Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro review

A QWERTY Android phone for little typists with little thumbs

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As expected with Android smartphones, you get the full range of Google apps on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro.

This means Calendar support, Gmail, YouTube and Talk included, plus the mighty four-pronged Google Maps app suite, which consists of separate tools for Navigation, latitude, Places and Maps itself.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

Navigate is always the first toy to play with when using a new Android phone, with Google's free sat nav app as superb as ever. It's integrated with the standard Google Maps app incredibly well, enabling you to select your own location as a start point and specify your destination. Then Google does the rest.

For turn-by-turn voice navigation you need the voice data pack, which is a free download from the Android Market. It has everything you need to bin your existing sat nav.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

OfficeSuite gives you the ability to manage and read Word documents, but it'll prompt you to pay for the Pro version if you want editing and file creation abilities on your phone.

Sony Ericsson's Get Games app also includes a home screen widget, which is a rather odd link that simply takes you to the Android Market listing for the promoted titles.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

If you'd like some legitimate music, there are a couple of choices on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro.

Music can be purchased through Sony Ericsson's PlayNow app, where you're able to buy music for a ludicrous £1.50 per track plus a possible mobile data fee. Expensive, yes, but it's good to see Sony Ericsson at least giving users the option of an official MP3 shopping service.

There's also an 'app' representing Sony's Music Unlimited service on the phone, but it's really just a web link to a site with more information, and an encouragement to download the proper app from the Android Market.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

One other interesting Sony Ericsson addition is its Friends' Music & Videos app, which encourages the stalking of your Facebook mates by pulling out all the music and video links people have shared on the social networking site, also letting you read the comments and Like the results.

It's a bit of an odd thing to focus on, that, but probably better than paging through the Android Facebook app.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

There's also a version of the McAfee security suite on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro, giving users access to back-up tools and remote-wiping functions. It even goes so far as to enable you to create a Buddy List of people that can be notified in the event that your phone is stolen.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

We've seen a few people on the internet complaining that this means the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro is therefore full of the sort of "spamware" that bloats many new PCs.

However, what you get here is actually the full McAfee product, registered for use for an entire year, so there won't be any aggressive nagging for credit card details after a month. And it's a useful tool, so we have no complaints at all.

Sony ericsson xperia mini pro review

The collection of PopCap game trailers, Qriocity apps and more are a little less welcome, though. You might want to spend 10 minutes deleting stuff to free up space.