Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro review
|Review: August 2011|
In a nutshell: The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro is a compact yet powerful smartphone with the convenience of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini, the Xperia Mini Pro is a super-compact smartphone. It's just two millimetres thicker than the Mini, yet that 2mm gives you the benefit of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It is admittedly about 30% heavier than the Mini, making it feel rather heavy for such a tiny phone, and you may think twice before tucking it into your shirt pocket. But in a bag or trouser pocket it won't feel too burdensome, and you'll certainly feel reassured by its weighty presence. The Mini Pro is a solidly built device and the keyboard slides out smoothly and eagerly. The keys work well, although large-fingered folks may find they're bumping against the upper half of the phone when typing on the top row of keys.
The Mini Pro is an update of the X10 Mini Pro and it fixes virtually all of the faults in that phone. The main faults in the X10 Mini Pro were that the screen was too small and the operating system was outdated and clunky. Well, we're pleased to report that the Mini Pro has an enlarged 3 inch screen with a much higher resolution and better contrast thanks to Sony's Bravia display. And the OS has been updated to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) which sorts out most of the limitations of the older phone. SE have also updated the user interface, and their corner-based UI works well. Up to 16 apps can be placed in expandable folders in the four corners of the home screen, and you'll find a lot of icons and info packed into the notification bar at the top of the screen. The slide-out keyboard is a definite advantage when the screen is this small, and you'll notice the benefits when messaging or updating facebook.
Under the hood, the Mini Pro has hardware that you'd expect on a much more expensive smartphone. There's the powerful 1GHz processor to start, which in combination with a full 512MB of RAM is fast enough to make the phone truly zip along. A generous 320MB of memory is provided too, and you can add up to 32GB of additional memory using the microSD card slot.
A 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, flash and a host of tools such as touch focus and smile detection make the Mini Pro a decent substitute for a compact digital camera, and the ease of uploading images to the web makes a compelling reason to leave your old digicam at home. The video camera can record at HD resolution, and there's also a secondary front-mounted VGA camera for making video calls.
The music experience is also a good one. Popular digital music formats are supported by the music player and there's an FM radio as well. Sony's new xLOUD engine blasts out your music a lot louder than many phones and overall audio quality is surprisingly good for such a tiny device. Call quality is excellent as well.
The internet experience on the Mini Pro is mixed. With fast HSPA or WiFi data access and a nippy processor, pages certainly load quickly, and the WebKit browser is fully featured and supports flash video and games. The capacitive touchscreen supports pan and zoom with two fingers and pages can be easily re-sized to fit on screen. But the limitations of the 3 inch screen size do show, and you might find yourself doing rather too much panning and zooming for comfort. It depends what kind of web pages you frequently access. Certainly you won't find many problems if you restrict yourself to facebook, twitter and youtube. We particularly like the way that facebook is at the heart of the user experience (if you want it to be).
The phone comes with aGPS, which feeds your location into Google Maps. This works very well even on the small screen, and is fast, especially if you're in a 3G zone. The WisePilot Turn-by-Turn navigation software is also supplied, but only as a demo version.
The battery life of the Mini Pro isn't the best, and you may find yourself switching off features like GPS and WiFi when not in use in order to conserve the battery. We think that most users will get two days between charges, but obviously this depends on how you use the phone. Battery life should improve noticeably after the first few charging cycles, and we recommend fully charging and discharging the phone a few times when you first get it.
