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Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Review
|| Review: August 2011
In a nutshell: Sony Ericsson have
succeeded in creating a super-compact smartphone that doesn't
compromise on user experience, speed or power. The Xperia Mini
is ridiculously, joyously small, yet comes with all the features
of an Android 2.3 smartphone. A heavily customised user interface
unlocks the power of the internet, facebook, youtube, Google
Maps on a credit card sized phone. The battery life may not
be the best, but we love everything else, and we love the price
too! Available in Black, White, Blue and Dark Pink.
When Sony Ericsson call a phone Mini, they really mean it. The Xperia
Mini is a tiny smartphone. It's just a nibble larger than the older
Xperia X10 Mini, but
it will easily fit inside almost any kind of pocket or bag. It's quite
thick though, at 16mm, so it might cause a bulge in a jeans pocket,
although the extra thickness does give you something substantial to
hold onto. Whilst compact, it nevertheless manages to feel like a quality
product, thanks to a solid build and a weight of nearly 100g.
The Xperia Mini is an update of the older X10 Mini, and it's almost
the same phone, except that there have been a number of improvements
that go a long way to overcoming the problems inherent in making such
a small smartphone. The main issues in the original X10 Mini were the
small screen size, poor battery life and limitations imposed by using
an old version of Android. We're pleased to report that the new Mini
is a lot better than the old one in almost every respect.
First of all, the screen resolution has been increased to 320 x 480
pixels, which is a big improvement as it means that many more Android
apps will now fit on the screen. Another improvement is the QWERTY virtual
keyboard. Next, it uses the Bravia engine first seen on the Xperia
Arc, which makes the colours and contrast nothing short of brilliant.
It's still a physically tiny screen though, even though it's grown from
2.55 inches to 3 inches, and you have to accept that fact as part of
the design ethos. You can't have a giant multimedia screen on a compact
phone! Sony Ericsson have worked hard on the user interface to customise
Android for the small screen, and their corner-based UI works well.
Up to 16 apps live in expandable folders in the four corners of the
home screen, and you'll find a lot of icons and info packed into the
notification bar at the top of the screen. You can also drag stuff onto
any of the 5 home screens. We think that as long as you're willing to
accept the basic compromise that the compact design requires, you'll
find the Xperia Mini to be a very workable implementation of a mini
One of the problems with the X10 Mini was that it used an ancient version
of the Android operating system. You needn't worry though - the new
Mini has been updated to run Android 2.3.
When it comes to using the internet, we run into the basic size compromise
again. You can view web pages on the Mini with full flash support, and
they load quickly enough, but they're mighty small on the screen. You
can pan and zoom around the page using the touchscreen, but you just
keep banging up against the screen size all the time and the experience
is generally frustrating. On the other hand, watching youtube videos
works perfectly well, and the facebook and twitter integration is very
good indeed, with Sony Ericsson making a lot of customisations to the
Android OS to embed this functionality into the core features of the
phone. For instance, facebook events appear automatically in the phone's
calendar and facebook albums can be browsed from the phone's gallery.
Your facebook friends are also imported automatically into your contacts
The power at the heart of the device has also been increased, with
a much faster 1GHz processor providing all the speed necessary for a
small phone, and the onboard memory and RAM increased to a generous
320MB and 512MB respectively. The phone also supports microSD memory
cards up to 32GB, which should be more than adequate for this type of
The camera exceeded our expectations. For a low-cost phone that's so
small, we didn't have high hopes here, but the 5 megapixel camera is
better than most even on default settings. If you want to, you can use
a whole load of advanced features such as image stabilisation, smile
detection and suchlike, and there's a very powerful 8x digital zoom
too. Even better, the video records at up to 720p HD resolution, and
there's a video light for low light situations. There's even a video
Music is good on the Xperia Mini. As well as having the convenience
and ease of use of Sony's music player, with an FM radio too, the phone
features Sony's new xLOUD engine, which does pretty much what it says,
blasting out your music a lot louder than many phones. Audio quality
is surprisingly good for such a tiny device, and call quality is excellent.
The phone comes with aGPS, which feeds your location into Google Maps.
This works well enough, even on the small screen, and is fast, especially
if you're in a 3G zone. The WisePilot Turn-by-Turn navigation software
is also supplied, but only as a demo version.
One of the bugbears of the original X10 Mini was the poor battery life.
The Xperia Mini sadly isn't much better in this regard. The battery
has only 1200mAh capacity, which is understandable for such a small
phone, but the demands of Android and all the tech packed into the device
mean that your phone won't last that long between charges. We'd guess
most people will be charging every other day.
