.

You can choose to play through the speakers or headphones, favourite stations and ask Sony's TrackID service to look up songs for you.

This works in much the same way as Shazam, but it's conveniently built into the player, and once you find a track you can comment on it and share it.

Other than the radio, the only real disappointment with the Sony Xperia Miro's media abilities is the lack of built in storage. Sure you can expand it with a microSD card, but it would be nice if there was enough space to load it up with music out of the box.

That aside, it's a formidable music player. And aside from the limitations of the screen, it also makes for a solid video player and photo viewer and editor.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.