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Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro review

A QWERTY Android phone for little typists with little thumbs

Our Verdict

A powerful, cute little smartphone, that's high on performance and features in a compact chassis.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 320 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 5.66 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 320

View full specification

For

  • Very nice user interface skin
  • Facebook integration that's not too intrusive
  • Usable web browser with Flash player support
  • Solid hardware with usable keyboard

Against

  • Camera images exaggerate strong colours
  • 720p video output lacks detail
  • Filled with Sony promotional apps
  • Video codec support not extensive

So, just as Sony Ericsson accompanied its X10 Mini with the X10 Mini Pro in 2010, this year's excellent new Xperia Mini is now accompanied by a heavier, sturdier model of the same size, the Xperia Mini Pro.

If you're in the market for a new smartphone, you can check out our quick video guide to what to look out for:

The new smartphone also has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for those of you still stubbornly refusing to go 100% touchscreen.

The internal hardware has been updated from last year's X10 Mini Pro, with three fairly big specification upgrades. The Xperia Mini Pro now features a larger 3-inch screen, a 1GHz processor powering the mobile phone, plus the up-to-date Android 2.3 operating system.

There's a small price premium for the QWERTY keyboard. While the Xperia Mini is currently selling SIM-free for around the £200 mark, the Xperia Mini Pro is on offer from £240.

So is there any point in paying the extra cash for a very, very compact QWERTY keyboard?

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

When the keyboard is slid away out of sight, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro looks exactly the same as the Xperia Mini.

The three physical buttons of last year's X10 Mini Pro have been replaced by one bigger, chunkier Home button, with new capacitive touch buttons for Menu and Back either side of it.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

As with the Xperia Mini, it's a change for the better. The Home key is big enough to find without fumbling, while the touch buttons are sensitive enough to work every time, also without fuss. The change makes the Mini Pro look a little more stylish than the X10 Mini Pro, too, with the glass of the screen extending right down to the base of the phone.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

There's one extra bit of functionality revealed by the front face of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro - there's a second front-facing camera in here, producing low-res video and stills for web chats.

The connectivity options have been jiggled about to accommodate the sliding QWERTY keyboard. The top of the phone has the USB connector, which is covered by a little plastic stopper, plus the power and headphone jack, leaving the bottom of the phone completely featureless.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

The right-hand edge houses the volume up/down rocker, while there's a nice, sensitive, two-stage shutter button for controlling the camera at the bottom.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

The back is the same as the Xperia Mini. The snap-on cover has a matte, rubberised finish, making it easy to grip in the hand, plus the silver logos, trim and 'HD' text give it a nice designer appeal.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro features the same Bravia Engine and Reality Display combination as the Xperia Mini, with the result being a sharp, bright display running at 320 x 480 (HVGA) resolution.

Text is readable and icons clean and clear, while it's perfectly usable outdoors if you shove the brightness up to maximum.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

As you may have noticed, the word "pro" is mobile phone manufacturer shorthand for saying "has a QWERTY keyboard", so there is... a QWERTY keyboard.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

The keyboard's sliding mechanism is solid, with the phone snapping open and shut in a reassuringly stiff manner. The keys are backlit, featuring a similar rubberised coating to the back of the phone, so they have a rougher, grippier feel to them than the ones on last year's X10 Mini Pro.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

There's a useful selection of alternate characters accessed by pressing the blue button, plus you can pull up a selection of awful smiley faces and the even more special special characters by tapping the Sym button.

There's also a four-button cursor key array, a shortcut to the keyboard settings menu and a tiny status display in the Android notifications bar, alerting you if Caps Lock is on or if you've double-pressed and therefore locked the alternate character function.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

As for the phone as an overall package, it's heavier than the Xperia Mini, which is no bad thing, plus the screen feels solid, is responsive to the touch and very well balanced for easy one-handed use.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

The QWERTY keyboard is small, and you certainly won't be teaching Mavis Beacon any lessons when it comes to word-per-minute output, but the impression of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro is of a solid, well-made phone, brimming with features.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory320 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.46 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXPERIA
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
ColourWhite
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time5.66 Hour
Product Modelmini pro
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)136 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, REACH, RoHS, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Divert, Call Forwarding, Conference Call
Pixel Density192 ppi
Height92 mm
Width53 mm
Depth18 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA mini pro Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXPERIA
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number1251-9101
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Start spreading the news. Just slide out the keyboard and type away on the Xperia mini pro Android keyboard smartphone.

Send an email on the fly. Reschedule a meeting from the train. The Xperia mini pro makes typing simple - with less fuss and fewer mistakes. And when the workday is done? Capture your family in sharp HD video, or snap a still with the 5 megapixel camera. Then tell all your friends what you're up to with Facebook inside Xperia.

Package Contents
  • XPERIA mini pro Smartphone
  • USB Cable
Limited Warranty2 Year