19
Mar
11

Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro

As part of my test I am writing this on my X10 Mini Pro using the WordPress application which is free in the Android Marketplace, Due to the lack of spell checker in this software I apologise for what will likely be a larger than usual number of mistakes.

So finally after 18 months Three have let me upgrade to a new phone, the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro. But is it any good?

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The Mini Pro is an Android smartphone, but unlike a lot of others it isn’t defined by it’s screen size. Where other manufactures have been competing by making phones with larger and larger touchscreens Sony Ericsson have made a compact Android phone instead. It still has a capacitive touch screen which has been complemented with a slide out qwerty keyboard. After using the phone with the keyboard both in and out I am quite glad I got the Mini Pro over the regular Mini which only has the touch screen. For normal use the touch screen is fine, and I would not open the slider but there is no way I could write this article on the Mini. Sadly it is not quite as nice as the Qwerty on my old Nokia E63, but that was all that phone had so that had to have a good keypad.

With a 600MHz CPU it is hardly the fastest phone on the market and as it only runs Android 2.1 (at the time of writing) you will be missing out on some of the latest features. It also only has 128MB of internal memory, so without Android 2.2 (where you can install to the SD card) the is only space for a limited number of applications [1].

The screen, while small is more than adequate for most uses (the slide keypad helps there as you don’t have to waste the screen with keyboard) though the strangely popular game Angry Birds is difficult to play on such a small screen (and crashes a lot I found).

As well as the keyboard, the other feature that makes this phone “pro” is the email. By default Android can connect to POP3 and IMAP email accounts, but Sony have supplied this phone with a licence for a program called RoadSync (worth £6.25 in the marketplace) which will sync your contacts, calender and mail with an exchange server, providing you with push email.

You might think that this is a Blackberry replacement and that Sony will have left out the media and entertainment features, but the haven’t. The 5 megapixel camera is very good, I was very impressed with the way it balances the flash and exposure time to get good night shots, where my last phone produced a white out mess if you were too close and it used the flash this one reduces the exposure time if it needs to use the flash for a close up. The default music software leaves something to be desired, I downloaded a program called Zimly which is free in the marketplace, but whatever you use to play your music it sounds brilliant through the 3.5mm jack. With all the software available in the marketplace you can also go on any of the social networking sites you use, and if they don’t have an Android application the web browser is not too shabby anyway.

In all I think this phone is a brilliant all rounder, it doesn’t do business features as well as a Blackberry (or Nokia E Series) and it possibly isn’t as good at media and entertainment as the larger Android phones or the iPhone. It does however do it all sufficiently well and all in a tiny package that doesn’t need huge pockets to put it in.

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[1] No, I’m not calling them “apps”, it sounds stupid.

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