The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro may look familiar: with a tiny screen, Android and a pop-up keyboard, it’s a sequel to last year’s Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro. It may still be diminutive, but it’s certainly packing much more horsepower under the bonnet this time round though; here, we take a look at what the experts made of it.
Electricpig.co.uk’s Ben Sillis was smitten by the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro, particularly its perfectly formed QWERTY keyboard. It’s a wonder, even though you’d typically expect better from a BlackBerry, he says.
“While landscape keyboards are traditionally slower than portrait ones on mobile for typing with two thumbs, the Mini Pro is small enough to make this a non-issue, and the buttons are well defined, with a nice give.”
But above all, Electricpig was wowed by just how much raw power has been stuffed inside its tiny confines. “Quadrant? Smooth Flash video performance? Damn. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro truly is first in class for a phone of its size. The 1GHz processor paired with Adreno graphics might not be cutting edge on a phone the size of the Xperia Play, but powering a small 480×360 screen, it’s more than enough.”
“This is a corking little messaging phone, with powerful innards that put most other mid-range Android phones to shame…snap this up pronto.”
Niall Magennis over at CNET meanwhile points out that the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro’s size means it isn’t for everyone, but for those nonplussed by huge touchscreens, it’s a perfect solution. “If you're looking for something smaller and more pocketable than the usual run of the mill smart phone, but don't want to compromise on speed and features, the Xperia Mini Pro is a good bet,” he wrote.
Also of note, he said, was the Xperia Mini Pro’s custom software skin on top of the latest version of Android 2.3.3 “Gingerbread”, which adds some clever social networking skills. “A media gallery that not only shows the pictures stored on the phone, but also drags in images from social-networking sites such as Facebook. In fact, the phone is more tightly integrated with Facebook than many of its rivals.”
TechRadar’s Gary Cutlack was surprised by just how usable something so small could be. “In the hand, it's obviously very, very small when held up against some of today's mammoth smartphones,” he said. “But it feels good. The big, physical home button is easy to find without fuss, while the new capacitive back and menu buttons are large and easy to find without having to think about it.”
He also singled out praise for the new and improved version of Timescape, Sony Ericsson’s contact syncing app, which now offers extra service support. “As well as supporting Facebook and Twitter status messages, it's now possible to install plug-ins that add extra functionality…There's one for Gmail, for example, which lets your Google messages appear in the widget's timeline as well.”
“Sony Ericsson has built on 2010's excellent little smartphone, further enhancing the user interface with changes that make it look and function even better.”
Chris Davies at Slashgear meanwhile was impressed by the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro’s 3-inch screen, with a sharper 480×360 resolution and exclusive Sony algorithms to spruce up image quality. “Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine makes an appearance again, powering the Xperia Mini Pro’s LCD screen…(it’s) bright, and with a responsive touchscreen, it works well with Sony Ericsson’s UI customizations.”
Davies capture who this phone is for perfectly: “if you’re on IM from AM to PM then this Sony Ericsson is worth considering.”