Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro -Review


Xperia™ mini pro specifications

Available colours White Black Pink Turquoise
Size 92.0 x 53.0 x 18.0 mm / 3.6 x 2.1 x 0.7 inches
Weight 136.0 g / 4.8 oz
Screen 320 x 480 pixels (HVGA) / 16,777,216 color TFT /
Platform Android
Memory microSD™ support up to 32GB / Memory card included: 2 GB microSD™ / Phone memory up to 320MB / RAM: 512MB /
* Actual free memory may vary due to phone pre-configuration

Battery performance

Battery performance may vary depending on network conditions and configuration, and phone usage.

Networks Talk time
(up to)
 Standby time
(up to)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 5 hours 40 min    331 hours
UMTS/HSPA 900/2100 5 hours 25 min     340 hours
UMTS HSPA 800/1900/2100 5 hours 25 min 340 hours

GreenHeart™

  • • Eco-smart packaging
  • • GreenHeart™ headset
  • • GreenHeart™ charger

Camera

  • • Aperture – f/2.6
  • • Video stabiliser
  • • Flash / light type – LED
  • • Red-eye reduction
  • • Image stabiliser
  • • Video light
  • • Touch focus
  • • Smile detection
  • • HD video recording (720p)
  • • Front-facing camera (VGA)
  • • Face detection
  • • Auto focus
  • • Digital Zoom – up to 8x
  • • Camera – 5 megapixel

Music

  • • Music tones – MP3, AAC
  • • xLOUD™ Experience
  • • TrackID™ music recognition
  • • PlayNow™
  • • Bluetooth™ stereo (A2DP)

Entertainment

  • • Radio – FM radio with RDS
  • • YouTube™
  • • Video streaming
  • • Media Browser
  • • 3D games

Connectivity

  • • Micro USB support
  • • NeoReader® barcode scanner
  • • Google Maps™ – with Street View
  • • WiFi™
  • • Wisepilot™ turn-by-turn navigation
  • • USB mass storage
  • • Modem
  • • DLNA Certified™
  • • Bluetooth™ technology
  • • aGPS
  • • 3.5 mm audio jack

Communication

  • • Twitter™ – Timescape™ integration
  • • Video-chat ready
  • • Sony Ericsson Timescape™
  • • Noise shield
  • • Google Talk™
  • • Facebook™ application

Design

  • • Keyboard – QWERTY + Onscreen QWERTY and 12 key
  • • Four corner home screen – customizable icons
  • • Touchscreen
  • • Smart Keyboard
  • • Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine

Well that was the list I got from the Sony Ericsson site(I removed a few obvious ones like Android Market).So  I got myself a Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro a few days ago  and by far this is the smartest purchase I have ever done . Xperia Mini Pro has alot of features and shouldn’t not be under-estimated by its small size.  And trust me the display is not so bad as people say it is.Also it does look pretty good with the all black look.  Let’s get into more details .

Phone Package/Boxing

After unboxing I found myself with

  •       Xperia Mini Pro
  •       USB cable/Charger
  •       Instructions
  •       Screen Guard
  •       In ear Earphones
  •       Another Backpanel
  •       2 GB microSD card
  •       Battery

I really didn’t have much trouble with the unboxing part and found that the fact that a screenguard coming along with the product to be really cool and that will save a person the trouble of going around in search of one .  Another thing I like is the USB/Charger (I think this is a Sony Ericsson standard thing) but the idea is really good as it saves up the space and well lesser wires to get untangle .

Design/Construction

Xperia Mini Pro does look like a Xperia X10 mini pro to some extent and there are high chances that people will mistake it for a X10 Mini.

I would call the phone chubby but thats pretty much inevitable considering the fact that this is QWERTY slide out keyboard phone .            

Phone got a dedicated camera button and the volume (up/down)buttons on its right side .

On the top it sports a 3.5 mm audio jack with a mircoUSB port next to it. One thing i have experienced is that it’s really hard to open the USBport or to remove the protective cap . It took alot of tries for me to remove the cap (It gets really frustrating at times ) . And next to the USB port is the power button/lock button.

            

The back of the phone has a 5 mp camera with  LED flash. And on removing the back panel we can see where the SD card is which hot swappable . The phone claims to have a battery life of 331 hours on 2G network and up to 340 hours on 3G with a talk time of around 5 h 40 min.

I can’t comment on wi-fi or 3G as I don’t have both . The phone lasted for around 12-13 hours for me with “normal” usage which includes a constant GPRS connection, 30 mins of arcade games +with background apps like Facebook,Twitter,Gmail etc.

The UI changes to landscape mode the moment the keyboard is slid out . I am not a fan of QWERTY or keys as I have big fingers. But the QWERTY keypad is comfortable for me as they keys are spaced adequately and is really comfortable to type.

The phone has a LED backlit LCD screen with 16 M colour display . Screen has a display of 320 x 480 pixels and is 3 inches. And the screen is scratch proof and supports multi-touch and Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine .BRAVIA Engine does everything that Sony Ericsson promises it will do. It enhances sharpness, increases contrast and saturation and tries to tackle digital noise. Of course, that only works with photos and videos, so you shouldn’t be looking for its effect elsewhere.


User Interface

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 is no Mediascape application  but there is Timescape. I am not impressed by Timescape as I find 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 Facebook/tweet in the browser rather than just showing it completely.

 And the phone goes into an overview mode when you pinch zoom it(or that pinch zoom action on your homescreen) where you will be treated with floating widgets which looks really neat and is something which you can show off to your friends.

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 is simple and Sony Ericsson didn’t do much to the messaging application and everything is more like standard android stuff other than some minor UI changes .Its to type thanks to the QWERTY keypad. Sliding out the keyboard switches the UI orientation into landscape.But I really would loved it if there was some way to blacklist numbers.

Gallery

Gallery has some pretty cool animations, like when you pinch zoom on it. Also one can browse his/her Facebook albums, photos and Picassa pictures in the gallery .And another neat feature is the Facebook integration thanks to which you can like and comment on the pictures from your gallery .

Camera/Video Recording

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. There aren’t much options to mess around with. And thanks to camera button on the phone the experience is ok.Overall quality is good-average and is perfect for your pictures to put on Facebook and twitter.

As for videos ,the phone is pretty fast and responsive .Again there aren’t much options other than the basic ones like Face Detection ,Auto Focus etc .

Media(Video,Music,Radio)

The music player is simple and easy to use with basic features. It has a equalizer and the Sony Ericsson 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.

As for the radio it needs a headphone/earphone to work.Thats fine I guess . As usual the interface is just basic. You can use TrackID and find the current playing song which is pretty cool .

The phone can play only mp4 and WMV files .I really wished they had increased the file formats they supported. To play other files just download an alternative media player from the Android Market as there are many free ones. Sony Ericsson didn’t do anything to the video player and it’s just the standard android one with the very basic controls. As for the video quality I am impressed and it’s absolutely fine . I don’t think the Bravia Engine makes any noticeable difference.

Apps

I got a pretty good number of apps bundled with the phone.

The bundled apps include

Adobe Reader –read PDF files

Application Installer-Searches for apk files on the SD card and offers to install it

AppXtra-Pointless thing. Really don’t know what this does other than offer to install Opera  Mini,Evernote and Imdb

Connected Devices- Shows the devices connected to phone through wi-fi

Data Monitor – Keeps a track of mobile data usage like 3G Watchdog

Extension Search- Opens up Android Market to search for Timescape addons

Friends and Music-Lists all the video links shared by your friends on facebook.

Games by PopCap-Three demo games Peggle,Plants vs. Zombies,Chuzzle

Getapps-Pointless app which lists some applications and opens up the android market

Get games-Same as the pointless app which lists application and redirects you to the Android Market

Moxier Pro- Mail Client with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

Neo Reader – Really simple barcode scanner

OfficeSuite – Reads word files but asks you to buy the pro version to edit

PlayNow Store- Sony Ericcson’s expensive music store

TouchNote-  Allows you to send postcards from pictures taken from your camera or in your gallery there is 1 credit available

WisePilot – GPS navigation

Whats App- Like BBM

YouTube – Really not going to tell what this is.

Performance and Benchmarks

Xperia Mini Pro comes with 1GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon (info from gsmarena ). And thanks to the processor the phone is fast and doesn’t lag .Here are the screenshots of the Benchmarks done using LinPack,Quadrant and AnTuTu. The phone performs as expected and doesn’t not disappoint in terms of performance.

Quadrant -Full Benchmark Result

AnTuTu Results

LinPack Single Thread

Verdict

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 a Xperia Arc has packed into a Xperia X10 Mini Pro . It’s a great deal especially for the QWERTY + HD video recording + snappy 1ghz processor and UI . The price tag of 15.6 k approx is  justified . And as I mentioned earlier this is a really smart purchase option .

