“One thumb is all you need to operate the palm-sized X10 Mini Pro. The smartphone runs Android and so includes plenty of interesting features, but beware its low resolution screen and poor battery life”
One thumb's all you need
Unlike the huge 4in touchscreen on SE’s flagship Xperia X10 (compare Xperia X10 deals), the X10 Mini Pro has a 2.5in touchscreen you can operate using only your thumb.
For example, icons for your four favourite applications (apps) can be pinned to the Mini Pro’s four touchscreen corners. I found this system intuitive and it meant my favourite apps were never more than one thumb tap away.
If you’d rather have apps running continuously, like one that relentlessly scrolls though posts on your Facebook wall, then these can be pinned to the centre of the smartphone’s touchscreen and flicked between by scrolling your thumb from left to right.
Both ways of opening and using apps made the X10 Mini Pro easy and enjoyable to use.
The smartphone runs Google’s Android operating system and so includes all the standard Android features, such as that pull-down updates bar and Android Market - a rival to iTunes and Nokia’s Ovi Store.
I was able to type emails and text messages accurately and quickly using just my thumb on the phone’s virtual keypad.
Opening apps is child's play
But if you prefer using a physical keypad then the Mini Pro has one that slides out from beneath the screen. The smartphone’s tiny size does mean the keys are pretty small and cramped, however.
It’s worth mentioning that the Mini Pro’s touchscreen is extremely responsive, picking up my thumb taps on even the smallest of icons and on-screen options.
Sadly the smartphone’s screen resolution is much lower than that of the X10's larger 4in screen, so videos generally didn’t look that great.
A 5Mp camera with flash is bolted onto the Mini Pro’s rear and accessed via a physical button on one side of the phone. The phone doesn’t have many shooting modes or tools for improving image quality, but those I took were pleasing enough to the eye.
I only wish I could have activated the shutter by pressing my thumb on the phone’s touchscreen, rather than being forced to adjust my grip in order to press the camera button to take each snap.
With 3G and wi-fi support onboard the X10 Mini Pro was quick to load webpages. The phone’s tiny screen size meant webpages looked small, but SE has added a magnifying square that zooms in on any point you touch with your thumb - very useful.
Music quality was nothing special on the smartphone, but it should prove good enough for listening to tracks while on train journeys.
The Mini Pro’s battery power dropped quite quickly while using the music player. Using other apps concurrently made it evaporate even faster.
The audio player is, like the rest of the phone, operated using only your thumb. Tracks can be dragged and dropped onto it via your PC thanks to Sony Ericsson’s free software.