We’re live at a lovely Sony Ericsson event via our sister-site SlashGear in foggy-ol-England where we’re being allowed to peek at both the XPERIA mini and the XPERIA mini pro, both of which are planned for release in August of 2011. These phones are essentially the same in specifications save for the full QWERTY keyboard included on the pro. These devices may be tiny, but they’re not the itty bitty fishes that physical smallness of the past would have us believe they’d be – 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chips’ll do that.

They’re both made mostly of plastic, but feel tough and again, not in accordance to past tiny phones, they don’t feel cheap. They do feel a bit on the “plump” side, but they’s small nonetheless. Sony Ericsson has included their own auto-correct software on these devices along with brand new Facebook on XPERIA integration. It works, but whether or not people will find it appealing remains to be seen.

The displays are small in comparison to their motors, 1GHz processors for a 320 x 480 display is an odd combination to be sure. The last version of this phone came packed with a now-tiny 600MHz processor, this new 1GHz blowing its pants off while providing the reasonably speedy experience that choosers of this perhaps well-balanced phone are looking for.

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Then there’s the 4×4 concept. Each of your four hotspot corners now open up to 4 icon spots where you can place whatever you like and have at it at a single tap. It’s basically smooth and utterly intuitive. Have a look at our hands-on video courtesy of our man in the UK, Chris Davies, and enjoy the gallery below, complete with a radically odd comparison between the XPERIAs and the Galaxy S II.

Also see a slightly different view of the situation over on SG.

Sony Ericsson unveils next-generation XPERIA minis

05 May 2011

Introducing two powerful, versatile and compact smartphones

Xperia™ mini – the world’s smallest HD video recording smartphone
Xperia™ mini pro –intuitive fast messaging in a compact smartphone

May 5th, 2011, London – Sony Ericsson unveils the new Xperia™ mini and Xperia™ mini pro, the latest additions to its Xperia™ family. Building on the success of the original mini series, these innovative smartphones come packed full of features, powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor, and run the latest platform of Google’s Android™ – Gingerbread 2.3. Beautifully designed, Xperia™ mini and Xperia™ mini pro both integrate best-in-class imaging and display technology from Sony, including Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine and HD video recording (720p).

The products offer a full multimedia entertainment experience. Xperia™ mini and Xperia™ mini pro enable access to over 150,000 apps on the Android Market™ and has a 3” scratch-resistant, multi-touch glass screen. The improved user interface allows up to 16 apps displayed on the home screen. Facebook inside Xperia™, a feature just announced for the Xperia™ family, provides a unique social media integration.

Xperia™ mini pro brings the optimized slide-out keyboard with smart functionality first seen on the Xperia™ pro to a compact smartphone. A subtle but fast Type & Send functionality eliminates the need to open a dedicated app for each type of message, and Smart Keyboard triggers predictive messaging actions automatically when the user slides out the keyboard. Xperia™ mini pro also comes pre-loaded with Office Suite and McAfee antivirus software, letting consumers manage documents and e-mails instantly and securely while on the move.

Steve Walker, Head of Marketing, Sony Ericsson said, “We wanted to provide consumers even greater choice across the Xperia™ range, while building on the success of the original mini series. These turbo-charged smartphones now contain even more power, enhanced functionality, a larger screen and premium features unique to Sony Ericsson. They are packed full of features, making them a perfect choice for consumers looking for all the benefits of Android and Sony in a beautiful and easy to use compact form factor.”

Sony Ericsson also unveils today a new integration, Facebook inside Xperia™, which will be included in the new Xperia™ mini and mini pro and soon to be available across the wider Xperia™ range. Facebook inside Xperia™ integrates social connections throughout the phone, by making Facebook immediately accessible from the most used areas of the phone such as the picture gallery, music player, phonebook and calendar. As people are becoming increasingly reliant on their smartphones for instant communication, Sony Ericsson is enabling people to ‘like’, share and comment more easily than ever before with Facebook inside Xperia™.

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ mini – Key features

World’s smallest Android™ smartphone with HD video recording
Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine
Place up to 16 apps in the corners of your home screen
Over 150,000 apps on Android Market™
Facebook inside. Keeping your friends closer
Sony Ericsson Xperia™ mini pro – Key features

Ergonomic keyboard and smart functions for fast messaging
HD video and Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine
Synch your email and view office documents safely on the go
Place up to 16 apps in the corners of your home screen
Over 150,000 apps on Android Market™
Sony Ericsson Xperia™ mini pro and Xperia™ mini with HD will be available globally in selected markets from Q3.