Cons:-

* Fat

* A bit heavy

* Small resolution+Screen Size

*The QWERTY keypad is a bit easy to flip out ,so it shakes a bit when you try to make a call(Hard to explain,but this is not a strong point)

*12 hour battery backup(under my normal use)

Pros:-

* 1GHz Processor

* HD recording +front camera

*QWERTY keypad(Really well designed )

*UI(Facebook Integration,Timescape )

*Android 2.3 + for the nice list of apps(bundled)

*Awesome loudspeaker with Xloud

Do give this site a visit. http://www.techwitmagazine.com/

Download this months techwit for more hardware,and security coverage .


22 responses to “Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro -Review

  • gizmofreak

    superb post dude…..really liked it…

  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro -Review « My Life, MyCrap | Sony Xperia

    […] there … Xperia Mini Pro has a customized UI with launcher similar to the one in Xperia …dark69slayer.wordpress.com/…/sony-ericsson-xperia-mini-pro… Google Alerts – xperia mini pro © 2011 Sony Xperia Powered by CTR […]

  • Besty

    I agree the USB port cover is a NIGHTMARE to open, but other than that, I’m really happy with the phone

  • vipul sharma

    Hi good review. This phone is really a beauty. And after lot of research i finally decided to go for this phone. Actually i am dying to get my hands on this machine.

    Now while googling about this phone reviews across the net , i came through a few forums like this one and others , in which this phone has face major criticsm regarding a electrostatic noise it generates while video recording . OK acceptable to me , but i have read it even produces this noise when not doing video recording and when the phone is still . I don’t want to spend 15,000 and then spend my day praying that my cell doesn’t produces some kind of noises.So i am confused like hell.
    So please tell whether you suffered with the same problem?

    Out of so many options available in the market, i found this phone the best one but now i am getting confused after reading all these negative reviews.

    Will you please throw some light on this issue? Did you faced this same problem ?Can you please share whether the newly manufactured phones do have the same issue. Shall i buy this ?

    • Dark69Slayer

      As I had mentioned before I only had two problems with this phone. One is the the small resolution ( some games won’t work) and the small screen.
      I did experience the noise but very rarely. And it doesn’t make any sound when it’s idle. So don’t worry about the static sound.
      If you have any more problems then do tell.
      BTW this phone will mostly get Ice cream sandwich update next year and it did get two major ones till now. So it’s pretty cool.

  • ashwin thomas

    i also own the xperia mini pro……….but i also have had a problem with the keypad shaking a wee bit………just a bit scared….any suggestions?????????

  • Oli

    I do hope you realised that there are more options on the camera if you change from auto to normal. Exposure, macro mode etc. The camera is still a bit rubbish though. If I try and take a picture using flash, it always, without fail, goes yellow.
    Secondly, I’ve been getting major lag issues recently due to the unbearably rubbish FB App. Huge memory hog. Plus the stupid McAfee virus scanner opening 4 seperate apps at once.
    Oh, and half the buttons on my home screen fail to load for 15 seconds or so.
    It’s better than the x10 mini pro I had, which died three weeks after the warranty ended, but still could be improved.
    Just my thoughts.

    • Dark69Slayer

      I did figure that part part out . I was referring to the camera as a standard average user .I don’t use camera much except to take funny sleeping pics of my friends .
      As for facebook – You can try using something like AutoKiller Memory Optimizer .Or root your phone(its easy and one click method is there ) and remove all the junk using titanium backup

  • Monik Peters

    i hv a problem regrdn screen lock it doesnt turns to blacks like the tv… cld u hlp me out to resolve dis fault… thnk u

  • Chewwie

    Hi how do you update the phone to icecream sandwich firmware?? And also do you noeed to connect to the computer to update the phone or can you update the phone wirelessly?? Thanks!! great post btw!!

    • Dark69Slayer

      Its not released.Will be released in June/May time period.
      You can connect your phone to the PC and go Sony PC companion and install it from there. Feel free to ask if you have issues

  • mezbah

    please tell me about READING PDF files (size ranges 10 to 150 MB per file) on this lovely device. Is there any problem reading them easily? I am looking forward to your answer.

  • mezbah

    mmm…are you still using the phone? Is there any problem yet? ….And Can you suggest me a good android phone to read large PDF file without getting the phone lagged? Thanks in advance.

  • Kunal

    Can i save game and apps on sd card??
    i think experia mini pro’s memory little short for 3d games and aaps?

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