Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 mini: the teardown skinny

-August 26, 2010

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High-end smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone series and Google’s Nexus One, might capture a disproportionate percentage of industry attention, but plenty of folks just want a handset that will make and take calls, handle e-mail and Web surfing, and fit comfortably into a normal-sized pocket, too. Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 mini, which the company based on Google’s Android operating system, aims to address this market need. Does it succeed? iFixit and EDN decided to find out.

The diminutive device measures 3.3×2×0.6 in. and weighs 3.1 oz. It comes in two versions: the conventional variant and a professional model that also includes a QWERTY physical keyboard and consequently weighs 1.1 oz more. Both devices leverage a Synaptics ClearPad 2000 capacitive touchscreen and a Samsung 2.6-in. LMS255GF02 QVGA (quarter-video-graphics-array) LCD, whose resolution limitations preclude the installation of some Android Market-sourced applications. A controller IC, also from Synaptics, drives the display. Although it supports two-finger-touch capabilities, the Android Version 1.6 variant currently running on the handset doesn’t support multitouch functions. Sony Ericsson plans to offer an Android Version 2.1 upgrade for the entire Xperia X10 line by the end of the year. It also plans a variant of the “mini”-handset hardware design, currently code-named Yendo, with availability forecast by the end of this quarter. This version will dispense with Android and instead harness a Sony Ericsson-proprietary operating system.

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 mini: the teardown skinny image1. The processing nexus of the Xperia X10 mini is Qualcomm’s MSM7227 Snapdragon ARM-based chip set, which the company unveiled in February 2009. The MSM7227 targets system designs selling for less than $150; HTC’s HD mini and Legend and Kyocera’s Zio M6000 also use the MSM7227. It includes a 600-MHz application processor with a floating-point unit; a 320-MHz application DSP; a 400-MHz modem processor; hardware-accelerated 3-D graphics; integrated Bluetooth Version 2.1 with A2DP (advanced-audio-distribution-profile) capabilities; support for a still-image camera with resolution of as much as 8M pixels; and 30-frame/sec video capture at up to a WVGA (wide-VGA) resolution. This particular hardware design uses a 5M-pixel still-image camera module with VGA-resolution video capture, autofocus, and built-in LED-flash illumination.

2. The Xperia X10 mini’s 2-Gbit NAND-flash memory, only half of which is user-accessible, comes from STMicroelectronics. The chip is a multidie stack; inside the package, you’ll find not only the flash memory but also 2 Gbits of DRAM. MicroSD support enables Xperia X10 mini owners to somewhat augment the handset’s built-in nonvolatile-memory capacity; the Android operating system currently allows only data storage— not application installation—on removable memory modules.

3. Qualcomm’s chip set also comprises the PM7540 power-management IC and the RTR6285 UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) HSPA (high-speed-packet-access) transceiver and AGPS (advanced global-positioning-system) receiver. Cellular-network-support options include GSM, GPRS (general packetradio service), and EDGE (enhanced data rates for global evolution) at 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz; UMTS HSDPA at 900 and 2100 MHz; UMTS HSDPA at 850, 1900, and 2100 MHz; and UMTS HSUPA at 850, 1900, and 2100 MHz.

 Go to the Brian’s Brain blog for more analysis of the Xperia X10 mini.
The Xperia X10 mini offers IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-Fi as another wireless-connectivity option. Fueling all of the circuitry is a 3.7V, 950-mAhr lithium-polymer battery, which users cannot remove. Like the battery in Apple’s iPhone 3GS, the Xperia’s battery delivers approximately 53-mAhr/gram storage capacity.

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