Placed side-by-side, you probably can't distinguish the X10 mini from its sibling, the X10 mini pro. But slide the display, and the difference is as obvious as day and night. The X10 mini pro, though measuring at just a mere 90 x 52 x 17mm, managed to squeeze a petite QWERTY keyboard into its frame. Without the physical QWERTY keypad, the X10 mini functions with a virtual, old-school numeric keypad (understandably, due to space constraints).
Sony Ericsson wasn't kidding when it dubbed these two devices as mini. The contrast between the devices' size and our hands can be clearly seen. As such, one might be concerned over the user experience on the miniaturized units.
Thankfully, we found the experience to be fairly positive - surfing and navigation are extremely snappy and responsive on both units. While we were a little apprehensive over the devices' minute 2.55-inch screen, the intuitive Sony Ericsson Timescape user interface (UI) has been streamlined to fit the physical restraints of the device. There are some slight changes from its X10 companion, such as a useful four-corner touch screen user interface that's omnipresent on the main pages. This will serve as an important cornerstone of the X10 mini user experience.
Do keep in mind that both the X10 mini and the X10 mini pro that we were 'manhandling' were pre-production units. We were pleasantly surprised at how smooth the interface performed even for an early unit. Nonetheless, we reserve our verdict on the phones' performance until the retail-ready units are out. What we can share is the fact that the X10 mini and X10 mini pro will be available in selected markets from the second quarter of 2010 in various colors. If these dainty units caught your attention, sit tight, and in the meantime, check out the promotional video of the two units below: