Hand-ons review of Sony Ericsson X10 Mini & Mini Pro.
We wouldn’t normally combine two phones in one Hands On review, however beyond the Pro having a keyboard and being very slightly bigger, these two phones are exactly the same.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro Angle View
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro Back View
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro Side by Side
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro Side Comparison
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro Sized Up
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro with Keyboard Open
- 2G Network – GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
- 3G Network – HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
- Announced – February 2010
- Released – May 2010 for the Mini / June 2010 for the Mini Pro
The first thing I did was to make few calls and I found that despite the tiny size I did not have to move the phone from my ear to my mouth to have a successful conversation. The sound quality was clear both ways. The speaker phone got crackly if I turned it up to it’s highest volume, but I found that if I turned it one click lower I could still hear fine.
What did bother me was typing, even with the Pro’s keyboard. Because it has such a tiny screen, the Mini only offers the old-school option of T9 number pad typing, like when you had your Razor. The keyboard on the Pro isn’t much better. The keyboard is in even lines, not offset like a normal keyboard and the Shift key’s strange position makes it hard to get used to. I do like that they keys were raised and spaced, and there is enough travel to the keys so you know you hit a button, but it is about as small as you would assume it would be.
Besides the keyboard, the physical keys on the phones are different as well. On the Mini the camera button and the volume rocker are fairly close together, making it so I hit the camera button when I wanted to change the volume and visa-versa. On the Mini Pro, they are slightly farther apart and larger. What I really didn’t like though is the USB port on the Mini Pro does not have a cover while the Mini’s does. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is find tweezers to pick lint out of my phone’s port so I can charge it.
- Dimensions - 83 mm x 50 mm x 16 mm (3.27″ x 1.97″ x 0.63″) for the Mini / 90 mm x 52 mm x 17 mm (3.54″ x 2.05″ x 0.67″) for the Mini Pro
- Weight – 88g (3.10 oz) for the Mini / 120 g (4.23 oz) for the Mini Pro
These phones are small! When I first took these out of their boxes I laughed. No, I full out guffawed! How could phones so small do anything exciting? They have to be made just so you can have a cute, tiny phone. Well, I was wrong. I was honestly pleasantly surprised. Despite how small these phones are they were comfortable to hold and didn’t feel like they would immediately break if I sneezed too hard!
- Type – TFT-LCD Capacitive Touch Screen / 16 million colors (65K effective)
- Size – 240 x 320 pixels / 2.55″
- Features – QWERTY Keyboard (for the Mini Pro) / Scratch-resistant surface / Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate / Timescape UI
The screens are gorgeous. Despite their 2.55″ size, these phones put out some very pretty pictures. I watched a YouTube video and was stunned. I didn’t even feel like I had to strain to see the video the picture was so clear. The text from emails and Facebook updates was sharp and easy to read. I was surprised to find that on pictures and web pages there was no multi-touch capability. I had to constantly touch somewhere there wasn’t a link to get the little +/- to show up.
- Alert Types – Vibration / MP3 ringtones
- Speakerphone – Yes
- Headphones – 3.5 mm audio jack
The music I played was clear and got loud enough that I could hear it easily over everyday background noise. The fact that I could use my favorite headset with it, and not something proprietary from Sony, is a great feature as well.
- Phonebook – Practically unlimited entries and fields / Photocall
- Call records – Practically unlimited
- Internal – 128 MB
- Card Slot – MicroSD up to 16 GB / 2 GB included
I have over 1,000 contacts so I’m always worried that phones won’t be able to store all my data. These little babies had no problems. The internal memory of 128 MB would cause problems, however. Since this phone doesn’t look like it’s going to see Android 2.2 (Froyo) all of your apps must be stored on the phones internal memory. 128MB isn’t a lot and would fill up fast. With 16 GB of external memory, though, you don’t have to worry about running out of space for your pictures of that party you went to last week.
- GPRS – Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots) / 32 – 48 Kbps
- EDGE – Class 10 / 236.8 Kbps
- 3G – HSDPA / HSUPA
- WLAN – 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth – v 2.1 with A2DP
- Infrared Port – No
- USB – 2.0 microUSB
What more could you want? Sure it would be nice to have Wireless-N, but 90% of the places you’re going to use the wireless network doesn’t have N anyway. Bluetooth syncing was a cinch and mounting the phone to my computer via USB was easy as pie.
- Primary – 5MP / 2560 x 1920 pixels / Autofocus / LED Flash
- Features – Geo-tagging
- Video – VGA @ 30 FPS / Video light
- Secondary – No
Now as far as the pictures from the camera, they aren’t the best. They felt a little dark, but you’re buying a Sony Ericsson not a Sony Cybershot. With sufficient light, the pictures do come out relatively well as does the video. With the Geo-tagging feature of the camera you also know where you took the picture so no wondering where that blurry group of faces was shot at.
- OS – Android 1.6 (2.1 promised for Q3 2010)
- CPU – Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz
- Messaging – SMS (threaded view) / MMS / Email / Push Email / IM
- Browser – HTML
- Radio – Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Games – Yes
- Colors – Red, Black, and Pink on both / Gold, Pearl White, Lime, and Silver also on Mini
- GPS – A-GPS support
- Java – Required 3rd party application
- Included software – Video player (MP4 / H.263 / H.264 / WMV) / Music player (MP3 / eAAC+ / WMA / WAV) / TrackID music recognition / Digital compass / Google Search / Google Maps / Google Gmail / YouTube / Google Calendar / Google Talk / Document viewer / Voice memo / T9 / Google Voice Search (market dependent)
Yes, they only come with Dear Old Donut (1.6). However, Sony Ericsson has promised 2.1 by the end of the 3rd Quarter (meaning by the end of September) so you wouldn’t have to hold out forever to get some Eclair. With the 600 MHz Qualcomm processor I don’t see these phones ever meeting with Froyo, however.
I love the FM radio. I think every phone should have an FM radio. Sure you can load your MP3s in and download 1,000 apps that play radio stations, but sometimes I just want to hear my local stuff and these phones let you do that.
The Mini comes in 8 colors! Let me rephrase that. The Mini comes WITH 8 colors. You can change the back of the phone out with the plates that come with it. These plates, however, do not in any way fit on the Mini Pro. The color you leave the store with is the color you got.
It does come pre-loaded with a ton of software. This is good as there’s a lot of functionality out of the box, however, this is bad because if you find something you like better, you can’t delete the app that came with the phone. With only 128 MB of space to work with, this can be an issue.
- Standard Battery – Li-Po 930 mAh
- Stand-By – Up to 285 hours (2G) / Up to 360 hours (3G)
- Talk-Time – Up to 4 hours (2G) / Up to 3 1/2 hours (3G)
I always takes the Stand-By and Talk-Time numbers with a very large grain of salt. These numbers are under the best circumstances with no programs at all running in the background and a strong stable signal while talking. These are not numbers you’re going to see in the real world. This doesn’t apply just to the Mini and Mini Pro. This applies to everything that has a battery in it; laptops, cameras, other cellphones, etc. That being said, these batteries do last quite a while. I didn’t see 15 days worth of battery, but certainly you can make it through a day without having to charge.
Should You Buy It?
I think Sony Ericsson had a great idea here. With more and more 3.5″+ screens coming out there is no where for a consumer to turn to just get something small. The Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro fills that gap. They are Android powered smartphones that you can fit in the tiniest bag or pocket. I don’t think any power-users or business people would consider this phone, but for those of you out there who want something to play music, check social apps, send texts, and of course make calls that runs on Android, this is going to be a great phone.