Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro review: Mini Me... ssenger
Telephony is fine, but needs smart dialing
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro had no issues with reception and in-call quality. The sound is loud and clear. There’s still a chance that you might cover the mic pinhole with your finger, so be careful with that.
Unfortunately, the XPERIA X10 mini pro, just like the rest of the Android crew (except for the likes of HTC Hero and Samsung Galaxy S) doesn’t feature smart dialing. Even when using the hardware keyboard, you can’t just type a name and dial.
In the X10 mini pro the call log is a part of the dialer application. You can easily search the entries in it by flick scrolling.
Thanks to the proximity sensor the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro automatically switches off its touchscreen when you hold in next to your ear for a call. There is no chance of ever hitting an on-screen button with your cheek on this one.
We also ran our traditional loudspeaker test on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro – it scored a Good mark. It’s not the loudest we’ve heard, but we guess the small size of the phone limits the speaker.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overal score|
|Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini||65.9||66.5||67.3|
|Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro||69.2||65.6||72.6|
|Samsung I5700 Galaxy Spica||66.6||62.1||75.7|
Messaging: much better with QWERTY
The SMS and MMS department is quite straightforward - a new message button on top and a list of all your messages underneath, organized into threads.
When viewing a thread, the newest message is placed at the bottom. At the bottom of the display is the tap-to-compose box and the send key. There is a counter on the bottom right which is displayed once you have 16 or fewer characters remaining of the 160 limit. It also shows the number of parts the message will be split into for sending.
When you add multimedia content to the message, it is automatically turned into an MMS. You can just add a photo or an audio file to go with the text or you can take a photo or record a video on the spot.
Moving on to email, the Gmail app supports batch operations, which allow multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted.
There is also a generic email app for all your other email accounts and it can handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes. You have access to the messages in the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.
Google Talk handles the Instant Messaging department. The G-Talk network is compatible with a variety of popular clients like Pidgin, Kopete, iChat and Ovi Contacts.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro has a virtual on-screen numpad, but for anything over three words you’d want to use the hardware QWERTY keyboard.
Sliding out the keyboard switches the UI orientation into landscape. A row at the bottom of the screen pops up – it lets you switch the input language and shows the currently active keyboard modifier (lower/upper/auto case, alt key active or locked).
This is slightly annoying as it wastes a row of the already limited screen space, but you can tap the X key to hide it. However, it shows up again when you continue typing.
For such a tiny phone, having 4 rows of decently spaced keys is a big thing. While texting, sending emails and IM messages was possible (if you really wanted) on the X10 mini, the X10 mini pro actually makes them a cinch.