Sony Ericsson recently made is intentions for Google’s Android platform very clear with the release of its impressive Xperia X10 smartphone, which we at TechSmart were more than impressed with.
The company has now opted to follow up on this release with two compact smartphones which take a leaf out of the X10’s book with regards to their overall makeup, but without the hefty price tag.
Recently the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro landed on our desk for review, here’s what we found.
The X10 Mini Pro is identical in makeup to the X10 Mini with the exception that it includes a slide out QWERTY keyboard.
In terms of hardware the X10 Mini Pro features a 600 MHz Qualcomm processor with 128 MB of RAM, which is somewhat behind the Xperia X10’s 1GHz Snapdragon unit.
Nonetheless we found the X10 Mini Pro to be blisteringly fast, more so in fact than its older sibling in some respects. It comfortably navigated through the Android interface, opening and closing applications without trouble and was even able to deliver 25 fps camera tracking without hesitation.
It features a 2.55" TFT capacitive touch-screen with a resolution of 240 x 320. We found this to be more than adequate during daily use. This is complimented by Sony Ericsson’s Timescape UI which integrates well with Android and links contact details across a number of social networks.
The X10 Mini Pro also incorporates an accelerometer, MicroSD support for up to 16 GB with 2 GB included, WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and a 5 Megapixel camera with autofocus and an LED flash.
With regards to connectivity the device is well equipped with Class 10 GPRS, EDGE and 3G support.
Although the X10 Mini Pro is based upon Google’s Android platform it is important to note that locally it ships with version 1.6, which is severely outdated. Although Sony Ericsson South Africa has assured us that the device and its sibling the X10 Mini will soon have access to the Android 2.1 upgrade this is still disappointing.
Another drawback is that the X10 Mini Pro’s small display limits the amount of compatible applications on the Android Marketplace. This means that several popular Android applications such as WeatherBug and PdaNet are not available on the device.
Sony Ericsson’s Timescape UI does however do a good job of pulling it all together and making Android feel as though it was specifically developed for the device.
The physical department is where the X10 Mini Pro really shines. At just 83 x 50 x 16 mm the device is truly miniscule. It is arguably one of the smallest, most compact smartphones on the market and rests comfortably in the palm of the hand without too much trouble.
We also found its slide out QWERTY keyboard to be one of the best we’ve used. It’s raised and divided keys and small form factor achieve what the vast majority of 3.2” plus smartphones are unable to. This is one of the phone’s strongest features overall.
For those who are fans of choice Sony Ericsson South Africa has confirmed that the X10 Mini Pro will be available in both red and black colour options.
Overall, the makeup of the phone is really slick and we would suggest it to anyone looking for a stylish device which isn’t too bulky.
At an expected retail price of R3 500 the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro is one of the strongest contenders in the mid smartphone market. It’s miniscule form factor and attractive features certainly make it a striking option for consumers who are looking for a lightweight yet smart device.
We were also surprised at just how fast this device really is. Buyers would be hard pressed at this point in time to find a more affordable and accomplished device in the speed department.
Despite all of the X10 Pro’s positive attributes the inclusion of Android 1.6 is seriously disappointing. In a market where Google is poised to release Android 2.2 (Froyo) mobile manufacturers should not be peddling version 1.6 as a viable option.
PROSReally compact, good pricetag, fast user experience, great QWERTY keyboard
Runs on Android 1.6