As the serious, slide-out QWERTY member of the latest Sony Ericsson Xperia handsets, such as the X10 and X8, the Xperia Pro might not be the most exciting of the bunch, but it's still got a lot going for it.

After all, it's essentially a bulked-up Neo with many identical specs, from Android 2.3 to the 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

But it's the physical QWERTY that will make all the difference to some users, so here's our hands-on Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro review, based on a non-final version handset; we'll bring you our full review just as soon as the finished handsets are available.

Sony ericsson xperia pro review

Because of that built-in keyboard, there's quite a bit of bulk to the handset – although it's certainly not as heavy in the hand as the LG Optimus 3D is.

Sony ericsson xperia pro review

The now-familiar Android buttons are all present and correct, with the exception of the search button, which Sony Ericsson seems to not be a fan of.

Sony ericsson xperia pro review

There's a front-facing camera next to the earphone speaker, for video calling and such at a quality of two megapixels.

Sony ericsson xperia pro review

And, of course, a rather better camera on the rear, with 8MP to play with as well as an LED flash.

Sony ericsson xperia pro review

The slide-out QWERTY offers quite a bit of room for tapping out long emails and messages, but it could do with a bit of differentiation between the alphabetic letters and numbers and punctuation; glancing at the keyboard doesn't do you much good if you're searching for a specific character.

Sony ericsson xperia pro review

Sony Ericsson isn't exactly spoiling us with non-QWERTY buttons on the Xperia Pro; there's a camera button, volume slider and lock key, and that's about it. But hey, at least there's a camera button; we've noticed them starting to disappear on other handsets.

When it comes to ports, the Xperia Pro has micro-USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which sits on the side of the handset; we're not in love with this headphone jack placement, we prefer it to sit atop the handset so you don't risk damaging the connectors or besmirching your view of a video with wires.

Sony ericsson xperia pro review