Gadgets Magazine

Budget Friendly Smartphone of the Week – Sony Xperia ST15i Mini

Posted on the 04 February 2013 by Gunsirit @gunsirit

se-xperia-st15i-mini-gunsiritThe small but sexy Sony Xperia ST15i Mini

The Sony Xperia ST15i Mini was first introduced in May 2011 and was priced at that time for over RM500. The phone is now available at Lelong at the rock bottom price of RM399. It is however very important to check on the authenticity of the device before buying or search extensively at your local stores, you may be surprised to get it even cheaper there.

The Xperia ST15i Mini is actually a smaller version of its big brothers such as the Xperia Neo and Xperia Arc. Although smaller, it is also packed with the same processing power, Reality display and Android version as its big brothers. The only difference is that this mini phone is way cheaper than its high-end cousins, The Xperia Neo is sold at RM699 while the Xperia Arc is retailed at RM700 to RM850 (price varies depending of whether the device is AP (Approved Product) or original. See explanation about AP and Original devices here.

The basic features of the Xperia ST15i Mini are as follow:

  • Quad-band GSM /GPRS/EDGE support
  • 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
  • 3″ 16M-color capacitive LED-backlit LCD touchscreen of HVGA resolution (320 x 480), Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine
  • Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1 GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 chipset
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 5 MP autofocus camera, LED flash, geotagging
  • 720p video @ 30fps, continuous autofocus
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • microSD slot (32GB supported, 2GB card included)
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
  • Voice dialing
  • Adobe Flash 10.3 support
  • User-accessible battery, Li-Ion 1200 mAh

The Upsides

Most reviews in the internet doesn’t have many negative aspects to say about the Xperia ST15i Mini. A few sites complained about the battery life problem but others do come with good comments such as the battery life is still at 42% even when data, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity are “on” most of the time. I would think that battery life depends solely on the user itself – a heavy user might find the battery draining quickly and a modest user might experience a longer battery life. The sound quality is fine but if you connect the ear piece, it becomes even better. Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine also contributes to better graphic experience when watching images or videos.

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The Xperia ST15i Mini is powered by 1GHz Scorpion CPU which is faster than other phone models in this class, i.e. at the same price range. It is also comes with Android Gingerbread which is the largest Android OS used in smartphones to date. Sony has also indicated that the device can be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), you can check whether your device is among the listed devices available for Android 4.0 upgrade hereThe device also features a wide range of connectivity options, including HSDPA, Bluetooth with A2DP, Wi-Fi and a built-in FM radio.

sony-xperia-st15i-mini-gunsirit-03

The Downsides

Luckily only a few – such as the flickering display which is attributed to the auto brightness adjustment, there is no way to fix this in Android Gingerbread but in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), there is an option to disable automatic lighting conditions. The small 3.0-inch screen makes typing on the tiny virtual keyboard a challenge especially if you happen to have fat fingers but adjusting to a multi-tap type keyboard might help solve the problem. The Xperia ST15i Mini also lacks onboard storage and if you have utilised all its 320MB capacity then you need to purchase a separate microSD card for additional space. The device supports up to 32GB microSD card.

Verdict

  • Good value for money – good hardware specs with budget-friendly price.
  • Not for heavy user – tweaking too much might slow the device.
  • Made for moderate users – enjoy speed, good musics and videos, good daylight pictures.
  • Suitable for first time smartphone buyers, people on a very tight budget or teenagers.

[Full specifications | Image credit: GSMarena]


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