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This is the phone I got bought as a gift for Christmas and I was the one who had recommended it for my family to buy as it is an affordable smartphone.
The Sony Ericson xperia mini pro has a wealth of input options from various on screen keyboards for short messages or the physcial slide out keyboard for typing out longer messages something not seen on models of this price range which retail for around 100 pounds. At the moment I can say that initially it was a truly great phone, the best I had ever had as it has GPS, internet, a suprisingly decent sound quality prior to connecting it to dedicated speakers and it has navigation which can take you to your destination.
Indeed for a long time I would say the only negative was the lack of a printed user manual and the difficulty on knowing exactly how or which on screen type of keyboard is going to appear (varies from small hard to press keys to full size easy to press keys to old school type on screen keyboard where you press once for a, twice for b etc).
However recently after I accidentally reset the phone to factory config the GPS has been unable to locate where it is very well and I can't connect to my networks data roaming, it seems I can only connect to the internet via my home internet connection which is not so useful when part of the reason you bought the phone was for its on the go internet capabilities.
It has to be said that even before these things happened the load time to get from one page to another when using data roaming was quite slow but I don't know if that is just the nature of data roaming or if that is a reflection on a limitation of the phones processor speed.
My review mark may seem a little high however this is because I have adjusted it for how it performed out the box and reflecting that I may have in some way be partially responsible for the loss of some crucial functionality. I can not comment yet on Tesco customer service but I am due to call them soon to see if I can restore functionality to my phone.
The Phone as mentioned briefly above is very pleasing to look at and its probably this and the inclusion of a physical qwerty keyboard which makes me think that this phone is definitely the correct phone for those looking to buy a bottom of the market phone that does not perform too much like a bottom of the market smartphone. Sure its not as fast as an iphone then again its also over 300 pounds less expensive!
I'm not particularly techy, and essentially only use my phone for texting and the odd phone call, but when I decided to upgrade my phone, I decided I wanted a smart phone; mainly so I could use it to identify music I liked in pubs and for the maps/GPS, as I do a lot of home visits on foot or on my bike with work and have a dire sense of direction! My other criteria was that it should have a good camera and could hold a decent amount of music, so I only had to take one thing out with me. I plumped for the Xperia mini pro, and have loved it since the day I got it 6 months ago. It feels very solid and good quality, and even with very frequent use of the slider, it's not shaky at all. The touch screen is fine to use, but I'm much faster with the keyboard. Those who are comfortable with touch screen could probably use the Xperia without the keyboard, but only if you have small fingers, as the screen is fairly small. It is dinky, and fits into my teeniest handbag, still leaving room for keys, money and lipstick. It's incredibly easy and intuitive to work, even on start up, adding and removing apps is simple, as is transferring files to and from your computer. The camera is fantastic. However, to get a decent amount of music on I think you would have put in an extra memory card, which I've been too lazy to do. I can get 2-3 days out of the battery, with moderate use, which is substantially better than I was expecting. The only downside is the screen is quite small, which makes reading some websites quite difficult without a lot of zooming in and moving about. That's only a minor niggle though. Another issue I have is that when I use GPS it seems to be really slow to respond, as are google maps. I can't decide if that is the phone or my internet provider though. Another slightly odd blip was when I first got the phone for the first few days I sometimes couldn't hear people speaking when they phoned me, although they could hear me. This only happened inside, and resolved after a few days, so may have nothing to do with the phone. But if it does happen to you, don't worry! I only use the phone for relatively basic things, and I'm sure it's capable of much more, but I was surprised how easy it is to use, and how much I'm getting into apps! This is the perfect little smart phone for beginners.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini pro is a very small and sexy little moby. It looks good and is very versatile its only downside it is so small it can be remarkably fiddly, infact my husband couldn't use it at all with his larger fingers.
As Android mobiles go it is very well equiped but is already becoming a little outdated. It has two types of text entry either using the on screen keyboard or the slide out qwerty key board that is behind the main mobile body.
The screen is clear and bright with easy touch screen icons etc. Android market is easily available and can be used to find hundres of applications many of them free.
It comes provided with an external memory card which expands the capacity considerably. A universal charger is included and is much needed the extra usage what with the internet and hi resolution games.
Sound quality is excellent and manouvering around the phone is easily done.
One of the included good points is the video tutor that is loaded onto the phone and makes learning the ins and outs a doddle.
The integral camera is very hi quality hi res and simple to use with lots of extra facilities such as automatic flash and zoom.
This is a good phone and camera which is very easy to use but would be better suited to a woman or childs hands.
After the sad demise of my HTC smartphone which my other half dropped under his van then drove over it when he reversed back because he couldn't reach it I needed to find another phone until my contract ends in March next year. After a brief period with a LG GM360 I really wanted another Android phone so I bought this from a friend who received it as an upgrade but is happy with her current HTC Desire so was happy to pass the Sony Xperia Mini Pro on for the cheap price of £110. At the time of this review I've only had the phone for just over 2 weeks so can't comment on how well it will last over time but so far I love it.
