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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro review

Barry de la Rosa
5 Oct 2010
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
207
inc VAT

The Timescape UI and customisations make up for the older version of Android, and some may like its cute size, but battery life is poor and there's little storage space.

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Specifications

Android 1.5, 2.6in 240x320 display

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro is an Android smartphone with a dinky 2.6in screen and a slide-out keyboard. Running version 1.6 of Android, it's a little outdated, although it's been heavily customised with Sony Ericsson's Timescape interface to make the most of the limited screen space, plus Sony Ericsson has promised an update to Android 2.1 at some point this year. Despite its small size, it's powered by a 600MHz processor and comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and a 5-megapixel snapper with an LED flash.

Although its design is a bit blocky, it has a smart, glossy fascia with chrome buttons, and the keyboard panel is finished in a matt silver. The rubberised finish on the back of the phone is comfortable and provides grip. Unlike the normal X10 mini, the pro's battery is removable, but it lasted for only 19h45m in our light usage test.

The 2.6 in screen is bright and sharp. There are four customisable icons, one in each corner of the screen, which by default launch common tasks: messaging, contacts, music and phone. However, this leaves space for only one widget on each home screen.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro

Despite its small size, the keyboard is comfortable to use and the keys have a light action with plenty of feedback. The screen automatically switches to landscape mode when you slide the keyboard out. You'll find yourself using the keyboard for the smallest of tasks, as the on-screen virtual keyboard in portrait mode uses a narrow alphanumeric layout.

The 5-megapixel camera includes auto-focus and geo-tagging, but little else, and without an anti-shake option shots can turn out blurry. There was also quite a bit of noise in dark areas and detail was obscured by excessive noise reduction, which is common on phone cameras. That said, the camera is quite impressive for the size of the phone, and the photos it takes are more than suitable for web use. However, the 128MB of internal RAM and bundled 2GB microSD means there isn’t a huge amount of space for photos and videos.

Sony Ericsson has included some basic utilities that have been optimised for touch on the small screen, such as a calendar, a calculator, a timer and a stopwatch, plus a decent alarm clock. To make up for the lack of Exchange support in Android 1.6, the X10 mini pro includes copies of the RoadSync calendar and email apps, while a YouTube app makes up in part for the lack of Flash support. There is no office file viewer, however.

The Xperia X10 mini pro is stylish and easy to use thanks to the Timescape interface, but the usefulness of the QWERTY keyboard is offset by the small screen. It's probably the least expensive QWERTY-equipped Android phone on the market, and you can get it for as little as £20 a month. However you should also consider LG's GW620 (see What's New, Shopper 267) for about the same price, which has a larger screen and keyboard, and has recently been updated to Android 2.1.

Details

Price£207
Rating***

Hardware

Main display size2.6in
Native resolution240x320
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels5.0-megapixel
FlashLED
Video recording format3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, WiFi, USB
GPSyes
Internal memory128MB
Memory card supportmircoSD
Memory card included2048MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 850/1900/2100
Wireless dataGPRS, UMTS
Size90x52x17mm
Weight120g

Features

Operating systemAndroid 1.5
Microsoft Office compatibilitynone
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportMP3, e-AAC+, WMA, WAV
Video playback formats3GP
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserWebkit
Accessoriesheadset, data cable, charger
Talk time3.5 hours
Standby time12.5 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)19h 45m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£207
Price on contract£20-per-month, 18-month contract
Prepay price£230
SIM-free supplierwww.handtec.co.uk
Contract/prepay supplierwww.e2save.com
Detailswww.sonyericsson.com

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