We like the Mini Pro very much. It's a big improvement over the old X10 Mini Pro. We think the QWERTY keyboard is a very useful feature in a compact smartphone, but it does mean that the phone ends up being quite thick and heavy. Is it too heavy? Well, only you can decide, but it worries us. This factor, plus the less than sparkling battery life and the inherent limitations of making such a small smartphone are the reasons why the Mini Pro gets 4 stars instead of 5.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro features include:
- 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, flash, touch focus, image stabilisation, smile detection and 8x digital zoom
- HD 720p video camera with video light / VGa front-facing camera for video calling
- Display: 16 million colours, TFT touchscreen, 320 x 480 pixels (3 inches) with auto-rotation
- Media player with album art, TrackID, PlayNow and Sony xLOUD engine
- FM radio with RDS
- MP3 / AAC ringtones
- aGPS with Google Maps, geo-tagging and WisePilot Turn-by-Turn navigation software (demo)
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, conversations
- 3D games
- Picture wallpaper
- Personal organiser functions
- Vibration alert
- Internet: web browser, RSS feeds, YouTube, facebook, twitter
- Memory: 320MB with 512MB RAM plus microSD memory card (up to 32GB supported)
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, micro USB, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900) plus 3G UMTS/HSPA (900/1700/2100)
- Size: 92 x 53 x 18 mm
- Weight: 136g
- Battery: 1200mAh
- Talktime: 5.75 hours
- Battery standby: 340 hours
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Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro user reviews
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Average rating from 26 reviews:
Reviewed by Robert from Uk on 31st Aug 2012
Bought this phone about 6 months ago on pay as you go. Wanted a cheap smartphone to use until the new iPhone came out. I was initially happy with the phone, easy to download apps and user friendly. The battery after a few months seemed to get worse though, had to charge twice a day and if I went out with it on a night out it would be out of battery by the end of the night. I know there are some updates you can get that increase the battery life, I had them downloaded. A few months ago the touch screen stopped working, it was constantly pressed on the return button meaning I couldn't text or answer calls. Basically broke. Apart from this it wasn't a bad phone, just annoying the battery life. I wouldn't advise people to get this phone right now as there at better alternatives out for around the same price.
Reviewed by Claire from UK on 23rd Apr 2012
I am actually using my Mini Pro to type this review! I have had a myriad of different smartphones over the past 12 months - HTC Desire S, Nokia E5, iPhone 3GS and a Samsung Galaxy Ace too, and this little beauty tops them all! I don't know why everyone expects anything more than 2 days out of a smartphone these days, but to me the battery life isn't as dire as it comes across in some reviews. As long as you charge fully and discharge a few times as the beginning, you'll get the most out of it. The power in this little beast is incredible, it's fast, smooth and very responsive. Very happy to go back to Sony Ericsson after all this time.
Reviewed by shentog from UK on 19th Apr 2012
just bought this phone recently as don't like a phone without a keyboard for texting. I find touch screens overly sensitive for quick texts and the mini pro's keyboard solves that problem wonderfully.The battery life is not great but it's not bad either. I like the size and weight ..it feels as though it is hardy and won't break easily.It does evrythinh I need it to do and was reasonably priced.
Reviewed by aka from indonesia on 4th Apr 2012
I have the phone for 3 months with no issue...
It's awesome and powerfull.. Yeah, it's heavier than i expected, but that's ok..
the 5 mp camera isn't so good, lack of detail..
Reviewed by Simon from England on 21st Mar 2012
The mini pro is an outstanding phone, I've had mine for six months now and it is faultless, battery time is OK although I tend to charge it every night just to be sure. Camera is awesome. It is solidly built but not at all chunky.
Reviewed by Kelly from UK on 16th Mar 2012
I have been looking for a phone that would do everything i needed but be small enough to fit in my pocket, the Mini Pro is that phone.
I have used the phone for 3 weeks now and i have no issues with it, i went into the purchase knowing the battery life was not going to be great, but i can get 48hrs from my phone on general use.
The bottom line is, if you need a keyboard then this phone is ideal.
Reviewed by BOPOHA from UK on 1st Mar 2012
Worst phone ever. Looking for the new phone dreaming of hitting this censored gadget against the wall till all it's insides are out :)
It hangs 5 times a day, it disconnects from your google account (making it impossible to download any apps), keeps disconnected after all restarts and resets, btw... It restarts sometimes, when you don't know abut it. For example, in the middle of your phone talk, or when you write a text, or... basically anytime.
It opens messaging for about 20 seconds (screen turns off twice while the programme loads). If you think 20 seconds is nothing, try to check time with your watch.
It's screen doesn't react on my touches until I wet fingers (general problem with capasitive screens).
But main problems - it is EXTREMELY slow and unreliable.
Never again! My second Sony Ericsson... And it is the last one for sure.
Reply by james from Thailand on 13th
Very likely you have an SD card problem that is causing all of those annoying things to happen. Format your card on your phone and try it again (or, you may have to replace your card).
