Having just had a hands-on play with Sony Ericsson's new X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro, I suspect the company may just have the devices it needs to turn itself around.
Given the lacklustre reception that greeted Sony Ericsson's Symbian phones last year, the X10 (announced a billion years ago but only due on shelves in March) is seen as something of a saviour. Except, early reviews based on prototypes has also been quite iffy, particularly due to the unit's size and perceived clunkiness.
The X10 Mini and Mini Pro are anything but clunky. Dinky's the word. Handbag dinky. Maybe cute. I'll need some more time with the units to decide whether the company's 'corners' adaptation of Android makes the open source OS work on such a tiny screen (2.55 inches), but what I saw today here at Mobile World Congress looked promising.
Most amazingly, the X10 Mini Pro's slide-out keyboard is actually usable, and certainly a more attractive proposition than the Motorola Milestone's giant-yet-awful keyboard. Go figure.
A caveat — one X10 Mini Pro that I saw at Sony Ericsson's stand today had an unusable, flickering screen that forced the demonstrator to pull out the battery and start again. We're still looking at pre-production units here, but let's hope that 'feature' doesn't make it through to the final cut.
Anyway, keep an eye out for the video I just shot with Sony Ericsson's planning chief for the X10 Mini Pro. I rather like this handset.