If a large phone isn’t your thing then recently there’s not been much going on as far as new
android tech goes.
Now, what constitues a small phone is somewhat subjective, i.e. for some people a 3.5 inch screen is tiny, and something I’ve pondered over in the past when considering what to cover on this blog so decided to ignore anything over the 3 inch display size. Well after months of watching (and waiting for Sony
Ericsson to announce a continuation of the mini series) there has only been one phone of note, the Galaxy Pocket by Samsung; a low end device more in line with the specs of the original 2010 SE kit. Hardly inspiring…
To be fair this is reflected in many of the surveys out there; most people are after a device just short of tablet proportions.
Obviously this leaves the mini Android phone space that the Xperia devices occupy open; not to forget that the 2011 devices, (the mini, mini pro and active), are pretty decent bits of kit and, in the UK at least, can be found with decent contract deals.
Custom firmware updates
Due to a number of reasons there haven’t been updates to the blog for a while which gave me an opportunity to look at the stats and rethink things. There’s been a lot going on with lots of ICS/Android 4 builds for all devices; just to remind anyone the devices (with links to the XDA forums) include:
- 2010 Xperia X10 Mini
- 2010 Xperia X10 Mini Pro
- 2010 Xperia X8
- 2011 Xperia Active
- 2011 Xperia Mini
- 2011 Xperia Mini Pro
At the moment the scene for the 2010 devices is much like it was in the early Froyo and Gingerbread days; there lots of different builds of Ice Cream Sandwich with a number of bugs but running pretty well. For a lot of seasoned users the ICS ports are fine for use but for those looking for a seamless experience and fully functioning hardware it’s not for them; yet!
The most accomplished release is MiniCM9 for the X8 by NobodyAtAll, the most notable missing functionality is the camera. It’s now only a matter of time for nAa to bring his work across to the LDPI X10 Mini/Pro.
Lots of other builds are out too, helped by a lot of work by paul-xxx of both ports of ICS/CM9 and guides to get others building ICS from source.
After a slow start the scene is now really active; a combination of builds based on modified Sony stock firmware, the FreeXperia builds of CM7/CM9 and AOSP (or AOKP if you like) are available. Of course the official Sony ICS firmware is around the corner.
I’ll be following up with some firmware roundups soon and working on adding to and updating the pages on the site. I’m waiting for my X10 Mini Pro to get repaired as it’s not charging properly; very strange, it’s stopped taking a charge from lower amp USB sockets so am just waiting for T-Mobile UK to get their act together (it’s been weeks already!).