Sony’s Xperia Mini Pro is the perfect phone for those who desire a small yet feature-rich phone. The Xperia Mini Pro is the successor to the Xperia X10 Mini Pro phone, which also features a slide-out keyboard. So what’s new in this phone? Let’s see.
After unboxing I found myself with -
- Xperia Mini Pro
- USB cable/Charger
- Screen Guard
- In ear Earphones
- Another backpanel
- 2 GB microSD card
I really didn’t have much trouble with the unboxing part and the free screen guard isn’t one of cheap quality. Another fact that caught my eye was that the charger is just a plug with a detachable USB cable connected to it, which means fewer wires for one to carry around.
The phone has one hardware home button and two capacitive buttons- Back and Menu - which have haptics and are backlit. I shall admit that the phone does look at bit “chubby” and is certainly not light due to the slide out QWERTY keyboard. The Volume rocker and the shutter key are present at the right side of the phone on a metal strip. The top of the phone has the micro-USB port, the audio jack and the power button. It’s really irritating to open the micro-USB flap cover and it requires long nails to pry it open.
The slider is well built
The QWERTY keypad is the major feature of this phone and it’s not at all disappointing. They keys are all backlit and it’s designed to provide a good grip for the user. The keys are well spaced and are really comfortable to use if one has normal-sized fingers. And when the user slides out the keypad the screen orientation changes automatically. Lastly the sliding mechanism works perfectly, is snappy and there is no need to worry about it coming apart during normal use.
The Xperia Mini Pro comes with a 3-inch screen with a display resolution of 320x480 pixels which has a scratch resistant glass. The display is powered by something called the Bravia Mobile Engine which gives the user a richer and better experience when viewing images and videos. This feature can also be disabled. The top corners of the screen have the proximity and light sensors which work perfectly and the secondary camera has a far better placement than the Neo V, which frankly I found to be like a giant eye.
Xperia Mini Pro has a customized UI with launcher similar to the one in Xperia Arc. And it certainly does manage to impress the ones who look for eye candy. The animations and transitions are beautifully done. There are four folder-like tabs where one can place shortcuts to apps.
There is no Mediascape application but there is Timescape which I am not impressed with as I found it to be a bit buggy and cluttered. The Timescape widget shows tweets, messages, missed calls and Facebook posts. But when you try to click on a post it opens up the post/tweet in the browser rather than just showing it completely. The phone goes into an overview mode when you pinch zoom it. You will be treated to floating widgets and that looks really neat. Contacts are pretty neat and organised and you will be able to see your contact’s Facebook pictures and interests. Also you can create a shortcut to a contact and put on your home screen. There is no smart dialer so I suggest you give Go Contacts a shot.
Messaging app is simple and Sony Ericsson didn’t do much to the messaging application and everything is more or less standard Android with some minor UI changes. I really would have loved it if there was some way to blacklist numbers without installing third party apps.
Gallery has some pretty cool animations, like when you pinch zoom on it. Also one can browse his/her Facebook albums, photos and Picassa albums in the gallery. Another neat feature is the Facebook integration thanks to which you can like and comment on the pictures from your gallery.
The phone has a 5 mp camera which is capable of recording videos at 720p resolution. The camera app is pretty basic and simple to use and only has the standard options and thanks to the shutter button on the phone the experience is alright. Overall quality for the pictures is good/average, although I found the ones taken in low light conditions to be pathetic. Here are some test shots.
Image captured from the camera
The music player is simple and easy to use with basic features. It has an equalizer and Sony Ericsson’s so called Infinity button. The infinty button is basically a cool name for a really common feature; it just searches the artist’s name in YouTube and Wikipedia. The sound quality is satisfactory and the given earphones are of average quality, but personally I did have a bit of trouble making it stay in my ears as it kept slipping out.
As for the radio it needs a pair of headphones/earphones to work. As usual the interface is just basic. You can use TrackID and find the current playing song which is pretty cool.
Performance and Benchmarks
Xperia Mini Pro comes with 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU and Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon. I noticed that the phone could handle most of the tasks or apps perfectly although multitasking sometimes did make it lag a bit but at this price range it performs well. Here are the screenshots of the Benchmarks done using LinPack, Quadrant and AnTuTu.
3 inch touchscreen
The Xperia Mini Pro is a great phone to have especially for its compact size and QWERTY keypad. It has got the looks and a long list of features. In short it has *almost* everything an Xperia Arc has packed into a tiny phone. It’s a great deal especially since it has QWERTY, HD video recording, a snappy 1Ghz processor and UI. And as I mentioned earlier this is a really smart purchase option. But if you want to try out the graphic intense games like Shadowgun, Asphalt etc. then this is a bad choice as some of the games are not supported due to the low resolution .
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Reviews written by non-tech2 staff are to be considered as personal opinions based on actual experiences by users themselves. Ratings depicted are purely user based scores and are in no way a reflection on tech2’s own rating mechanism. Tests are conducted by users and their scores are gathered through their own means with no involvement from tech2 in any way.
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