Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini

The X10 Mini's 5-megapixel camera with LED flash performs extremely well, offering a very quick and simple interface.

Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini

Sony Ericsson has used its corner-based UI extremely well, giving you a flash on/off shortcut, a still/video toggle, a link to the gallery and the fancier camera scene options over the top of the viewfinder image, making it extremely easy to fiddle with settings on the fly.

After taking a shot, a preview pops up, with the corner icons then switching to delete, share or set the shot you've just taken as a wallpaper or a contact picture to represent one of your friends.

Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini

Sony Ericsson could have built a rod for its own back in customising Android to such an extent, but when it works as well and as seamlessly as this it's a welcome effort.

Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini

EXTREME CLOSE-UP: The camera's macro mode is something of an unexpected delight as well, letting you take proper close-up shots without the scene resembling a foggy mess

Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini

SELF-SHOT: Macro photos look much sharper and more vibrant, too

You can't get too close, but it'll let you focus from around two inches away if you happen to be outside and see an interesting insect. Or a pretty flower. Whatever people use Macro mode for.

Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini

Photos emerge at a maximum resolution of 2592 x 1944 and are typical mobile phone quality – good enough to get the general impression, but not good enough to get car number plate details from the slightly blotchy distance.

Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini

INSIDE/OUT: Contrast between light & dark is patchy, but you'd still recognise the place

Recording your own videos gives you the option of having the flash constantly illuminated if you're filming something that happens in the dark, while videos emerge from the phone as 640 x 480 files in 3GP format.

They look okay in the rather over-sharp way that today's non-interlaced movies do. Good enough for YouTube and a local news report should something exciting happen when you're out, but not a patch on the larger Xperia X10's output.

Auto-focus now works while shooting videos thanks to the Android 2.1 update, making the X10 Mini's surprisingly usable little camera even more impressive.