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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro review: Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro

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Instead of the X10's 8-megapixel camera, the X10 Mini Pro offers a 5-megapixel shooter. We don't mind the resolution downgrade--5 megapixels is more than adequate on such a handset--but we are disturbed that Sony Ericsson removed most of the editing options. You can geotag photos, use the bright flash and autofocus, and select one of four image settings (auto, sports, twilight, and macro), but those are the only customization options available. Though we'd expected the smaller X10 Mini Pro to offer fewer features, we didn't foresee this much carnage. Also, vanity shots are tricky without a self-portrait mirror.

The handset has a camcorder, though editing options are equally minimal. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 10 seconds, but you can shoot for longer in normal mode. Once you're done playing photographer, you can check out your work in the easy-to-use gallery app. Photo quality is just average, which is about what we saw on the X10. Colors could have been richer, and images are a tad dim. The X10 Mini Pro offers 128MB of internal memory and the microSD slot fits cards up to 2GB.

We didn't love the Xperia X10 Mini Pro's photo quality.

Fortunately, Sony Ericsson gave the normal Android music player a slight, but much-needed, makeover. It displays album art, and you can access shuffle and repeat modes, set favorites, send the track in a message, and designate a track as a ringtone. Loading music on the phone is quite easy whether you're using a USB cable or a memory card. Thanks to Android's efficient USB transfer/storage and PC syncing support, our PC recognized the X10 Mini Pro right when we plugged it in. The handset also comes integrated with Sony Ericsson's PlayNow feature, a TrackID app, and an FM radio.

Other features on the X10 Mini Pro include a calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a notepad, a full duplex speakerphone, a timer, and a stopwatch. The phone also has PC syncing, USB mass storage, A2DP stereo Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The browser has a standard Android design, though it's more than tedious on such a small display. You can replace it with another browser, if you'd like.

Naturally, the X10 Mini Pro offers the full slate of Google applications like YouTube, Google Voice, and Google Talk. Google Maps offers the standard features, and Wisepilot brings real-time voice-guided directions. You'll also find a bar code reader, a Wikipedia app, and two games (Peggle and Edge). Of course, more apps and games are available through the Android Market. The integrated Facebook for Android app lets you access the service outside of Timescape.

We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro world phone in San Francisco using AT&T service. The handset will work with both AT&T's and T-Mobile's GSM networks, but 3G data is available only through AT&T in the United States. You should have better luck abroad since the X10 Mini supports three UMTS/HSPA bands.

Call quality was quite decent, and a bit improved over the X10 Mini. There was a tiny amount of static at times and we had one failed connection, but on the whole we enjoyed clear conversations. Our callers' voices sounded natural and there was little side noise or interference. The volume was a bit low, so we had some trouble hearing in noisy places.

Callers reported few problems. The volume issue was apparent to them as well, and we had to speak loudly when calling from a busy street and from a large store with loudspeaker announcements. In quieter conditions, we had a better time. Callers could tell we were using a cell phone, but they didn't report any audio feedback.

Music quality is similar to the X10, though it's not quite as loud given the X10 Mini's smaller speaker. The quality is respectable, though it gets distorted the higher you go. We recommend headphones for the best experience.

The X10 Mini Pro has a 600Mhz processor, so expect a slower experience than the 1GHz-powered Xperia X10. Yet, the change isn't dramatic, as we were able to perform most functions quickly. And in any case, the downgrade is understandable on a smaller and cheaper phone.

The X10 Mini Pro has a rated battery life of 4 hours 2G talk time and 3.5 hours 3G talk time. Promised standby time is 15 days. We had a tested talk time of 3 hours and 49 minutes. According to FCC radiation charts, the X10 Mini Pro has a digital SAR of 1.55 watts per kilogram.

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