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.
- Fully featured Android smartphone, stylish design, good performance, customisable home screens with widgets, excellent custom UI
- Tiny display limits certain functions, mediocre text entry, not great for mobile browsing
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.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
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 newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Apple iMac Pro
Toys for Boys
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Internet Security
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Smart Security Premium
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- Samsung Galaxy A8s Release Date, Price, Specs and More
- Wizards of the Coast invest $10 million into MTG: Arena esports
- Sony Xperia XZ4 Release Date, Price, Specs and More
- Boost Mobile boosts data inclusions
- Cygnett introduces new Armoured Cables
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies