A phone that manages to squeeze a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard into a compact package
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro manages to squeeze a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard into a ridiculously compact package. A successor to the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini Pro, the XPERIA Mini Pro offers a number of benefits over its predecessor.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro: Display
The original XPERIA X10 Mini Pro was a tiny and chubby Android smartphone that had a smart UI, a rich features list and an excellent keyboard, but it wasn't without its limitations. Sony Ericsson has upped the ante with its successor, starting with the display — in addition to boasting a larger screen (3in compared to 2.5in), the new XPERIA Mini Pro has a better resolution of 320x480 (compared to its predecessor's 240x320 resolution), and uses a "Reality display" combined with what Sony Ericsson calls its BRAVIA Mobile Engine. The latter promises image noise reduction, along with sharpness, colour and contrast enhancements when viewing images and video.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro: Keyboard
The XPERIA Mini Pro also has a full, slide-out, QWERTY keyboard that comes with 'type & send' functionality. Sony Ericsson claims that the function eliminates the need to open a dedicated app for each type of message users are sending.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro: Memory & Video
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro will be powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, up from the 600MHz processor of its predecessor; it will come with 400MB of internal memory, up from 128MB; it will record 720p HD video, up from standard-definition video recording. Sony Ericsson claims the XPERIA Mini Pro is the world's smallest Android smartphone that records HD video.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro: OS
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro runs the latest 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android platform. Gingerbread offers a revamped keyboard, better copy and paste functionality, improved power management, and a slicker user interface as improvements over previous versions of Android.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro: UI
The XPERIA Mini Pro also comes with a Sony Ericsson custom UI overlay that takes advantage of the smaller screen size compared with most other smartphones. Users can place up to 16 apps in the corners of the XPERIA Mini Pro's home screen and can add widgets to individual home screens like regular Android smartphones.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro: Apps
The XPERIA Mini Pro is also one of the first Sony Ericsson smartphones that will ship with 'Facebook inside XPERIA', software that integrates Facebook into commonly used areas of the phone including the picture gallery, music player, phonebook and calendar. The Facebook inside XPERIA feature will soon be available across other Sony Ericsson XPERIA handsets through a future software update.
Unlike most Android smart phones with keyboards, such as the HTC Desire Z, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro isn't a massive beast. That could make it a good choice if you're looking for a phone with a keyboard that doesn't hog your whole handbag or manbag. Sony Ericsson's software tweaks look promising too, but we'll have to take them for a proper test drive before we can deliver our final verdict.