Review: Sony Xperia Miro

The Xperia Miro is a budget smartphone that runs the latest version of Android.

The Sony Xperia Miro is a budget smartphone that runs the latest version of Google's Android platform.

Sony has admitted that the company is disadvantaged by retailers when it releases phones running older Android software, such as the Xperia P and Xperia U handsets. The upcoming Xperia Miro is an entry-level phone that will be cheaper than both but it has the distinct advantage of shipping with Google's latest Ice Cream Sandwich software. This should please both retailers and consumers.

ICS software aside, the Xperia Miro appears to be a run of the mill, budget Android phone. It has a 3.5in display with a low 320x480 resolution, giving it a fairly low pixel density rating of 161ppi (pixels per inch). We don't expect it to display very crisp text, but it should certainly be passable for a cheap, pre-paid handset.

One advantage of a small screen is the Sony Xperia Miro's compact frame. It weighs just 110g and is likely to fit comfortably in one hand. This would potentially make it a viable option for consumers who are put off by the increasingly large size of more expensive phones. At 9.9mm thick, the Xperia Miro is fairly slim, too. There's no transparent shortcut bar seen on some of Sony's other Xperia phones, but the Xperia Miro has an attractive looking notification light that illuminates during certain events, such as missed calls or incoming messages.

Two other features of the Xperia Miro stick out, provided Sony prices it competitively in Australia. The combination of a 5-megapixel rear camera along with a VGA front-facing camera for video calls could sway younger buyers. The VGA front-camera won't provide the best quality images, but many cheap smartphones neglect a front camera altogether.

Other notable features of the Sony Xperia Miro include the xLOUD audio profile that aims to boost bass response for music playback, Facebook integration with default apps like contacts, gallery and the music player along with DLNA to wirelessly connect to TVs.

The Sony Xperia Miro is powered by a single-core 800MHz processor, has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot is available for extra storage. Sony says the Xperia Miro's 1500mAh battery gives it a talktime of up to six hours.

The Sony Xperia Miro will be available in black, pink, white and gold colours but Sony hasn't confirmed if or when it will be released in Australia.

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