The Xperia Mini has wonderful size when it comes to width and height, but we have to ask: why so thick? The Mini Pro is only slightly thicker despite having a fully-fledged slideout keyboard, so it would have been nice if the keyboard-less Mini was more svelte. Sony Ericsson is clearly going after the pocket- and handbag-conscious demographic here, who might not be all that receptive to the Mini's girth. SE also made some bold claims about the finger-friendliness of the Mini Pro's keyboard, which we were told were backed by usability tests against rival phones. Those trials were isolated to devices "in its size class" (of which there aren't many), but our first response was still very positive, at least once we turned on auto-correct. This will be a matter of personal preference, but we found ourselves enjoying not having to take care of every little slip of the finger. Anyway, settings adjusted appropriately, we bashed away on the Mini Pro rather speedily and would rate it right up there with the BlackBerry Bold 9700 in terms of our typing rapidity. Browser rendering has its flaws, there's a stuttery quality to zooming in and out of a page, but at least it's done quickly and Flash playback seems to work without a hitch.
Update: Hands-on video now embedded after the break!
Additional reporting by Sharif Sakr