We reckon the HTC Desire Z is the current ruler of the Android-Qwerty keyboard roost,
but not for long -- not if Sony Ericsson has its wicked way, anyhow. The Sony
Ericsson Xperia Pro is an Android 2.3 mobile with a full slide-out Qwerty
keyboard, for hammering out emails and texts.
We've already submitted the Xperia Pro to our ruthless preview treatment, but
it's an interesting-looking phone, so we figured we'd throw a photo gallery your
way -- click through the photos above to check out our hands-on snaps with the
The Pro is much like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo (another Android phone
unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona) except it has that pull-out
keyboard loitering around its midriff. But you'll get a 3.7-inch display, an 8-megapixel snapper with flash round the back, and of course Android 2.3 Gingerbread snuggled within.
We had a quick play with the Pro at Sony Ericsson's press conference, and we
were impressed by the design and the slide-out keyboard, which has a generous
gap between each individual key to cut down on mistakes while typing. Fingers
crossed that keyboard stays comfortable after months of hardcore typing action,
and doesn't cause your poor thumbs to explode in a shower of lactic acid.
Sony Ericsson has also stuck a few neat software twists into the Pro. For
instance, there's a dual-pane email application, which shows your mail in two
columns -- one devoted to seeing all your mail in a row, and the other half of
the screen giving you a preview of your email. We found this feature -- and
the whole interface in general -- ran very smoothly, largely thanks to a 1GHz
It could be a great mobile for avid texters, or for business types firing off
dozens of emails every hour. Don't forget to read our in-depth preview, and stay
tuned for a full review.