Sony Ericsson Xperia pro

Naturally, the Xperia Pro is geared toward a slightly different sort of customer than the Xperia Play. Instead of slide-out gaming controls, it gets a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. That’s simply one of the biggest differentiating factors that makes this smartphone unlike other Xperia devices and increasingly unlike other Android smartphones in general.
As far as the core specs are concerned, you’ll find a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon 1GHz processor to go along with 1GB of internal memory, 3.7-inch 480×854 pixel LED backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen, 512MB RAM, 8MP camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, accelerometer, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine, microSD extension, and front-facing VGA videocall camera. It gets the usual smattering of Stereo FM, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, GPS with aGPS, and HSDPA 7.2 along with HSUPA 5.8.

First Impression:
Not unlike the Google Nexus S, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro has a glossy and smooth plastic exterior. Some people may believe that such a finish feels cheap, but that’s largely a matter of individual preference.
The sliding mechanism for the keyboard feels robust and the three buttons along the bottom are typical of the Xperia line. I’m personally not a fan of these “slim” buttons, but they’re a relatively minor quibble. Performance appears to be improved over earlier Xperia smartphones and the overall size, while not all that compact, is a touch slighter than some of the larger Android “superphones” that have flooded the market.

With the exception of just a handful of handsets, the majority of Android smartphones these days do not have physical keyboards. This will easily be a draw for fans of tactile feedback. The good news is that the QWERTY keyboard on the Xperia pro is quite good.
I still wouldn’t actually want to use it to type out an extensive academic paper or anything like that, but it’s fantastic for e-mail messages, text messages, and even little blog posts. The keys offer a soft surface and they are slightly domed. Coupled with the decent spacing, it’s really easy to type based on feel. It should be noted that the keys are not arranged in a slightly staggered fashion, like how you’d find on a computer keyboard; they’re in a great grid. So, this may take a few getting used to for some folks, but I thought it was pretty great.

To get a sense of the performance of this phone, I ran it through the Quadrant Standard Edition benchmark. The first run through only rendered a score of 1400, but subsequent trials earned scores of 1654 and 1685. That’s a exact step above the Nexus One (1300), but simply below dual-core alternatives like the Atrix (2281).
As far as the network speeds on the Fido network, I used the Speedtest Mobile app. The ping was anywhere from 107ms to 128ms. Download speeds ranged from 5881kbps to 6891kbps, putting it close to the theoretical 7.2Mbps cap on HSDPA. The upload speeds were polite too, ranging from 1089kbps to 1193kbps.

Sony Ericsson is a large company, to be sure, but it’s still not among the top-tier when it comes to Android smartphones. That upper level is probably still held by HTC and Samsung, possibly with an admirable mention to Motorola.
The Xperia pro continues with that kind of tradition. It’s not going to win any awards and it’s not going to floor you with its presentation. What it is going to provide you is a more than adequate Android experience at a sensible price. The 1GHz processor feels dated compared to its current dual core (and soon to be quad core) competition, but it gets the job done.


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