Ice Cream Sandwich has been out for the Xperia Mini Pro for a few weeks now and even though I was really excited about it, I’ve been putting off upgrading because of possible bugs and issues that comes with newly rolled out software. But recently, I experienced battery calibration issues that forced me to upgrade. So I did.
My battery always died at 20% and battery calibration apps didn’t help so I decided to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.
So far, so good. I use a launcher so there’s not much difference in the basic appearance. (Normally I don’t use such apps but I don’t like how Xperia Mini Pro manages the screen real estate. I love Go Launcher’s 4×4 grid + the docked icons at the bottom)
Anyway, here are my initial observations:
- New sleek design. I love the new native SMS app. I love how the recepient box above is now opaque. It gives the illusion that I now have a larger screen. I love the new Contacts / Calls screen too. I also like the new Settings screen menu. The menu items are smaller and the WiFi and Bluetooth toggle are on top for easier access.
- Now there’s Bluetooth tethering! I’ve tried USB tethering and using the phone as a WiFi hotspot and I can’t wait wait to try out using Bluetooth tethering.
- The native lock screen is now cleaner and I don’t have to swipe then input my passcode. When I try to unlock, the passcode input screen now appears immediately.
- There’s now a facial unlock feature where you can unlock the phone using the front camera. I haven’t tried it yet but I hear is works great. I don’t plan on using it because 1) it’s less secure 2) it won’t work in the dark 3) it’s gonna be murder on the battery life. But still, it’s fun to play with at the very least.
- The phone is slow as all hell during the first boot with ICS. But don’t worry, it’s supposed to be like that.
- Some widgets might not work immediately. I had to restart the phone to get them to work. I also had to set the name and icon for the Voice Search icon manually. The icon was there, but it was named “loading” and had a stock Android mascot icon. Some Status Switch widgets didn’t work at first, too (Bluetooth, Brightness, Sound and WiFi toggle). I had to remove and re-add them.
- Some bloatware appeared on the App Drawer again. I uninstalled them. (Though I don’t know if they are really gone, I don’t root my phone)
- Ice Cream Sandwich is a hairline slower than Gingerbread.
- Ice Cream Sandwich did restart itself on me once. I was texting and browsing Facebook then the phone just shut down and restart by itself. Gingerbread never did that.
But the most important thing for me is upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich resolved my battery issue! My phone doesn’t die at 20% battery life anymore.
This is just my initial observation. If the experience goes north or south in a significant way, I’d talk about it more.