JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The new Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro is one of the smallest Google Android handsets in the market, giving smartphones a whole new look, and who knows, a new target audience.
Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson hasn’t had a very good relationship with Google, which results in Android updates arriving very late to its smartphones. All three devices in the Xperia X10 line are limited to Android 1.6, while the latest version of Android is 2.2, also known as Froyo.
Not having software updates doesn’t necessarily make the X10 a bad phone. With its small form factor, full QWERTY keyboard, and good specifications overall, it does have a chance in the market.
There are few smartphones in the same category as the X10 Mini Pro, customers are mostly given a choice between smartphones with a large touchscreen, or with none at all. The HTC Wildfire, Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Nokia N97 Mini are somewhat similar to the phone currently being reviewed, but only the Wildfire runs on Android.
The latter device is also one of the most affordable smartphones in the market. It does not have a hardware keyboard, unlike the X10 Mini Pro, but it does have a bigger screen, at 3.2″, and as HTC enjoys a better relation with Google, it comes with the recent Google Android 2.1 software.
The Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro, from the same company, does have a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and like the Wildfire, a 3.2″ touchscreen display. It does not run on Android, but on Nokia’s S60 platform, powered by Symbian. The three phones are quite similar, featuring components such as GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HSDPA connectivity, microSD memory card support, and a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus.
The Nokia N97 Mini is certainly more powerful than the X10 Mini Pro, but larger as well. It has a tilt-out QWERTY keyboard, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and HSDPA connectivity, a microSD memory card slot, as well as a 5 megapixel camera, but this component has Carl Zeiss optics, which makes it a better camera. Nokia’s contender brings 8GB internal memory, unlike the Sony Ericsson phone, which has a negligible amount.
Specifications-wise, the user has a choice for a larger phone with improved features, or the X10 Mini Pro itself, but for more details of build and design, software, camera, and our conclusion, stay tuned.