Sony Ericsson Xperia mini Review

Interface and Functionality:

Sony Ericsson is one of the manufacturers that seem firmly committed to customizing their Android experiences, and its Xperia mini is just another proof of this. We first saw that specific UI customization in the original Xperia X10 mini, but since then, the company has decided to update and enhance the software, in order to make it suitable for handsets with larger screens as well. And we really appreciate that! What we see now, about a year later, is a much more playful and polished UI, which may lack the depth and immense personalization potential of HTC Sense, but is really well-drawn and manages to bring a really unique feel to Android. From the kinky widget overview mode, to the cool lock animation – it is such little details that make the phone very fun to use.

Back in its early Android days, Sony Ericsson was notorious for its ultra-slow software updates. Now, the company claims to have learned from its own mistakes, saying that it realizes the importance of keeping a smartphone as up-to-date as possible. This promise is kept for now, with the Sony Ericsson Xperia mini running Gingerbread right from the start. This, combined with the single-core 1GHz Snapdragon processor guarantees a very fluid and responsive experience. Thankfully, we didn't encounter any serious lagging. The handset kept its cool even in more resource-hungry apps.

All of this doesn't mean that the manufacturer has cut the number of proprietary services. Timescape, for example, is still here, and more functional than ever, as you can now install plug-ins from Android Market, that add additional services that you can follow through the program, like Gmail or Foursquare.

Due to the small screen, typing on the portrait on-screen keyboard is not among the best of experiences. Even if you have some more “athletic” fingers, typing is not comfortable. It is possible, but it will be slow, and accidental mistakes will play on your nerves. That's why we would recommend sticking to the landscape QWERTY, which isn't as great as what we have on bigger phones as well, but is at least tolerable.

Internet and Connectivity:

The internet experience on the Sony Ericsson Xperia mini is satisfying. It isn't very convenient, again due to the small screen, but gets the job done if you just want to check a couple of websites, or make a quick search. Longer usage will surely tire your eyes relatively fast.

Leaving that aside for a while, the Android browser runs very well on the Xperia mini, with no significant delays in scrolling, zooming, etc. In addition, due to its 1GHz processor, the handset supports Flash Player, so you won't miss a thing when browsing. The phone stays responsive even when viewing a Flash-intensive website. We especially like the fact that you can pan the page, while zooming using multitouch, as it makes navigation a lot more intuitive.

We were able to get localized in about 3 minutes, by using GPS satellites alone. When using aGPS, we were found instantly.

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