Reviewed by sam sung from thailand on 29th Feb
da'hello everyone this phone is very good !
Reviewed by Nick C. from England, UK. on 14th
This is quite possibly the most loveable and joyful phone I have ever used (and over the years i have had them all. everything from all iPhones, to several HTC's also the more rare such as Palm Treo Pro. I am so pleased that I returned to android, and even more pleased that I chose the Xperia mini pro. It is fast, responsive, call quality and signal strength are outstanding. Love the form factor > it just sort of feels really right !!!! (well to me that is) as for the battery ...... well at the end of the day this is a smartphone, and a damn good one to boot. If you keep it charged then you will never fall too short. mine is in white, and looks Uber cool. highly recommended+++++ go get one, you will be delighted : )
Reviewed by anonymous from timbuc2 on 28th Jan
had it a month and it is brilliant. cant seem to get off it with the amount of games available and flash support allows you to watch football etc
Reviewed by Andy T from UK on 27th Jan 2012
This phone is a massive improvement over the old x10 mini pro, it seems like they have taken out everything that was bad about it and totally revamped the whole phone. Battery life is great, I can easily get 2 days of general use out of it even when I play a few games, Facebook a bit make calls and send/receive texts and emails, even use the GPS, one trick I use is either put the phone on airplane mode or turn off when i go to bed......simples...... The 5mp camera is fantastic as well with lots of options, video is also good recording at 720p and with an editing tool as well. Screen size is great as it support multi-touch so surfing the net is a breeze. Calls are clear and don't drop out, texting/emails is wicked as you can choose from 3 types of keyboard to use, either portrait, landscape or the slide out qwerty keyboard. As for the review on the sound issue on the video recording, yes there is a slight piping sound on the playback but only if you listen very closely and this sound doesn't appear when you download to a PC or share it on Facebook or Youtube. Just a quick moan on the on the 1 star reviewers, don't like small screens then don't buy a small phone, if screen-lock kicks in after 3 seconds then simply change the default lock-out time, can i simply suggest to everyone just sit down and either read your manual or take the time to learn how to use the phone properly, after all it is a smartphone. All in all this is an awesome phone for the size and price tag
Reply by Atul from India on 28th Jul
Yes i agree with you , many people keep wifi,bluetooth,3g services on all day long even when they are not using it and complains battery backup is poor . keep screen brightness low in indoors and in night .
Reviewed by lee from uk on 17th Jan 2012
outstanding little phone
Reviewed by LUKE from wales on 14th Jan 2012
ok where do i start after having 4 of these replaced !.... the phone in looks itself is fantastic,and so is the keyboard but the screen size really needs to be 3.5inch to be fully useable,otherwise you will be squinting to read things on the screen, the biggest flaw with the phone is the signal bar ... mine read 2 bars and shown the network but would not recieve an incoming calls (it went to answerphone each time) it also would not recieve txts, but as soon as i hit 3-4 bars everything worked fine in regards to incoming calls and txts....i know that with the network im on,the very best signal (in bars)any of my phones had was 2 max on a good day this phone was showing all bars most of the time but never worked on 2 bars , so a big fault there somewhere!!!... the screen gave me all of 3 seconds to see what was on the screen be4 keylock kicked in, battery was not good at all, loud speaker with xbass etc was very very poor unlike other phones (ie se arc and samsung galaxy2) that ive owned and not very loud as se claimed, no buzzing through the headset tho, so se have sorted that, to be honested i took this phone back for the 4th time and exchanged it for the samsung galaxy ace which is a much better phone all together and a few quide cheaper so top marks to Samsung but ZERO to sonyericsson (yet another problem mobile phone provided by Sonyericsson)
Reviewed by Sherif from Egypt on 10th Dec 2011
As with all teenagers, my daughter was a "texting addict" with her blackberry until her phone fell into pieces. We went hunting for a new phone, one with a full sliding keyboard. Choices were limited but she finally opted for the Xperia mini pro. She is extremely happy with it. Great touchscreen, although a little small to my taste. The SE interface makes it fully customizable too. Incredible music player. Her ipod is now left in the drawer. Very good HD camera and video. Only letdown; bad battery life. Barely completes the day. Overall excellent choice. I am now thinking of replacing my old Nokia 5800 EM with the Xperia Ray.
