13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Great value for money,
This review is from: Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro Sim Free Mobile Phone - Black (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Firstly let me just say that xperia pro is NOT upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and it doesn't look this will change. So if ICS is a must for you have to look elsewhere. Sony (PC companion) will encourage you to do it but do yourself a favour and keep the old Gingerbread on otherwise you'll have to send your phone back to Sony's repair centre (that's 3 weeks wait) who will revert the OS to Gingerbread. Yes that's right, they will NOT put ICS on. It's a shame that ICS rollout process is handled so terribly by Sony with even worse customer relations as the phone is excellent with the old system on it...as long as you are willing to experiment with apps that is but more on that later.
OK let's move onto the phone (running on Gingerbread)
It's has been almost a week with xperia pro and so far so good.
I've been with blackberry for almost 3 years and finally decided to leave them because I need more from my phone than just typing and calling (RIM is moving backwards with their product/software development and it's not the same direction I want to go:). Saying that typing and calling are at the top of my requirements list. What this means is that Android experience is new to me. I probably shouldn't count a brief unpleasant experience with HTC Desire S which was terrible, battery lasted half a day of moderate use, unacceptable.
Size and form factor
Out of the box Xperia pro is gorgeous, in black looking very neat and serious although attracting fingerprints a lot (not as badly as HTC Desire S though). Just the right size for me, not too big (S3 / Note) and not too small I can operate it with one hand comfortably which I think is v important. I think this is partially why iphone is so popular (apart from revolutionary marketing); because it's handy. Mobile phone manufacturers are forgetting that mobile phones need to be...mobile, instead they're coming up with bigger and bigger units lasting half a day on battery. Obviously typing is much more comfortable and quicker using landscape mode or slide out keyboard but I can do a lot with one hand i.e. reach every corner of the screen and lock/unlock the phone. Some reviews were complaining about the lock button and I can see why someone can have problems with it since it's quite small and fiddly but I personally don't mind. Yes it could be designed better but hey it's not a deal breaker for me.
USP of this phone and one of the reasons I bought it.
Slide out keyboard works great the sliding motion is firm and smooth, keys are well spaced and a have good grip. Two tinny niggles I have with the keyboard is that letters/digits seem to be printed on keys meaning that they may be prone to wearing out sooner than you wanted them to, and the other is that some additional programmable keys would be very useful i.e. home page button instead of dedicated keyboard language button. Time will show how durable the sliding mechanism is.
One words comes to by mind, gorgeous. Resolution makes text and pictures razor sharp and colours are just right. They are not over saturated like on AMOLED screen which is a good thing to me. Saves eyestrain.
I've done a fair amount of research before I purchased xperia pro as I wanted to make sure that my phone last a day of "normal" use. So, does xperia lasts a day? I'm happy to say it does. I take it off charger at 7am and back at 7pm it shows around 30% during that time I do 3h web browsing / note taking on my way to work, 1h calls, a dozen or so emails being pushed. I would say that the battery last as long as on blackberry 9780 while being a small PC (which blackberry isn't).
My phone came with Gingerbread, but a big sticker on the box said it's ICS upgradable. Unfortunately as I said above it isn't.
I don't know about ICS but Gingerbread in my opinion is terrible. Basically all important things (calling, txt, emails) are not handy. Essential tools are so ineffective and impractical i.e. when you txting previous msgs are hardly visible in preview. Dialer opens on dial pad - seriously, do designers thought customers remember numbers, it should open on last calls or contacts. Thankfully there is Android Market. It took me 3 days to find appropriate apps replacing essential tools that the phone should come with out of the box. There are loads of terrible "time-wasting" apps too. So, instead of my default dialer I have TouchPal, instead Sony's email client I have Google mail, notes; Flicknotes, browser; Dolphin, txt; Gosms pro, JuiceDefender, Liama etc. At some point I started to wonder why people regard Gingerbread as a great system, because I couldn't find one good thing about it. But then it does give you a (bloated with firmware) base for apps so I guess it does the trick. In ideal world I would prefer not to "waste" my time on searching for apps and have a great system out of the box but that's not that easy since everyone wants something different.
Camera is excellent. It's 8MP 4:3 or 6MP 16:9. I prefer the latter. It matches s3 and iphones (and on many occasions Nokia Pureview 808) of this world maybe except missing 1080p recording. Surprisingly good low light performance thanks to Sony's low light sensor. Video recording is 720p, it's smooth which is great. Video plays MP4 up to 720p only so you will need to convert it first. It's a pain but again not a deal breaker
Web surfing is as smooth as silk and as fast as lightning, I'm not even going to compare it to Blackberry. Music coupled with included headphones is great, v clear, much better than in my previous phone Blackberry 9780.
So is this phone perfect? No, it isn't. But no phone really is. It stutters sometimes, and you wanted it to be snappier at times (it may be Android fault in general), it takes time to make the system tailored to your needs but overall it's a great phone and for just under £200 it's a steal.