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When we looked at the X10 mini, we were amazed by just how usable such a small touchscreen Android smartphone could be. Now Sony Ericsson has added a keyboard to this tiny device, does it further add to the experience or has it finally pushed the concept into the realms of the ridiculous?
The first thing to note about the X10 mini pro is it's rather thick. Understandable for a phone with a keyboard, but when the device is otherwise so small it results in it having rather peculiar proportions. Even the X10 mini felt a bit squat, so the X10 mini pro feels decidedly chunky. Nonetheless it's still a very small and portable device.
In a clever piece of design, Sony Ericsson has kept the front face of the X10 mini pro the same size as the X10 mini, so it appears of a similar size, but the top and bottom edges then slope outward allowing for the keyboard underneath to be just that little bit wider and more comfortable to use.
Design wise, the simple combination of glossy black on the front and matt black on the back works as well as ever and the layout of controls and ports is tidy and unobtrusive. Slide the keyboard out and the silver keys marry up nicely with the rest of the design. The only negative is the plastic screen/bezel, which gives the phone a slightly cheap look.
Sony Ericsson has pretty much aced the external features of this phone. The front three buttons for Menu, Home, and Back are all responsive and neatly positioned. Likewise the power/screen lock button on the top edge and the volume rocker on the right edge are easy to reach, though the volume control is a tad small so can be difficult to pinpoint.
The company has even managed to fit in a dedicated camera button, which is a rarity on smartphones of any size. Likewise, the ample five megapixel camera has the oft omitted addition of an LED flash. To round it all off, standard headphone and microUSB sockets take care of music listening and charging/data connection duties – no proprietary connectors here.
Remove the backplate and you can access the SIM slot and battery as well as a microSD slot that can take cards up to 16GB. Internal memory is only 128MB, so you'll be glad to know a 2GB card is included in the box.
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