Mobile Phone Review Round Up: Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro, Orange Monte Carlo, HP Pre 3, BlackBerry Torch 9810, BlackBerry Torch 9860, Three MiFi Huawei Wireless Modem E586, Orange Stockholm and HTC Evo 3D
Overall, though, the Mini Pro is a likeable little device. Its smaller dimensions set it apart from the competition and its slide-out Qwerty keyboard, although small, is still very useable. The speedy processor also makes it feel very fluid to use and the user interface tweaks Sony Ericsson has added over the top of Android work extremely well.
The camera is poor, however, both for snaps and videos, battery life is short, and the small screen does hamper its usability. As a result, the Mini Pro’s minuscule charms won’t appeal to everyone.
The Orange Monte Carlo is not a phone for playing games or watching video, trick call technology, slick UI and decent battery life it is worth every penny of its asking price. Yes I’d like more system storage, a glass screen and a Cortex CPU but that would make it a £350 phone not a £150 one. Less bloat from Orange would also be very welcome
Alas, despite price cut rumours, hunting down an HP Pre 3 beyond Carphone Warehouse may well be a problem, if experience is anything to go by. The review sample came through Clove Technology – a distributor that, in all the uncertainty, eventually cancelled its Pre 3 order from HP. Even so, the Pre 3 proved to be a decent little smartphone – fast, capable and easy to use. Indeed, it is shame it has no future, as the more competition we have in the smartphone market, the more likely manufacturers are to innovate.
Years ago, we’d have been thrilled by an upgrade.
Going from Nokia’s 3310 to 3330 because we got WAP, from 8910 to 8910i because of the colour screen, or even an N95 to an N95 8GB just for minor improvements.
But times have changed. We don’t want updates – now, consumers demand massive changes, or else what’s the point in signing up to a contract that will probably outlive you just to get your hands on the ‘latest’ handset?
The sad fact is that updates are yesterday’s news, and this isn’t a revolutionary product, merely an evolution ("evolution" being the word RIM uses itself on the marketing literature. That speaks volumes).
If you’re obsessed with the BlackBerry Torch form factor, then we heartily recommend the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and wish you luck. But faced with the choice, we’d take the Bold 9900 anytime.
The only benefit we can see is that this now will make the original 9800 cheaper, so you could get that on a good deal.
Let’s hope Mike Lazaridis and Co up their game by this time next year. Although at this rate, we’ll not get too excited.
It’s a slick package from afar, but using the BlackBerry Torch 9860 after the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation and iPhone 4 feels like going back to 2009.
There’s lots to boast about on this phone, no doubt, but we just can’t recommend it over the rest out there for anyone other than those desperately tied into RIM’s services who want a slick new all-touch experience.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro’s £240 price tag is relatively high in this age of budget-busting Android phones, but you are getting a lot in the package.
Performance is good, the phone’s quick and responsive throughout, with apps installing and opening as fast as they do on today’s high-end, dual core monsters.
The screen is responsive and bright, with text and photos looking sharp.
For the money, you could get a phone with a bigger screen, but there’s nothing else that packs Android 2.3, a QWERTY keyboard and a totally smooth user experience into such a tiny bundle.
The camera is just about good enough for daily use, web browsing is excellent and Sony Ericsson’s user interface is slick and smooth in operation. Plus there’s a physical keyboard.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro pretty much has it all, as long as you can cope with the very compact format
The Three MiFi E586 is a very handy little device, and anyone looking at getting a 3G tablet or laptop should definitely consider it before splashing out on the pricier hardware.
The Orange Stockholm has it strengths, including its low price tag and pocket friendly size. However, the low resolution screen, sluggish processor and abundance of Orange bloatware means that it wouldn’t be our first choice if we were on the hunt for a budget smartphone. In fact, the San Francisco is still a much better phone than this one.
The HTC Evo 3D is clearly a very capable handset, packing-in just about every current key feature, including of course its 3D camera and screen. As such it ranks very highly if you’re simply after a top-spec powerhouse. However, we’re just not wholly convinced. Obviously there’s the plain fact that 3D is a bit of a gimmick, and that the 2D camera quality suffers because of it. The styling and size of the phone also put us off slightly too. And finally we find HTC’s implementation of Android more and more cumbersome, with it refusing to keep things simple. Unless you’re desperate for a fully 3D future there are better alternatives.
Tags: BlackBerry Torch 9810, BlackBerry Torch 9860, HP Pre 3, HTC EVO 3D, Mobile Phone Review, Orange Monte Carlo, Orange Stockholm, Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro, Three MiFi Huawei Wireless Modem E586