Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro


As we pointed out earlier, the X10 Mini and Mini Pro share identical guts: Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz processor (as featured on the Legend, Aria, HD Mini and MyTouch 3G Slide), 2.55-inch 240 x 320 LCD capacitive touchscreen
, 5 megapixel autofocus camera, microSD expansion, micro-USB port, FM radio, A-GPS, Bluetooth (with A2DP), and 802.11b/g WiFi. Phew! Now what really differentiates the two models is the Mini Pro's slide-out QWERTY keyboard -- we dig its tactile feedback and spacing between the keys, although it did take some getting used to with the oddly-positioned shift key, and not to mention the non-offset rows of keys. To pack all this goodness, the Mini Pro therefore has a slightly longer and thicker body (we measured 18mm vs 16mm), but both devices feel just as good and secure in our hands thanks to SE's signature "human curvature" design.
Those who are super picky with their phone's color may be somewhat limited by their choice of carrier -- there are six options in total for the Mini: metallic red (our favorite), lime, pearl white, black, glossy silver and glossy pink (not so hot on the last two); Orange UK only stocks black and lime, for example. On the other hand, the Mini Pro only comes in black, pearl white or red (the latter two not pictured), and no, you can't fit the Mini's shells onto the Mini Pro due to the different sizes and button layouts. Even if the cases were swappable, we wouldn't be keen on doing so on a regular basis -- from time to time prying them open was as 
difficult as picking warts off our feet.

Soft Ware

Judging by our readers' frenzied comments on Android posts, it's pretty clear that we all desire something much newer than Android 1.6 these days, but let's not forget that SE's promised us a 2.1 upgrade for both Minis starting from Q3 this year (so it could well be tomorrow!). That's better than nothing. Meanwhile, we applaud SE for the work it's put in to make Android usable and run smoothly on this small package, albeit the occasional slow wake up. There are a couple of related key features here: first we have the zoom bar in the album app -- you hold down your finger to prompt the bar, and then you can zoom in and out with your vertical scrolling action. This is of course a way to disguise the lack of pinch-to-zoom functionality, but it actually works pretty well as a single-handed operation on a small device anyway. Secondly, there's the quick scroll tool in the browser -- you activate it by clicking on the bottom-left button, and then you're given a magnifying glass on a zoomed-out view of the web page, thus allowing you to quickly scroll around; there are 
also the good ol' plus and minus buttons à la Google Maps for plain zooming.
Camera
Both Minis come with a handy two-stage camera button, meaning not only is it easy to launch the app, but you can also focus the lens by holding it down half way (and no, you can't tap to focus on a specific area). There's not much to be fiddled with in the camera app -- the top left corner toggles auto flash mode or no flash; the top right corner switches between photo mode and camcorder mode; the bottom right corner lets you pick a still camera mode (auto, macro, twilight or sports) or video mode (normal or MMS); and the bottom left corner opens your gallery. That's all. In other words, you cannot adjust the picture quality, resolution (5 megapixel stills and 640 x 480 videos) and file format. Regardless, both phones produced equally beautiful pictures and sufficiently good videos in well-lit surroundings, while images taken in the dark don't suffer too badly from noise. As always, we'll let your eyes be the final judge.
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