Hands on – Xperia Mini and Mini Pro

Hands on   Xperia Mini and Mini Pro

  • Sony Ericsson have taken the original Mini and Mini Pro and given them a dose of steroids. Added is the latest Gingerbread Android OS, a 3″ screen with reality display with BRAVIA engine and 720p video recording. Both have 2.3.2 at present but an update to 2.3.3 for all Xperia models is imminent. I presume this will coincide with the addition of Facebook Inside. Sony Ericsson are aiming these handsets at the lower to mid tier.
  • Hands on   Xperia Mini and Mini Pro

  • With some slight differences the two phones are identical. The obvious difference, as in the older models, is the physical keyboard. The Mini Pro also has a front facing camera, but doesn’t have red eye correction unlike the Mini. Another difference is the placing of the 3.5 mm audio jack, the Mini Pro has it on the top but on the Mini it’s on the bottom. Similarly, the mini usb port (under a cover for both models. I couldn’t see a design need for this difference I have to say.
  • The Mini Pro also has a slightly longer quoted battery life than the Mini (both come with a 1200mah battery), 5hrs 40 mins as opposed to 4hrs 30mins for the Mini.
  • These new phones have kept the homescreen style of the older handsets but this time more than one widget can be added to the screen (if they’ll fit obviously). Also retained are the corner shortcuts, but these have been beefed up to allow 4 icons in each.
  • Hands on   Xperia Mini and Mini Pro

  • As is shown in this picture, widgets can be moved over a corner. This only occurs on that one screen that the widget is activated on.
  • Another feature regarding widgets is what happens if you pinch on the screen on any homescreen.  This brings all the widgets together in one screen. They float around the screen, but very slowly. Touch one of them and you’re taken to that widget or the application behind it. This makes for good use of space, which wouldn’t happen if there was the more traditional homescreen overview.
  • The Mini Pro’s keyboard has four rows of buttons, nicely laid out and not too difficult to use even with my large thumbs. The slide mechanism works very well and clicks into place with a very satisfying noise. The phone is stable on a table top when the slide is opened.
  • It’s good to see that Sony Ericsson are putting camera buttons on their phones. Launching and using the camera is much easier. I would rather use the button than touch the screen to shoot. Though both Minis allow touch shooting and touch focus. The button on the Mini is smaller than that of the Pro. Both are positioned, correctly in my view, towards the bottom of the left side of the handset.
  • Both these phones have a smaller aperture than other SE phones, which should help with low light pictures.
  • I can see these handsets appealing to thoses who want the latest Android experience but in a handy sized package that fits easily in a pocket or bag. The screens are just big enough to use but you can’t fit too many widgets on them. The fact that you can get 16 icons in the corners, helps in this regard.

Want more ? Check out our full gallery for the up-close “Xperiance” 😉