Shrinking the Xperia X10

The Sony Ericsson Xperia x10 and Xperia X10 Mini Pro pack almost as many features into a compact design.

BARCELONA, Spain--Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10 has barely hit the streets, but the company already is introducing new models based on the same design. At Mobile World Congress the company unveiled the X10 Mini and the X10 Mini Pro. It's all about size with these puppies. Though they retain the feature set of the Xperia X10 (with the exception of a lower-resolution camera), they deliver it in much smaller packages.

We understand what Sony Ericsson is trying to do here, but whenever you shrink a phone there are always trade-offs. And in this case, we think the trade-offs might be too much. Part of the beauty of the X10 is its gorgeous 4-inch display. You could type quickly on the virtual keyboard, swipe through the Timescape application easily, navigate the menus, watch videos, and browse the Web comfortably. The X10 Mini's touch screen, however, measures just 2.5 inches. That's small for any touch-screen device and we couldn't escape a cramped feeling when using the handset. What's more, we don't like that you have to plunk at a virtual keybaord that resembles a alphanumeric keyboard on a standard phone.

Fortunately, the X10 Mini Pro offers an alternative with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Though small, the keyboard was more comfortable than we expected. We'll have to wait for a full test-drive to give a real assessment, but for now it appears to work. Click on the photo gallery above for a closer look.

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).

 

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