This is the new updated version of the Mini Pro my partner had the original Xperia mini pro and I definitely prefer the new one with a 3" screen compared to the original Mini Pros 2.6" screen and now with a 1GHz processor and running Android 2.3 software which is a much needed improvement on the originals skimmed down Android 1.6. There's also now 512MB of internal memory compared to the originals 128MB which like the original can be extended with the use of a Micro SDHC.
The Xperia mini pro is a cute looking phone on this model Sony have done away with the 3 physical buttons at the bottom that the previous model had and replaced it with one home button with two capacitive touch buttons for back and menu this means the glass screen now extends to the bottom of the phone which I think looks nicer than the old version which reminded me of my old Sony slide C903.
The new Xperia Mini Pro is small in size at 92 x 53 x 18mm compared to most smartphones ie an HTC Desire is 119 x 60 x 11.9 mm it's also slightly chunky compared to most mainly due to the slide out Qwerty keyboard which is great for those who aren't willing to give up button bashing for texts or emails but still want a touchscreen as well. I was used to having the touchscreen only on my HTC but I do quite like using the Qwerty keyboard on this the buttons are reasonable sized and the matt finish means your fingers don't slide off and the keys are stiff enough that you've less chance of hitting keys by accident or double pressing keys. The slider action for the keyboard feels quite solid and the phone display automatically changes to landscape when you open it.
The capacitive touchscreen works well it's smooth and responsive allowing you to flick between apps make calls and scroll net pages with a touch unlike my LG which often took several attempts scroll so far this has worked perfectly. This has a Bravia screen and surprisingly has a quite low resolution of 320 x 480 but everything still looks clear and sharp and the colours are good. The screen is quite dark which can be hard to see in bright sunlight although turning the screen up to it's brightest setting helps and given the weather where I live bright sunshine is probably not going to be a major problem most of the time anyway.
There's obviously not as much room on the mini pros screen compared to other smartphones but you can have your favorite apps in the centre and the corner icons on the home screen can be personalised with upto 4 of your favorite apps so everything is there at a touch of the screen. Because of the 1GHZ processor and Android software there's no major problem with lag when running several apps or functions at once which is a huge bonus over the original model.
The one thing I wasn't keen on was the fact there was a fair bit of memory taken up with preloaded apps such as game trials,BBC I player,Adobe Reader and Touchnote some of these you can delete such as the game trials but others are there to stay. Thanks Sony but in the world of Android market I would prefer to choose the junk I put on my phone rather than being stuck with some of your choices which are probably there due to a cash bung from the companies concerned rather than because they are useful.
Call quality on the mini pro is very good and the volume control on the side of the phone is handy for changing the volume during calls. For those that really want to there is a low res front facing camera for video calling or webchat to be honest I've never used this other than to check my make up so can't truthfully comment on it's usability other than it works if you don't have a mirror and want to check in very grainy resolution that you haven't got mascara running down your face!
The main 5MP camera is pretty good for a camera on a mobile there are plenty of settings available and a LED flash helps in darker settings. Although it will never compare with a compact camera it is fine for taking quick snaps and those too good to miss embarrassing pictures of your friends or partner to thoughtfully upload instantly to Facebook so the whole world can see what happened on your night out. One of the nice touches on the mini pro is a dedicated camera button on the side of the phone which makes a nice change from using the front buttons which is the only option on most smartphones although it would have been nice to have a lens cover as well so careless idiots like me have some chance of keeping the lens scratch free.There is also a video function but on the couple of occasions I've tried it so far I've found the video on this to be slightly noisy and grainy but it is good enough for capturing a quick video if needed.
To be honest I only use the music player occasionally if my MP3 player runs out of charge but the music player sounds good and supports MP3 WAV and WMA files and an FM radio. I like the fact the phone has the standard jack for headphones so you can use any headphones you like rather than being stuck with the supplied ones.
Battery life isn't the best but probably due to the small screen it is better than any other smartphone I've owned so far but only beating the HTC by about 1-2 hrs depending on how I use it so not really enough of a difference to buy the mini pro over any other smartphone. As always the battery life depends on how much you use it for calls, how many apps you leave running and whether you spend half the day playing with it!
With WIFI, EDGE and HSPA on the mini pro web browsing is good but it's not as good as on a regular smartphone due to the smaller screen but it is still fast so although browsing for any length of time will drive you mad due to the constant need to zoom everything. It's still handy for a quick Facebook fix or a sly bit of cheating to find the answers to even things up when you're on the losing team at the local pub quiz!
Overall I really like this phone although it is way ahead of the older model I'm still unsure whether it is worth the current £200 for a PAYG compared to the average £120 for the old model but it is a great compact and very capable phone especially if you want the functionality of having a qwerty keyboard as well as a touchscreen.