Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro Android phone (preview)

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro preview: A phone that manages to squeeze a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard into a compact package

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Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro
  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro
  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro
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Pros

  • Compact size with full QWERTY keyboard
  • Full functions and features of Android OS
  • 720p HD video recording

Cons

  • Limited internal memory
  • No Australian availability announced

Bottom Line

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro manages to squeeze a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard into a ridiculously compact package. The XPERIA Mini Pro offers a number of benefits over its predecessor including a larger screen with a higher resolution, a faster processor, and HD video recording.

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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.

Read our comprehensive Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini Pro review, and check out our guide to the best upcoming smartphones in 2011.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

Sony Ericsson is yet to announce Australian pricing or availability for the XPERIA Mini Pro, but will be available globally in "selected markets" from July.

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