Reviewed by George from UK on 2nd Dec 2011
Couldn't get much better. SE have returned to form with the Mini Pro. Best features: smooth typing qwerty pad, solid sliding, accurate touch sensitivity, android gingerbread, easy to sync contacts with facebook etc, easy to manage data connections so you know its not eating up your data plan, really smooth web surfing, social networking and media streaming. Music player works great. Easy keyboard great for messaging or office use. Menu navigation simple. Clear notifications. Retro pager feel. My first android and ive settled in nice and well. Glad I didnt resort to wildfire s. Heard lots of horror stories with that and none with this. Super fast, no lag. Had it a month and hasn't crashed once. Downsides: little over eager auto rotate when texting lying down. Sounds daft but really annoying however it can be switched off so I dont really know why I mentioned it. Unable to get it unlocked anywhere... Yet. So be prepared to stay on network you bought it on for time being. And yes... The battery life. But not as bad as I thought. I was used to charging every three days but this has to be charged every night. Only ever ran out in middle of day once. But I was pushing it playing games and watching iPlayer with WiFi and data on full blast. Normal usage (bit of WiFi here, bit of data there) and you will get through the day no problem. Also everyone seems to have the mini USB charger now so just give it a top up at yer mates house. If you keep on top of connections and screen brightness using the onboard battery usage meter, you'll be laughing. Anyway, trust an established brand like Sony or Nokia not HTC because HTC just so happens to be a crane company just off t'meadowhall junction near Sheffield. Did I mention it has a torch?
Reviewed by David from Wigan on 28th Nov 2011
Got this phone on a good deal from t mobile,and its exceeded my expectations,after having an n86 crashing and freezing on me for nearly two years,replacing it with a samsung genio(incredibly basic phone) and then this.it seems sony ericsson with googles software have finally stepped up to the mark they used to be on,the processor really is fast,everyone says its a nippy little phone,i agree,the size means it isn't too big to fit in your jeans,that keyboard is just delightful,but as above every so often your fingers do collide with the top of the screen,ruining your momentum.everything is fast and on par with all the latest phones,especially with launcherpro helping.only problem is battery life,it seems to drink the battery at the worst moments,a few days ago I tried my best to drain it,bluetooth wifi everything on brightness up,youtube facebook etc. And it ran out in less than 4 hours.thats nothing when I need it for at least 7 hours every day.when sensible and applying a few apps to help manage this,it does improve but its still bad,havingn aroung 40% after 6 hours meaning I have to then put it on charge 2-3 times a day.....battery is disappointing but still a cracking little phone
Reviewed by Sooraj from India on 21st Oct 2011
I have this phone...itz amazing android smartphone..small,fast,user friendly...having hd quality picture and videos...videos and pictures are more attractive than seen in my vaio laptop...if we switch off bluetooth or WiFi after it use we can maintain battery life more than 2 days....sound quality also better....no problem in itz loudspeaker but consume more battery power than we hear sound using headset....more attractive application from android market...hd camera images & videos...like it.....
Reviewed by XzNOISYzX from england on 9th Oct
This phone is pure class,with wifi,bluetooth,googlemaps, a 5 meg camera and qwerty keyboard this thing is a superfast texting android phone.My rating 5 out of 5 this is an outstading phone.
Reviewed by sharon from uk on 8th Oct 2011
I have had this phone a week and love it !! Its fast internet is great. The battery life i have found very good getting an average 2 days out of it.I found the trick was charge till 100% then take battery out then back in the put on charge again makes a big difference. Not found any issues with and i use it all the time.
Reviewed by idris from india on 2nd Oct 2011
very very nice mobile.smarter and slim,but any whey very beautiful phone
Reviewed by David from UK on 26th Sep 2011
I am a big fan of the 'smaller' smartphone concept. Don't want a 4.3 incher bulging out of my pocket! I had the old 'x10 mini' but this phone improves on it in every way. The extra screen size makes it much more easy to use. 1Ghz processor suits the phone and it zips along. People say the battery life is poor but I don't know any smartphone with good battery life, it actually seems a bit better than my old x10. Seems well put together and chunky, which i like. I would give it 5 stars as for £200 it is a bit of a bargain BUT for some reason you can't use Windows Media Player to drag and drop music, SE forces you to use its slow software. I have taken a star off for this.
