Top positive review
87 people found this helpful
on 28 August 2010
First of all, lets get it out of the way... it's gorgeous. It's cute as anything, small, compact and with that Sony Ericsson coolness I love so much. I have the pearl white version which is lovely, it's just the back that's white and has a satin finish which is very attractive. It also comes in black and, as it's the whole back which is removed to get to the battery, I expect to see backs available in all colours soon enough if that's the kind of thing which interests you. The build quality is lovely, it feels solid and robust.
I know that the 'mini' part of the name should give it away but you can't help but be surprised by how small it is. Some would criticise the thickness of it now that iPhone style skinny flat phones are the rage, but personally I love the shape and the chunkiness, it feels good in the hand as well.
The slide out keyboard was what sold it to me really, I couldn't have got on with a touchscreen only model, particularly one with such a small screen, but the slide out qwerty keyboard made this phone doable for me. I was not disappointed, the keyboard feels good and solid and slides out and back again easily and without feeling flimsy or rickety, and certainly without that horrible creaky plastic thing that some cheap (and not so cheap) phones have.
The display is fine for the size of the phone, yes it is smaller and slightly less crisp than some larger touchscreens but remember that this phone is presented in a very small package and you can't have it both ways, it is absolutely fine for the size. The touchscreen is extremely responsive, much nicer to use than some I have had a go on, it is sensitive and takes a bit of getting used to but after the first day I had all but completely stopped pressing things when I wanted to scroll, it's just a matter of getting the knack.
This is my first android phone and I couldn't help but be really impressed by the many functions and cool gadgetry it offers, and most unexpectedly these all work really well and very quickly. My last phone had the internet but was a lot slower even on the same network with the same sim card. The track ID comes back with a result in seconds, as does the bar code reader I downloaded, and functions which take a little bit longer such as uploading a photo to Facebook, are done in the background giving you uninterrupted use of the camera functions.
It can take a bit of getting used to as it is not the most immediately intuitive phone I have used but a large part of the reason is that it does so much, there is so much on there that the most 'obvious' functions such as dialling or adding a contact take a minute to figure out the first time, but as I said, this is my first android phone.
It is worth mentioning that if you use a lot of the functions on it then your data usage could be massive. I have been playing with it a lot as it's new and used up my 2GB allowance in one day, shocking really as I only have 1GB (which 3 network call 'unlimited') per month to use, so I will have to keep n eye on it. It is possible to switch off the background data transfer which not only saves on data usage but on battery power as well which is a factor with this phone as the battery life is not the best.
One drawback is that this is not the latest version of Android but it is due to be updated soon, we are in the third quarter of 2010 already which is when Sony Ericsson said the update would be released, available free for the owners of this phone, so even allowing for some delay we should get it in the next few months. In the meantime there are some apps which won't run on it. There are also a few which won't work because of the smaller screen size but these are a small minority.
The phone comes with a 2GB memory card, headphones/ handsfree, charger (mini USB type with just one USB lead) and a USB card adapter for the memory card. The box is very small!
The 5 mega pixel camera is pretty good, although limited. It takes pretty nice photos but there is no zoom function whatsoever, it does have a decent autofocus and a reasonable flash. I love that you can upload the pictures straight to Facebook or other sites direct from the camera s well as the email and text message options I had on my old phone.
The headphone jack is a normal 3mm mini jack socket, but it has the extra bit on the side for plugging in the powered headphones which you can buy separately. This is a feature I like a lot being a music lover as it means you can have any headphones- not all phones, even music phones, have this kind of jack socket.
The timescape feature is basically a carousel of the latest 'stuff' on your phone. Facebook updates, recent messages and what-have-you, according to what you have on there such as Bebo, Twitter etc. It is not as impressive as all that, but you can quickly peruse your latest notifications and click on them to go to the relevant pages.
I downloaded the advanced task killer free from the android market which is very useful. The apps which are running on it keep piling up in the background and using battery power and this is a quick way to kill them with one click.
The battery is removable in this model unlike the Mini, so if it fails you can replace just the battery rather than having to send the phone for repair. Also I suppose it gives you the option of having a backup batter if you are a heavy user- I'll say it again: the battery life is not great.
The audio quality is pretty impressive, even the speaker on the pone is louder than you'd expect and the sound is nice and crisp. It also has proper volume buttons on the side which is missing from many phones these days.
When you are in a call and need to use menu number buttons it can tell when you move it away from your ear and changes the display to allow you access to the number buttons. How cool is that?
This phone is quick and responsive, there is no freezing, delays or pressing stuff over and over without it registering. It has a 600mhz processor so I expect it ought to be quick. It was not so long ago that this was a pretty decent spec for a desktop computer! I know it's not the fastest now for a phone, but I think it's impressive for one this size and it does the job really well.
Very good build quality
Lots of useful functions
Lots of cool gadgets for when you are bored
Quick and responsive
Excellent quality keyboard
Very good audio quality and proper audio jack
Excellent for the internet and social networking
Easy to manage settings and functions
Customisable short-cuts, widgets etc.
No need to rely on using the touch screen for writing messages etc. due to the slide out qwerty keyboard.
Smaller screen size
Lower resolution than some touchscreen phones
Limited battery life (will need charging every other day at least, more if you are a heavy user)
Older version of Android (but soon to be upgraded)
In conclusion, I think that this very short list of 'cons' is more than made up for by the impressive package in such a small phone, Sony Ericsson have done a brilliant job of getting so very much into such a tiny phone!