So, to sum up, Sony Ericsson have succeeded in delivering a super compact
smartphone that really manages to balance the benefits of such a tiny
device with the necessary compromises. Whilst other manufacturers are
seeming just to build larger and larger smartphones, it's refreshing
to find something different. Sony Ericsson have really learned from
the older X10 Mini phone, and have fixed almost every problem that they
found. The new Xperia Mini is better, faster, smarter, more responsive,
more up to date and just more fun than the old one. Only the limited
battery life remains an issue. We love the Xperia Mini and we think
that anyone looking for the benefits of a smartphone without the size
will love it too. Better still, it's very affordable as well.
Features of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini include:
- 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, flash, touch focus, image stabilisation,
smile detection and 8x digital zoom
- HD 720p video camera with video light
- Display: 16 million colours, TFT touchscreen, 320 x 480 pixels (3
inches) with auto-rotation
- Media player with album art, TrackID, PlayNow and Sony xLOUD engine
- FM radio with RDS
- MP3 / AAC ringtones
- aGPS with Google Maps, geo-tagging and WisePilot Turn-by-Turn navigation
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, conversations
- 3D games
- Picture wallpaper
- Personal organiser functions
- Vibration alert
- Internet: web browser, RSS feeds, YouTube, facebook, twitter
- Memory: 320MB with 512MB RAM plus microSD memory card (up to 32GB
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, micro USB, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900) plus 3G UMTS/HSPA (900/1700/2100)
- Size: 88 x 52 x 16 mm
- Weight: 99g
- Battery: 1200mAh
- Talktime: 4.5 hours
- Battery standby: 340 hours
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini User Reviews
Love your mobile? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other
people choose the phone that's best for them. Please do not review this
phone if you have not used it. This is a review site, not a forum, so
please don't just ask questions. Please do not use swear words or offensive
language, and please, no advertising!
Average rating from 26 reviews:
Reviewed by j byrne from ulk on 26th Feb 2013
Had for 1 year no problems.
No desire to change.
Reviewed by wai tak from hong kong on 8th Aug
I had my SE xperia x10 mini first and I loved it. When the Xperia Mini
came out in Nov 2011 in the HK market, I immediately bought one without
thinking. However it disappointed me in the beginning for the followings:
1. bluetooth had problems in recognising other BT devices, even my original
2. Camera's quality was not as good as the x10 mini (my personal opinion).
3. in less than 40 days, the touch screen went on & off frequently even
without touching. Eventually it could not be used. I had to admit it
was surprisingly cheap for this phone, only HK$1450 in Nov 2011. However
the touch screen replacement costed half of the purchase price! (the
service person told me the first shipment of Xperia Mini to HK & China
was poor in its touch screen and he had received a lot of complaints/work
Apart from what mentioned above, I am satisfied with it especially with
Android 4.0.3 installed. It is a great smart phone with loads of features,
running fast, good music player and camera, all fitted in one tiny device.
I have no problems in using it to read news. The only reason I want
a replacement is - it is not a good e-book reader because of some pdf
documents cannot be fitted well on its 3 inch screen.
Reviewed by Jad from UK on 18th Jun 2012
A perfect simple handset which has so many features in its small size,get
Reviewed by Michelle from Scotland on 27th May
I loved this phone at the start, I'd say the fault started about 2-3
months after I got it. It would heat up after charging and the touch
buttons begin to do they're own thing, but now its when charging, on
the phone, on the internet or just general use. Highly irritating! Would
Reviewed by Jeff from UK on 24th May 2012
Buyers should be aware there is a serious fault with the Xperia Mini
ST15i and there is a lot of internet discussion about this. (Enter a
search string such as 'malfunctioning xperia mini' for example).
The context menu keeps appearing and disappearing involuntarily after
a few minutes usage rendering the phone unusable. Apparently the fix
is for Sony to re-calibrate the phone at their Service Centres.
I do not know if any other Xperia phones are affected.
