Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro review: Mini Me... ssenger
5 megapixel camera is nice
On the hardware side of things, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro has a 5 megapixel camera module for a maximum image resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels and a LED flash. It doesn’t sound like much but the size of the package says it all.
The camera interface is as simple as it gets with four buttons in total. There is a camera/camcorder switch, a gallery button, scene mode and flash settings. The four available scene presets include twilight, sports, landscape and, of course auto.
You can enable geotagging, which is the most advanced feature available. You’ll have to go all the way to Settings / Sony Ericsson / Camera to find that option though, it’s not available in the camera app itself.
This is certainly one of the most basic camera interfaces on the market but we guess Sony Ericsson thought users wouldn’t need much more and will prefer simplicity to functionality. In the end, it all comes down to the image quality, so let’s see.
The image quality is pretty pleasing with a good (but not great) amount of resolved detail and the noise levels kept well under control, even in not so favorable lighting. The dynamic range on the other hand is somewhat low at times and the colors are a bit off.
Here go the samples for you to check out.
We also snapped our resolution chart with the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro. You can check out what that test is all about here.
VGA video recording
Video recording on the X10 mini pro goes as high as VGA resolution which, needless to say, is far from impressive. At least the framerate is a good 30 fps and consistent enough.
The interface of the camcorder is similar to the one on the still camera, except that there are even fewer settings. You can set the video quality, turn the video light on and off and that's that.
Videos are rendered in 3gp format suggesting lower bitrate, which in turn leads to some compression artifacts. Video also suffers from the lack of contrast so videos aren't too nice to watch on a computer screen.
Here is X10 mini pro sample video shot at VGA@30fps.
Connectivity: all on board
Mini does not refer to connectivity on the XPERIA X10 mini pro. For starters, you get quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE for worldwide roaming and two versions with either dual-band (900/2100 MHz) or tri-band (850/1900/2100 MHz) 3G with HSPA.
As to local connectivity, the X10 mini pro offers USB v2.0, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP support (no file transfer though) and Wi-Fi. The USB interface is standard microUSB and it can charge the phone over a USB connection to a computer. .
The microSD card is accessible in mass storage mode or you can plug it into a card reader, which is the fastest way to do bulk data transfers.
Web browser is let down by the small screen
The Android browser on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro is a very good one – the major disadvantage is the lack of Flash support. This could change eventually, but the X10 mini pro will have to be updated to Android 2.2 Froyo.
Anyway, the limiting factor for web browsing here is the hardware, not the software – the small, low-res screen doesn’t have much room for complex pages.
The user interface is rather minimalist – all you get on the screen are the zoom controls. The address bar is hidden by default to save some space as the low resolution doesn’t allow too much content to fit on the screen anyway.
Unfortunately, the Android browser on the X10 mini pro supports only a single zoom method – the dedicated onscreen buttons. There is no double tap or one-finger zooming like in the Gallery.
On the positive side, the browser supports text reflow – as soon as you zoom, columns of text adjust to fit the screen width. And there’s also the nice magnifying glass browsing mode, which let’s you browse the page quickly until you reach the part that you want to focus and then zoom in on to read it.
The minimalist UI is still quite powerful – hit the menu key and four keys pop up. You can open/switch tabs, refresh the page, go forward, open bookmarks.
Flash support is the other letdown of the X10 mini pro browser. There is of course a YouTube application onboard but Flash content doesn't start nor end with YouTube.