Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro Review
Following in the footsteps of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini, the Xperia Mini Pro looks almost identical to its older brother with one major addition – a pull out QWERTY keyboard for those of you who still prefer to type on a physical keyboard. There have also been some internal tweaks and upgrades with this newer model so does the Mini Pro deliver?
Measuring 92 x 53 x 18mm the Xperia Mini Pro looks and feels chunky but this is largely due to the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The three physical buttons of the earlier Xperia Mini have been replaced on the Xperia Mini Pro with one larger Home button at the bottom centre. Either side of that is a capacitive button – one for Back and one for Menu. The USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack and power button are housed along the top edge of the handset whilst on the right hand side you will find the volume rocker switch and a dedicated camera key.
The 3 inch LED backlit LCD capacitve touchscreen of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro has a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels and a pixel density of 192ppi. The Xperia Mini Pro incorporates Sony’s Bravia Engine and Reality Display technology to provide a responsive screen with bright and vibrant colours and clear crisp text.
The sliding mechanism of the QWERTY keyboard feels robust and the keys are nicely spaced with a rubberised finish to them making for a comfortable typing experience. There are some useful symbols available by pressing the blue button and you can access further options via the Sym key. Four cursor keys allow you to navigate round the screen, which automatically switches to landscape mode when the keyboard is pulled out, and a useful alert will appear in the Notifications bar if you have CAPS LOCK on.
The 1200mAh battery of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro albeit smaller than those found in many smartphones does a decent job. With a smaller screen the Xperia Mini Pro is not quite as power hungry as some and with general use, including Twitter, web access and using the camera the battery lasted a day before needing a recharge. With less heavy use you could probably get a couple of days battery life before needing to plug in.
The Xperia Mini Pro is powered by a 1GHz processing chip with 512MB RAM. It only provides 400MB internal storage but this can be expanded by up to 32MB via a microSD card.
The Xperia Mini Pro runs Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and has the same Sony Ericsson skin as the Xperia Mini. This User Interface has the distinct corners layout which gives you space to save up to four app icons in each corner on all 5 Android Homescreens. In addition to organising apps into your corners you can add icons directly onto the Homescreens. As you would expect with Android you can personalise the layout of these screens to your hearts content.
Thanks to the 1GHz processor the Xperia Mini Pro is able to load web pages with ease and with the pinch to zoom function and Flash support using the Android browser to surf the Internet poses no problems.
The Xperia Mini Pro comes pre-loaded with the main contenders such as Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk and in terms of connectivity the Xperia Mini Pro has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and 3G.
The rear mounted 5 megapixel camera with flash of the Xperia Mini Pro is the same model as featured on the Xperia Mini.
Picture quality is quite good although the colours do tend to be over exaggerated, particularly reds and greens. Apart from that it copes well with low light situations and the flash performs well. You have the option of various Captuing Modes including Sporty, Night Scene, Party, Portrait and Landscape.
The dedicated camera button is a bonus and the camera itself is very responsive. It does have a zoom function but to use it means losing a lot of definition.
The Xperia Mini Pro camera can also record 720p video although the image quality is fairly average with some blurriness and colour wash-out. The same image Capturing Modes can be incorporated when recording video and there is also image stabilisation, auto focus, and a self timer.
Sony Xperia Mini Pro Price
The Xperia Mini Pro is a mid-price smartphone. You can buy one SIM free for around £240 or you can get one free with a 24 month contract. Monthly fees start at in the region of £26 but will depend on the contract terms.