Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro review

Is Sony Ericsson's Mini Pro more than a bolt-on QWERTY?

For

  • Responsive UI
  • Solid build
  • Great battery life

Against

  • Off-kilter camera results
  • Limited video playback
  • Unusual

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro has had an overhaul, what has been created is a superb smartphone that has a great QWERTY

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro brings an almost identical phone to the recently-released Xperia Mini, but with one big difference: a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

A few sockets and things have been moved around to accommodate it, but essentially we're looking at the same phone, running the latest version of Android Gingerbread (version 2.3.4) in a dinky frame.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro brings an almost identical phone to the recently-released Xperia Mini, but with one big difference: a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

A few sockets and things have been moved around to accommodate it, but essentially we're looking at the same phone, running the latest version of Android Gingerbread (version 2.3.4) in a dinky frame.

Xperia Mini Pro: Screen

The screen size has been upgraded from the original Xperia X10 Mini Pro we saw last year, with a (sort-of) whopping 3-inch offering in the same size package.

It's packing 320x480 pixels, which is lower than your average smartphone, but with the smaller screen, the resolution looks pin sharp.

It's not got the same wow factor as something like the Samsung Galaxy S2's Super AMOLED Plus screen, but colours are fairly rich and internet sites legible enough when zoomed out.

Xperia Mini Pro: Camera

The Xperia Mini Pro camera is a 5MP effort with a single LED flash, and is capable of recording 720p HD footage.

The LED is pretty darn bright for such a small package, flinging out bucketloads of photons even in only semi-darkness, and also acts as a handy video light too.

The options to tweak images on the go aren't extensive, but there's a variety of scene modes to play with, and those which alter the shutter speed do actually help improve pics.

Xperia Mini Pro: Interface

As we mentioned, the Xperia Mini Pro is running Android 2.3.4, which means it's bang up to date (and is also one of the only phones outside of the Nexus S to have the cool 'old skool telly' screen shut off).

To accommodate the smaller screen, Sony Ericsson has added in corner icons to the home screen, which you can pack with up to four apps for easy thumb access on the fly, plus space for widgets and your favourite apps in the centre.

With a 1GHz processor under the hood, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro is nippy too - not once did we encounter much in the shape of slowdown when opening and closing reams of apps.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro brings an almost identical phone to the recently-released Xperia Mini, but with one big difference: a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

A few sockets and things have been moved around to accommodate it, but essentially we're looking at the same phone, running the latest version of Android Gingerbread (version 2.3.4) in a dinky frame.

Xperia Mini Pro: Screen

The screen size has been upgraded from the original Xperia X10 Mini Pro we saw last year, with a (sort-of) whopping 3-inch offering in the same size package.

It's packing 320x480 pixels, which is lower than your average smartphone, but with the smaller screen, the resolution looks pin sharp.

It's not got the same wow factor as something like the Samsung Galaxy S2's Super AMOLED Plus screen, but colours are fairly rich and internet sites legible enough when zoomed out.

Xperia Mini Pro: Camera

The Xperia Mini Pro camera is a 5MP effort with a single LED flash, and is capable of recording 720p HD footage.

The LED is pretty darn bright for such a small package, flinging out bucketloads of photons even in only semi-darkness, and also acts as a handy video light too.

The options to tweak images on the go aren't extensive, but there's a variety of scene modes to play with, and those which alter the shutter speed do actually help improve pics.

Xperia Mini Pro: Interface

As we mentioned, the Xperia Mini Pro is running Android 2.3.4, which means it's bang up to date (and is also one of the only phones outside of the Nexus S to have the cool 'old skool telly' screen shut off).

To accommodate the smaller screen, Sony Ericsson has added in corner icons to the home screen, which you can pack with up to four apps for easy thumb access on the fly, plus space for widgets and your favourite apps in the centre.

With a 1GHz processor under the hood, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro is nippy too - not once did we encounter much in the shape of slowdown when opening and closing reams of apps.

Xperia Mini Pro: Battery

The battery on the Mini Pro is understandably smaller than in other smartphones, as the tinier screen draws less power.

However, Sony Ericsson seems to have missed a trick here, as the power pack will only juice the phone long enough for a day's use; we were hoping to manage a couple of days’ use easily given the more compact stylings.

It can easily last from morning to evening, but keep a charger handy if you're planning a weekend away and want to stay in contact.

Xperia Mini Pro: Verdict

We're fans of the Xperia Mini Pro for the simple reason that we're seeing something different.

The slide out keyboard is surprisingly easy to use despite being squished into a smaller space, and the larger screen makes using the phone a lot easier than the previous version we used.

The camera could be a little higher in quality in our opinion, and the battery isn't all we'd dreamed it would be - but this is a cool and cute little smartphone with all the power of Android in a pocket-sized format.

A definite contender if you like something a little different but just love a physical keyboard.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro availability: Out now

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro price: £20.50 per month, around £260 SIM free