I have been holding back from doing a review of the X10 Mini Pro until it gets the Android 2.1 update that Sony Ericsson promised. This is so I don’t have to do an updated review after the main one. However, I keep having the urge to write about this little guy, as it is a device that grows on you day after day and shines better and better.
The Mini Pro is very, very compact. Usually, when you see the tag “mini” on a phone, it just denotes that this is a smaller version of a bigger device. In this case, the Mini Pro is not just smaller; it is a real mini.
Because of its size, it is the first touchscreen smartphone that I can vouch for as 100% usable with one hand. Whipping out the Mini Pro for use does not require the clumsiness of two-handed use that most others do today.
Even with the QWERTY keyboard slid out, I am able to type one-handed (of course, I have big hands), though its a little more work than using two hands. But the fact that its doable at all is a miracle.
Again, due to the compact size, shape and the materials used, the Mini Pro feels very good in the hand. The back of the device has a very solid feeel and a nice curve (Sony Ericsson calls it “Human Curvature”).
Very usable QWERTY keyboard
One would think that a device this small could never provide a usable QWERTY keyboard. Wrong. The keyboard is quite good and I am able to crank out text with almost no mistakes. It has no dedicated numeric keys though, as it has only four (4) rows, but that is forgivable on a device this small and with the good performance of the keyboard.
So, how about that 2.55″ display?
The display is not super-sharp but it certainly shows blacks very deep. Being capacitive, it is very sensitive and you can tap and swipe with minimum effort. I haven’t faced any usability problems from the screen size. Rather, it works very well partly because Sony Ericsson thought things out.
Because of the small display, Sony Ericsson wisely chose to customise the homescreen to make it user-friendly for the size. They did a good job. There are four large icons in the corners of the homescreen. You can set your favourite apps to these slots.
During ongoing calls, the same concept of large icons at the four corners is utilised to provide you in-call options.
Widgets can be placed on the homescreen, which has multiple desktop pages. Because of the display size, only one widget can be placed on each desktop page, though you can have as many pages as you desire.
Sure, if Google’s Android cannot handle email exceptionally, what other platform can? Okay, I hear you say “BlackBerry”. Good enough. But the Mini Pro’s email handling is top-notch.
My mails regularly arrive on my device faster than they show up on my PC. I am talking of instantenous email. That’s as good as BlackBerry does. Okay, okay, minus the data compression that Blackberry offers.
If you have seen the Mini Pro camera samples that I published earlier, you know that getting the Mini Pro for the camera alone is a good deal.
Colours are sharp and bright. Details are fine. Auto-focus is fast. The camera simply rocks. Permit me to point you to a thread on Esato where pictures taken with the Mini pro will blow your mind: Post your pictures/videos taken with SE X10 Mini/Pro.
It is undoubtedly one of the better 5 megapixel cameraphones out there.
Audio Quality and Loudness
The X10 Mini Pro’s speakers are good – both in terms of quality and loudness. Again, this is amazing for a device this small.
There are many other aspects of the Mini Pro that I haven’t touched in this mini-review. That is because this is not my full review yet. You can be sure that all bases will be covered in the full review.
Honestly, I really, really like the Xperia X10 Mini Pro. It is a powerful, compact and usable device that gets the job done. The Mini Pro is proof of the saying “bigger is not necesarilly better”.
When Sony Ericsson said “mini but mighty“, they weren’t kidding.
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