My phone started exhibiting these symptoms a few weeks after I bought
Reviewed by Buddy from UK on 17th May 2012
I've had this phone for the last 9 months and have loved every single
second of it! This outstanding little powerhouse of a phone somehow
manages to sail above any serious criticism. It's been pretty much perfect
for me in every conceivable way! Its compact size (BTW it's not 'too
small' for surfing or texting as perhaps its predecessor the X10 Mini
was) and premium looks alone make it stand out from the crowd as something
quite special, and perhaps just as seminal in its time as the iPhone4
or Galaxy S2. This is a phone of real personality, and just as importantly
it works really well as the whole package has been carefully thought
out and well executed. Frankly, even though it lacks outright their
flagship features, it's still one of the few phones that I think has
a real head turning capability/ WOW! factor (especially in white) to
compete genuinely with the aforementioned phones and make you dismiss
them as overhyped items, and even more remarkably it does so at a fraction
of their price. A winner all the way! Well done SE!!
Reviewed by Pete from UK on 16th May 2012
I bought one of these as a back up to my Xperia Play and its a great
ickle phone. It all works well enough, especially as it only costs £100
now. The music player sounds even better than the Plays! My only negative
is the auto screen dimness makes the screen a tad flickery at times.
My missus has the Live with Walkman phone which is even better than
the Xperia mini.
I think the negative reviews on here, may in fact be reviews of the
X10 mini. Just a thought.
Reviewed by John F from UK on 24th Apr 2012
This is my 3rd Android. I am impressed with the camera and the size
of the handset which fits in my shirt pocket easily.
I have no trouble accessing the official Android market at all and the
advantage of Android Gingerbread is the ability to store apps on the
Battery life is no worse than my previous handsets and I charge it every
night as a routine. I also use battery savers and Android Assistant
to extend it. It isn't as good as my partner's Galaxy SII, I admit,
but it is only 1/3 of its cost.
Overall, good value for money.
Reviewed by Raj from India on 14th Apr 2012
I bought my new sonyericsson xperia mini 7 days ago. The battery is
horrible. It does not come atleast 1 hour. So, i request you to check
the battery power before purchasing this product.
Reviewed by Michelle from UK on 5th Apr 2012
Worst phone ever. Never charges with any charger, bad battery life,
very unresponsive screen, takes very long to open and close applications,
android market doesn't work, sends 30+ texts to contacts when it's turned
on and off again, takes a long time to take photo's. If i could give
it 0 stars, i would.
Reviewed by Madi from italy on 27th Mar 2012
very bad bluetooth,the device can detect the other devices but can not
connect with them,moreover the android market not work
Reviewed by no_data from UK on 8th Mar 2012
If I could marry a mobile without being arrested this would be it, had
the original X10 mini & loved it but then made the mistake of getting
an iPhone 4s & sorry, but for £500 it really does not do anything that
this baby can't. Battery life is great with juice defender & everything
else is awesome. Luvvin it.
Reviewed by bbbysherry from uk on 3rd Feb 2012
its just brilliant so much for your money its as good as my galaxy2s
but smaller well done s/e
Reviewed by dukester from uk on 13th Jan 2012
simply outstanding- does everything, the perfect size- apps work better
than on bigger phones, and i LOVE it!! i've been thru' loads of different
phones and this is the one i've been waiting for! all it needs now is
the android 4.0 update and away we go!! + it takes a 32mb sd card!
Reviewed by Dry seasons from Latvia on 7th Jan
Absolutely Brill !!!!! But dry !!!!! Mammy !!!!!
Reviewed by Ken Mavor from UK on 12th Dec 2011
Had this little phone for 3 months now. Didn't want an Iphone or a big
phone and wanted android. This phone is small but powerful and support
(ie android upgrades from Sony) is good. Does everything I need and
want from a good small phone. Battery life is just acceptable but installing
Juice Defender makes it last 2/3 days depending on usage. Would recommend
this phone to anyone.
Reviewed by PF from UK on 13th Nov 2011
I am really impressed with this phone. The screen quality is great.
A compact handset with a good-sized screen is a great combination. Sound
quality is good. So far, the processor speed has been fine: I have used
it to play BBC iplayer videos over wifi with no issues and have found
it to have no issues with the apps that I have downloaded from the android
market. My only issue has been finding a good protective cover to protect
the unit: there are plenty for the iPhone and Blackberry but options
are few for the Xperia Mini. In summary, a great phone at a reasonable
Reviewed by Richard Smith from UK on 2nd Nov 2011
Just an update to my earlier review and still loving the phone and now
that android seems to have got used to my way of using the phone and
the battery has had a fair few charges the battery performance really
isn't a problem and I get just as much as I did from my HTC Wildfire,
yes I'm charging every night but it gets good use during the day without
a problem. Great work Sony I'm glad I came back. Giving it the extra
Reviewed by Omair Khan from Saudi Arabia on 25th
super cool,mighty little monster!!! I am glad I bought this mob!! Beautiful
camera, nice display.Anybody have battery problem plzz install juice
defender App on the market it will surely will give you expected results
Reviewed by Sarah from Uk on 6th Oct 2011
This is a brilliant little phone, clear camera and the screen colours
are bright with many apps to download. I would highly recommend it,
particularly because it is relatively inexpensive. If you're looking
for a new phone this is definitely the one to buy!