Reviewed by Dave from England on 6th Sep 2011
I commented on this phone earlier and just want to comment it does have a fault on alot of the handsets and a major phone company in the UK has quarantined the handsets until the problem is resolved. I first read online that they stopped selling them at this store due to the amount of returns they had, then had it confirmed in store. Like I said earlier, the phone is great but with the electrostatic noise coming from the phone, it has to be addressed before people waste there time in ordering one and sending it back. I will be very happy when the problem is resolved because this is the phone I set my heart on. 5 stars for a working one. 0 stars for a faulty one.
Reviewed by Rob from England on 4th Sep 2011
I myself have the phone and have owned an iphone 3gs and an xperia arc... The phone is stunning in terms of speed at opening apps, yes it uses the same cpu as the Xperia X10 1ghz etc.. but i genuinely urge anyone to give it a quick roadtest instore and they will see what I mean. If I may have one tiny niggle i would say due to the larger surface area the X10 holds a better signal (granted I live in a bad area) but the Mini pro really never puts a foot wrong!!! If battery life to you is an issue then, and as with most android phones just charge on a night. I get a full day with heavy MP3 usage and mobile surfin, not to mention calls. With regards to the comment below (Dave from england) I have had the phone myself now from the 8th August and have had no such issues. So please dont just because yours has an issue go on some mad claim that all do and Sony are some how covering anything up. I record alot of Longboarding Videos in HD when out and about, Its just a great size camera and the cost is quite low incase of any mishaps and have never had any of the issues reported below by dave :-p You sure you were not recording a bee or had the wind whistling past you :-) give the phone a try in the shop and see what you think dont let that awful comment cloud your judgement.. or my thoughts for that matter... give it an instore trial :-P I would mark it four and a half, but seen as we cant give half marks I will for once edge to the 5 rather than the 4...
Reviewed by Dave from England on 3rd Sep 2011
DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE YET. There is a fault with this phone that so far has not been resolved. My girlfriend, her sister and myself have all had one of these phones over the past week and had to send them all back. The main problem is the phone makes a buzzing sound like a electrical fault inside the phone. This sound only comes to your attention when you record a video and the sound can be heard when in playback mode. Sony are keeping quiet so far and said it maybe a software update problem. I tried the update and it didn't work. Wait until they sort this problem out before buying. The phone is great but has a major flaw which needs to be addressed.
Reply by jay from usa on 29th Jul
Dave, you seem to be on a crusade against Sony.
Reviewed by Kevin from England on 31st Aug 2011
I Loved the old X10 Mini Pro, it was my favourite phone for a long time but the small screen size and old Android version eventually made me switch to an Iphone but when I heard about this new version of the phone I quickly swapped it for my iPhone and I must say I'm glad I did, this phone is so good to use, the screen is excellent (not much smaller then the Wildfire S which everyone raves about) but this packs so many more features. The camera is actually incredible and coupled with 720p HD video make it the perfect choice for me. 1ghz CPU is also very good, you won't notice any lag on the phone at all. The thickness of the phone isn't a problem either, you will barely notice it, why do phones need to be paper thin anyway? Overall I am blown away with this phone. ps, I ran the quadrant benchmark app on this phone and a few others including the Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation and HTC Desire S. The Xperia Mini Pro gained a score of 1724, the Galaxy S2 3072, HTC Sensation 1987 and the Desire S managed a mediocre 998 so if you compare the phones based on this, there is only a handful of phones that will beat this phone when it comes to hardware and software but when you think these phones cost twice as much its really not bad.
Reviewed by Khurram from UAE on 31st Aug 2011
This thickness, weight doesn't bother me... I also have a Nokia e6 and mini pro actually feels lighter than my e6...the connectivity and keyboard of mini are top notch...only worry, like you mentioned, is the battery life... I was able to save on that by having 3G off - it would substantially make a difference...that aside, it is a cracking device and I will still give it 5 stars!!!!!!