Sony Ericsson Xperia pro Review

Announced way back at MWC in February, the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro didn't arrive in the stores until the fall.

It’s one of the few phones with physical QWERTY keyboard that ship with Android Gingerbread onboard, and offers all the goodies associated with this year’s Xperia line bests, such as a 480x854 LCD Reality Display, 1GHz processor and 8MP camera with Exmor R sensor.

Did Sony Ericsson succeed in making the case for a physical QWERTY Android in this day and age of giant mobile displays, or will the belated Xperia pro appeal only to the slide-out keyboard fanatics out there? Read on to find out…

In the box:

  • In-ear headset
  • Wall charger
  • 8GB microSD card
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Warranty and information leaflets


You can immediately guess that the Xperia pro is a phone from the first edition of the Xperia line design, as it has three arched Android navigation keys below the display, instead of the semi-circular home button we have now on phones like the Xperia ray and the rest from the summer crop. Here the keys are not as thin as on the Xperia arc, for example, and have a rather shallow travel.

You can compare the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The 3.7” so-called Reality Display sports 480x854 resolution, which makes pixel density pretty good at 265ppi, and the screen is bright enough, with decent visibility outside. The viewing angles are better than on other screens in the Xperia line, like the Xperia arc, but the image still fades quite a bit past the 45 degree tilt. The LCD display sports the Mobile BRAVIA Engine, which pumps the colors and contrast when showing pictures and video for a more vivid picture.

The Xperia pro can be called a looker, especially in the burgundy casing we got, and the chrome-like rim around the keyboard half makes for a stylish contrast. The weight is kept in check at 4.94oz (140g), while the thickness is bearable at 0.53” (13.5mm), considering the side-sliding QWERTY keyboard.

Speaking of the keyboard, it looks great with the well-spaced chiclet keys painted in the color of the casing, and each button seems individually lit in white. The four-row keyboard has a longish space key in the middle, plus a full set of arrow keys, which make it an instant classic. 

The only thing that could use improvement is key travel, which is on the shallow and clicky side. There aren’t any shortcut keys to program on the keyboard, you only get a dedicated browser launch button. There is something called Smart Keyboard in the Settings menu, but it is only to turn on typing mode the second you push open the sliding mechanism.

Pushing the screen half up to reveal the keyboard is fairly easy, yet Sony Ericsson has managed to avoid any overly wobbly feeling. The railing feels sturdy, and the screen half snaps back into place reassuringly with only a slight nudge, aided by the spring-loading mechanism.

Looking around the sides, Sony Ericsson keeps making too small for comfort power/lock keys and the travel is very shallow. The volume rocker on the right is pretty short and narrow, too, and not protruding enough to be operated easily.

On the right we also have a regular microHDMI port, covered with a protective flap, an LED notification light, and a two-stage shutter button, which is a rarity in these days of virtual everything. The camera key is also very small, and so it takes getting used to, just like the power key and the rocker. The microSD card is not hot-swappable, since you have to take out the battery; removing the back cover is very easy once you realize that the dedicated slot for your nails is… the microHDMI port; you just have to remove its flap, and the battery cover peels off in a snap.

Besides the 8MP Exmor R camera module on the back, we also have a front-facer, plus a full suite of sensors, and noise-canceling mikes, so nothing substantial seems to be missing from the Xperia pro, while the overall design impression is quite classy.

Sony Ericsson Xperia pro 360-degrees View:



1. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Why does it get 3 point taken off for small power button and mediocre camera?

3. mukrenol

Posts: 92; Member since: Sep 03, 2011

the camera is actually pretty good it snaps relatively fast and the quality of the picture is presentable and the physical buttons works well when you are feeling your phone in the dark it's a mid range phone but PA likes to compare it with their beloved iphone anything other than an iphone will get points taken off

7. paul5an

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

If you look at the camera compare tool on GSMArena, I think that the camera is actually the best on any Xperia, and may actually surpass the Arc's. Odd to be calling it "mediocre" at the price range. The scoring is dire on many of these mobile sites. It's almost as if price is not a factor and everyone has no problem in spending the £600 on their extortionate iPhone 4 S or something - double the price of this.

10. mukrenol

Posts: 92; Member since: Sep 03, 2011

i own the SEX Pro -____- if you are wondering i DO know how kickass the phone is and love it very very very much >.> it's called midrange device yet i know the quality of this is quite high so i am saying... for it's price $350 canadian it's the best value yet from sony =]

15. UltraElectroMagneticPOP

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

Wow. You own *THE* SEX Pro? How does it feel having her (or him if that is your preference)? Is she really that good? Does she not have any illness since she IS a Pro? Or does being a Pro mean she knows how not to get sick? By the way, I have the SEX Ray. And I am pretty happy with it. Nifty device, this is.

5. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

cuz they dont like it the same way like they dont like the Nokia N9 its just too bad for them

8. paul5an

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

hear hear! The score needs to be for its price range. And the power button is not an issue.

11. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Funny but according to GSMarena the Camera is better the the rest of the Xperia line except the Arc. Hmmmmm. . . somethings fishy. . . I wonder why. . .

14. paul5an

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

Also, look at their Photo Compare Tool - the Pro's camera looks AT LEAST equal to the Arc.

22. terminator5630

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

I agree, this phone is awesome and shouldn't have lost 3 points for a small on/off button and mediocre camera

2. deacz

Posts: 162; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

cuz its not a iphone

4. mukrenol

Posts: 92; Member since: Sep 03, 2011

something that the PA is missing this is a business phone with email support (as the main highlight of the phone) it also comes with the full version of the officesuite pro and it comes with a 8g card (at least in canada) it also has sony bravia engine too... and the camera sensor is Exmor R .... great job pa for missing all those little points... -___-

9. paul5an

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

+ full year subscription to security software

12. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

And add the promised ICS update nxt year. Yeah PA good Job (sarcasm)

6. AKm007

Posts: 108; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

These reviews are getting more and more outrageous. How can a smartphone that does everything and yet be in the mid-range category get only a 7? A poor camera and uncomfortable keys? Most of the mid-range offerings come with 5 mpx cameras which are way worse than this and none of them except the symbian crowd have shutter keys. So your points are moot.

13. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Its because its not an iPhone you see. LOL PA your makin my day. . .

17. paul5an

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

PhoneArena, are you even considering the price bracket at all when reviewing youjr phones! This phone does EVERYTHING that you could want well and to high standards, yet is priced affordably. It also has the added benefit of the excellent keyboard, screen and camera. It's an absolute joke that you give the Neo a greater score and that you even give a PHONE such as the Galaxy W a greater score, even though you said that a PHONE such as the Galaxy W had such a fundamental flaw such as bad call quality.

18. ritzyritz

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

guys but wat abt the battery s it gud enough ......

19. thesniper11

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

Everybody vote for the xperia pro so xda can make a forum for it(Make sure You Have An Account) .php?t=1416406

20. komixy

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 11, 2012

are they selling the pro in ireland?

21. komixy

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 11, 2012

in europe?

23. ttuhou

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

I have had the Xperia Pro for the last year and love it, I think it offers extremely good value for money. I hope Sony keep making a qwerty keyboard device in their range as this one is brilliant if they did I would buy it, especially if it as classy looking and easy to use as this one.
Xperia pro
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 0.32 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.