Reviewed by fazil from india on 25th Sep 2011
Best mobile with good features igive 5 star
Reviewed by Druh from Philippines on 21st Sep
Had the phone for a week and what can I say. It's stellar. An Amazing
Little Phone w/ a monster capabilities! I highly recommend this to all
who is looking for a great phone with a tight budget. The sensitivity
of the screen is great. It does not lag AT ALL. I love every bit of
it: from the camera to the Four-Corner UI. SE has done it this time.
I just wish people will take a look at SE's android portfolio for 2011
as they are all good! SE rocks!
Reviewed by Richard Smith from UK on 17th Sep
Love the phone but the battery sucks big style I've also bought a bigger
battery for it and still its bad. If you want this phone to last a night
out take a spare battery as 4 hours is about the norm at the mo . If
I don't use anything and just pop on it every now and then you get longer
but a phone is for using not keeping in your pocket. Rant over sort
the battery out and its an amazing little phone that does everything
asked of it. Also I love the little thing as a device its top notch.
Reviewed by Tom from UK on 5th Sep 2011
My first smartphone after using a Nokia 6303 Classic before. I've had
it a few days, and not having used android before it's taken a little
time to get used to some of the 'idiosyncrasies', but I'm used to it
now and the user interface is very good. The things I was worried about,
such as the small screen and not having a physical keypad have not been
a problem - texting using the numeric keypad option is very easy and
the predictive text is good - very few glitches - I input using my thumb
old-school Nokia style, so no problem for a fat fingers. The screen
is crystal clear and the size is fine for facebook, photos and videos,
browsing is good but the screensize means you sometimes forget where
you are on the page, but the +/- buttons and text re-flow help. Whilst
the phone is small in plan, it's thicker than most, which means it's
not quite so easy to slip into a tight pocket, but I wasn't keen on
the size of some of the leading smartphones. Currently available at
£150+£10 top up on Orange or T-Mobile from a highstreet independant
(unlocked) - for the processor power and smoothness of the interface
that's great value and lifts it to 5 stars for me.
Reviewed by alex from eastbourne on 31st Aug 2011
just purchased phone and been using it for a week now,im a bit of a
mobile phone geek as i change them every 6 months,ive had them all nokia,samsung,htc
ect and only the last year started buying sony ericcson phones,very
impressed. previous phone was the xperia x10 and wow what a phone very
good but battery awfull,charging it every day and sometimes twice a
day,good camera but music player just ok. so now ive got the xperia
mini and WOW!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A PHONE,everything that was niggling me
on the x10 has now been upgraded on the MINI. camera BRILLIANT.. music
player... louder and you can now create playlist...BRILLIANT....and
im happy to say battery life has improved...ive been getting two days
worth of use on one charge,which on a smartphone isnt to bad at all.Nice
to see new android 2.3,unable to fault phone,so small yet so powerfull
and loads of features...BUY IT
Reviewed by Jon from UK on 30th Aug 2011
Great little phone. I've had it over a week now and it's been brilliant.
I upgraded from a Wildfire and this is better is virtually every way.
The screen is very clear (although I do wish there was an option to
turn off the light sensor - still, just a minor complaint), even in
daylight and direct sunlight. Everything is very smooth, the latest
Android and the same processor that's used in the much bigger phones
make a huge difference. It's almost overpowered relative to the screen
and I've not noticed any slowdown anywhere. As for the battery life
- it's about as good as can be expected for a smartphone. I get three
to four days of use out of it. Get an app like MySettings and turn things
on and off as and when you need them and you'll have plenty of charge
to get through a few days of moderate use. Gone are the days when a
phone would last over a week off a single charge. The virtual keyboard
works fine, although it might prove a problem for those with slightly
larger fingers. I absolutely love the corner icons, they're great for
programs that are used regularly as they're there on all the homescreens.
Basically, I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone who don't mind a small
screen. It's small and much more portable than the likes of the Desire,
Galaxy S etc. It depends what you want, a big screen or a smaller handset.
In all other areas, the Xperia Mini is easily their equal (and very
cheap - I picked mine up on Pay as You Go for £160).
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