Just when we thought Sony Ericsson had lost its mojo it releases the X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro. Not only are these phones small but they also run Android. If small is beautiful then Sony Ericsson might be on to something special.
You can pick up the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro in various colours for free on a monthly contract.
What we like
When you compare it to the Dell Streak, the Sony Ericsson Mini Pro is absolutely tiny – it’s around the same size as the now classic Nokia N95. It feels solid and the slider mechanism is satisfyingly snappy. The X10 Mini Pro is an attractive, well-designed phone.
For such a small touchscreen (40mm wide by 47mm tall) it’s surprisingly usable. It takes a gentle swipe to get anything done and Sony Ericsson has cleverly adapted to the Android 1.6 interface to work better on a small display.
What’s great about the X10 Mini Pro compared to the X10 Mini is that it offers you a slide-out Qwerty keypad. It’s not the best keypad in the world but it’s certainly useful and not as cramped as other keypads we’ve used.
Beyond the X10 Mini Pro’s impressively compact design is a decent media offering. The Mini Pro comes equipped with a 5-megapixel camera that takes good shots in daylight and an LED photo light provides some illumination in low light.
We really appreciate that Sony Ericsson added a proper camera button to the X10 Mini range. A click to start the camera up, half a click to focus and then a full click again to take the shot. It’s a small detail but it makes a big difference.
Music-wise the X10 Mini Pro holds its own. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and getting music on to the device is relatively easy using Sony Ericsson’s drag and drop software. As long as you’re not an audiophile, the audio quality should please you.
What we don’t like
It’s a fact of phone manufacturing that you can’t always be ahead of the curve and in this case Sony Ericsson’s choice to use Android 1.6 is mildly frustrating but understandable. It runs well enough but some users may notice the odd bug.
A slightly stranger issue regarding Android is that by making the screen so small, not every app works on the X10 Mini Pro. Many do but some don’t and it’s worth pointing that out. If you’re looking for an Android super phone then this isn’t it.
It’s not a high-end Android phone but we really like the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro. If you’re looking for a simple smartphone with a few extras this is it. It just works and it delivers a solid user experience, not something you can say about all Sony Ericsson or Android phones.