Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro

Blog Nov 7, 2011

  Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro from £15.32 (24 months, T-Mobile)  www.sonyericsson.comFEATURES ★★★★★  PERFORMANCE ★★★★  EASE OF U

 

 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro

 from £15.32 (24 months, T-Mobile)

 www.sonyericsson.com

FEATURES ★★★★★  PERFORMANCE ★★★★  EASE OF USE ★★★★★  VALUE FOR MONEY ★★★★★ 

One of the biggest complaints about touchscreens is that typing on them is slow and inaccurate. This is because a flat screen offers none of the tactile guidance that a physical keyboard does, so it’s much easier to hit the wrong key.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro has dealt with this problem by providing a slide-out keyboard that’s a pleasure to use. Push it out and the screen will switch from portrait to landscape mode and you can type with ease. The layout is logical, and the matt finish on the keys means your fingers don’t slip about. They can be a bit stiff, but this gives the buttons a definite resistance, so you know for sure when you’ve pressed them. 

The latest release of the Android OS is version 4.0, but we don’t expect to see it on budget phones for some time. This phone runs Android 2.3. There’s a whole bunch of extras that Sony has layered on top, some of which are useful (BBC iPlayer, Adobe Reader, OfficeSuite and an app called Timescape that brings together updates from social-networking updates) and others less so. Some of these can’t be removed, which is a bit annoying, but they don’t take up that much room on the device (30MB of its available 420MB) so there’s still plenty of space for your own add-ons.

There’s a 5-megapixel camera built into the device and we found it took surprisingly good shots. The detail of pictures is high, although the colour loses some vibrancy compared to most of its rivals.

You can get the Xperia Mini Pro for free on a two-year contract for just over £15 per month, which is a total outlay of about £368. This is pretty good value for money considering the overall quality of the phone. If you’d prefer a shorter contract, you can pay £20.42 a month over
18 months, which will cost the same amount overall.

 

VERDICT ★★★★★

 

Smartphones have loads of interesting features, but typing even the shortest messages on a touchscreen can be a chore. By having a physical keyboard that slides out from behind the screen, the Xperia Mini Pro essentially solves the problem outright. The phone has a good hardware specification though the keyboard adds significantly to the weight and bulk of the device. With Android 2.3 installed and some useful (and, unfortunately, not-so-useful) software add-ons, this is a great phone at an attractive price.