You're not likely to be watching much video on the small screen, and if you do, it'll look reasonably sharp, but very, very small, with no option to expand letterbox format films to fit the screen's dimensions. The music player fares better, though the sound of MP3 and AAC files was distinctly bass-light through the supplied headphones. The auto-tuning FM radio worked well though.
The keys are easy enough to distinguish under the thumbs
Browsing is hampered by the small screen dimensions and the lack of a zoom function, but there are HSDPA 3G or Wi-Fi connections for speed and you can view multiple pages. There's a magnifying window to help you pan around the page.
The X10 Mini Pro runs Android 1.6, but with a few tweaks from Sony Ericsson. There are four home pages, each of which can be furnished with a single widget, such as time/date, Timescape, search, calendar etc.
On my sample there also appeared to be a bit of a glitch in the calling software: usually when I made a call the screen would change, giving me an option to end the call. Sometimes, though, it remained on the keypad screen, which doesn't have an option to cut the call, leaving calls to voice messages hanging with no way to end them.
Unlike the X10 Mini, the Pro model has a removable battery under its backplate
Call quality incidentally seemed a little on the quiet side, though it's clear enough.
As someone who has this phone . . .
. . . and has been using it for a couple of weeks, some of the points in the review are a little off.
The time to get the screen on, for me, is a second or two - which, until the review mentioned it, I hadn't even noticed. It's that much of an issue.
The browser zooms by tapping the screen. Granted, the browser that comes with the phone isn't the best, but isn't the point of smartphones to be able to get other tools to do the job ? Mine now has Opera as default and it is much better than the supplied browser.
The keyboard, for me, is an absolute joy to use. I've had a touch screen phone for a couple of years and have never got used to a touch screen keyboard, it's been the bain of my life. The fact that almost all phones were going down the route of touch-screen only was really pissing me off. I was looking at an HTC Droid, but the size was putting me off - I don't need a screen that large on a phone. As many have said, the whole point of Android and it's myriad options, is that manufacturers can make different types of phone for different markets/people - this keyboard will not be to everyones taste, but for anyone like me who's been searching for one, it's ideal.
The only big problem is the battery life. I use it reasonably heavily, including firing up GPS to track cycling times, speed etc on SportyPal for over an hour each day. The battery will last about 36 hours of my level of usage, when you take care to switch off GPS when not in use and make sure you aren't leaving app's open unnecessarily - it's not good, supposedly the switch to Android 2.1 improves the situation. However, given it's a standard micro-USB connection, I don't find it a huge deal to recharge each night plugged into my PC.
2 quick points
1. I have an HTC touch pro with swype installed as a software keyboard. Swype is NO match for a hardware keyboard if doing serious typing e.g. note taking in educational meetings, need to touch type, accuracy
2. 80% for a phone still running android 1.6 (and a customised version at that) with no mention of a planned upgrade to 2.1/2.2 PLUS all the other misgivings!?
Could do better
The review together with the 80% rating show what a low standard is expected of smartphones. I suspect that an Apple phone with these bugs would get a lower rating. Still, fixing it is a simple matter of software ...
It takes several seconds to turn on, the phone software doesn't work, there are really annoying bugs in the keyboard software etc. etc. etc. Did you read your own review before giving it 80%? I understand that sometimes the sum of the parts doesn't equal the experience as a whole but the review comes across as suggesting the phone is a complete nightmare to live with day to day but then you give it 80%. WTF?
another owner's opinions.
you don't have to keep the alt key pressed. just press it and then press the other button of your choice. as such is the case with mine, I agree with OP that it's strange not to have more functionality there.
My biggest peev (sp?) with this phone is the lack of space on the home screens - 1 app per screen, with only 4 screens? that is seriously limiting and for no good reason. That would bring the score down for me most.
Otherwise, having had my handset for a whole 2 weeks and using an iPhone for work for over a year now, I can say this is a much better hand set. As I'm on o2, it cost me a whopping £180 which is an absolute bargain in the smartphone market.
I think the best option for me, would be to simply rip out the SE Donut optimisations and stick on a vanilla Cupcake or Froyo. mmmmm.... vanilla cupcake.... If anyone knows how to do it, please do direct me towards it!