The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro is packed with physical and software features that make it one of the finest small Android-powered mobile phones out there today.
Its small screen is obviously a bit of a hindrance if you're into serious media or gaming use, but using it in landscape orientation, as you will the majority of the time thanks to the QWERTY keyboard, makes the Mini Pro feel more spacious than its equally sized regular X10 Mini.
The processor handles everything extremely easily, with even demanding apps like Google's Maps Navigation booting up quickly and zipping around without pause or glitch.
An incredibly fast and responsive handset to use. The capacitive touchscreen responds to the lightest of touches, while the processor shuffles menus and media around with virtually zero lag or glitches.
The hardware itself is rock solid. The QWERTY keyboard gives the phone an impressive extra bit of weight over the X10 Mini, while its chrome edges and backlit keyboard add to the general sense of class.
The keyboard is well thought out. The blue alternate function key enables you to add commas, numbers and special characters while typing, plus the physical left & right cursor keys make text editing a breeze.
The QWERTY keyboard is way easier to type on than the standard, numeric keypad touchscreen of the X10 Mini, but it's still very tight – you'll be pecking away with your thumbnails and not hitting particularly high word-per-minute counts, even if you're not particularly fat-fingered.
The screen, while responsive and bright, is quite low-resolution at 320 x 240 – black text on white backgrounds can look a little poor and harsh on the eyes, especially via the web.
The X10 Mini Pro launched with Android 1.6 and although it's now been updated to Android 2.1 it's still behind the curve compared to most new Android phones launching today.
It is what it is – the very same impressive Android-powered phone as the super little Xperia X10 Mini, only with a well-made QWERTY keyboard underneath it.
The phone itself is much more powerful and responsive than any of the other phones in its entry-level price bracket, so much so that comparing this with the similarly price Vodafone 845 feels quite wrong. The X10 Mini Pro is streets ahead of it.
With such a lack of competing Android QWERTY phones out there on the market, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro is going to have the whole sector to itself, we suspect.
In fact, the Mini Pro feels as fast in use as many of the top-spec phones of today like the HTC Desire, so we can imagine it'll also win over quite a few of the 'enthusiasts' out there as well. It's quite an achievement.
And don't fear the small screen – Sony Ericsson has made a smartphone so user friendly you're in no way hindered. In short, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is quite an impressively powerful and polished phone
The Mini Pro has also aged better than the standard X10 Mini, with the heavier, more solid hardware still feeling impressive in the hand today.
Couple that with the increased functionality of Android 2.1 and the lack of any similar, ultra-compact QWERTY phones on the market, and the Mini Pro is a phone we're still happy to recommend.