Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro review: Mini Me... ssenger
A reasonable retail package
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro comes in a bigger box than the size of the phone itself suggests. Contents stick to the minimum – just like it was with the regular X10 mini.
There’s a microUSB cable and a charger inside. The rest to find is a short manual and a 2GB microSD card that comes loaded in the phone.
The supplied headset is a standard issue Sony Ericsson MH610. The Hi-Fi MH810 variety with its custom jack developed specifically for X10 lineup is an optional accessory but we aren’t sure how many of the X10 mini pro users will be willing to spend extra on it.
There’s no sign of the carrying case we saw in the XPERIA X10 mini retail package. There are no alternative battery covers either. But who know, this may be just ours.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro 360-degree spin
QWERTY-enabled handsets don’t really get any smaller than that. At 90 x 52 x 17 mm, the tiny Android will find room in any pocket even if it’s on the thicker side.
The handset has a surprisingly good heft and balance at 120 grams. The mini messenger has grown in all directions compared to its QWERTY-less twin but a full keyboard that adds no more than a millimeter to the phone’s thickness is quite an achievement.
Design and construction
Just like its QWERTY-less sibling, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro is not the ultimate looker. Some might even find it slightly out-of-fashion. In any case the X10 mini pro has a certain charm if only because it’s not afraid to be different.
We do like the simple – yet solid and gadgety – feel of the phone: the soft rubbery back, the snappy flick of the slider and the surprisingly comfortable keyboard.
The Sony Ericsson X10 mini pro has a 2.55” QVGA touchscreen. And those of you who might question comfortable thumbing on a 2.55” diagonal – just don’t worry. Sony Ericsson have done a good job optimizing the interface. They did have to sacrifice a bit of the functionality though, but it’s not too bad.
The screen sensitivity, as was to be expected in a capacitive unit, is excellent. The slightest of touches is enough for a click to be registered.
Unfortunately, there is a very good reason why QVGA screens are a rarity in the Android world. The low resolution just doesn’t allow too fancy graphics that are an important part of the modern day smartphone experience.
The 65K-color limitation inherent to Android versions prior to 2.0 could result in the occasional banding but it’s barely noticeable on a screen this size. We are not perfectly sure whether this will be resolved with an Android 2.1 update later this year, but hope dies last.
The image quality is passable as far as TFT displays go, with good brightness and above average contrast. The viewing angles are reasonable and, considering the hardware specs, the overall result is actually much better than we expected.
The sunlight legibility of the X10 mini display is hardly spectacular - but good enough. There is some loss of contrast but you are still able to operate the handset relatively trouble-free outdoors on a bright sunny day.