We compare two mini phones, the HP Veer and Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro to see which deserves the crown of the petite
With a mini iPhone rumoured, it seems manufacturers have realised the potential of making smaller phones to suit those with smaller pockets.
Sony Ericsson launched the dinky Xperia X10 Mini Pro at last year's Mobile World Congress, but now HP has come in with the equally mini HP Veer, a device with a full Qwerty keyboard.
We take a look to see whether last year's success could be overtaken by this year's small beauty.
The HP Veer's screen is slightly larger than the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro, albeit by a tiny amount. The Veer's display measures 2.6-inches, while the X10 Mini Pro is 2.55-inches.
What makes the difference here though is the screen resolution. The Veer takes on the Sony Ericsson's 240x320 pixel resolution by upping the game to 320x400 pixels.
On a screen this small, you may not think it makes the difference, but side by side, the Veer's screen looks brighter and crisper, despite the X10 Mini Pro boasting 16 million colours, against the Veer's 256k
Size and weight
As both of these phones are marketed as mini phones, size is important. The HP Veer is actually smaller than last year's Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro on all but one measurement, which is the length.
The Veer measures 84 x 54.5 x 15.1 mm while the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro's vital stats come in at 90 x 52 x 17 mm. When you pick the devices up, you can really feel the Veer is slimmer and also lighter. It weighs just 103g and the X10 Mini Pro weighs 180g.
The HP Veer runs on Palm's WebOs. It's a really pleasing operating system to use with a fluid UI and lovely extra touches such as the ability to close apps by swiping them off the screen. However, the pre-production Veer sample was a little buggy and we hope this is improved n the final version.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro rather disappointingly runs on Android 1.6, although it is upgradeable to version 2.2. The newer version of the Os does add a certain amount of nifty tricks, but it's still not as fun to use as a device running Android 2.3. Sony Ericsson will not be further updating this.
In terms of UI, we prefer the vanilla WebOs UI in comparison to Sony Ericsson's interface and so the Veer wins here too.
Storage is become more and more important with devices as they become more than just mobile phones, but multimedia devices and although we love having lots of onboard storage, it's important to have a microSD card for expansion too.
The HP Veer may include 8GB internal storage, but one major feature it doesn't have is a microSD card slot. In fact, out of that 8GB internal storage, only 6.5GB is usable.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro on the other hand only includes 128MB internal storage, but you can add microSD cards up to 32GB to the device. This makes it much more desirable to us.
When talking about smartphones, speed is king. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro runs on a 600MHz processor whereas the HP Veer packs in a slightly faster 800MHz processor.
We would like to have seen a 1GHz processor, certainly in the newer Veer, so it's a shame HP has opted to include a slower processor.
However, the Veer still comes top of the pile here.
Battery life is becoming increasingly important when it comes to smartphones, because with more power comes more battery consumption.
Both the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro and Veer have rather disappointing capacity batteries packed in. The Sony Ericsson includes a 930mAh battery, while the Veer features an even worse 910mAh battery.
Although this may seem pretty impressive in numbers, compared to the iPhone packs in a 1420mAh battery and that barely lasts a day.
Both are pretty disappointing, but the Mini Pro beats the Veer, just for that little extra power.