Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Review
Superseding Sony Ericsson Vivaz, Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is the new Android smartphone from Sony Ericsson which has been targeted towards consumers looking for a mid range Android smartphone. Xperia Neo is packed with almost the same features found in Xperia Arc and Xperia Play which includes the Sony Bravia engine and the 8.1 MP camera. But is the phone enticing enough to purchase? Check out our Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo review to know the answer for yourself.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Looks And Design
What immediately attracted our attraction to this phone is the fact that it looks very much similar to that of Xperia Play. The phone is made entirely out of plastic and at dimensions standing at 116 x 57 x 13 mm, the device is quite compact. It weighs just 126 grams. Though the phone is made up of plastic, yet my no means it is a cheap phone. The device is solidly built, but the glossy plastic is easily subjected to scratches and smudges which is a bit hard to clean. The edges of the phone are curved and so is the back, which makes it quite comfortable to grip. Overall the construction of the phone is quite solid and we did not have many complaints, except for the glossy surface which magnets dusts and fingerprints. Xperia Neo by no means is the slimmest phone, but it is quite reasonably sized and gives a robust feeling while being gripped.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Display
Sony Ericsson has packed its high-end phones with good quality, high resolution display and Neo is no exception. Xperia Neo displays a large 3.7 inch screen of 480×854 pixels, which looks sharp and offers a lot of details. The display of Xperia Neo is very much the same as that of Xperia Arc based on Sony Bravia Mobile Engine. The LED backlit display has pleasing colors. The contrast and sunlight legibility is quite good but the viewing angles are quite disappointing. When we viewed the screen at an angle, then the colors got washed out. Though the reality display stands nowhere close to Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen, yet it is one of the better LCDs available in the market and Ericsson’s smartphones will surly benefit from it.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Apps
Ericsson Xperia Neo Android is packed with several interesting applications. There is a music ID service which picks out the track that you are listening through microphone along with a Playnow store through which you can access to high end games and other multimedia contents. We were quite impressed by the LiveWire Manager which allows you to launch a particular application when you plug in charger or Neo headphones. With Office suite app, you can view document files such as Word Excel, PDF and PowerPoint. Thanks to the large screen, you can easily read the documents. The doc viewer is integrated with Gmail application which makes it easy to view attachments. Some of the other applications which you will find in Xperia Neo are as follows:
- Alarm Clock
- Stop Watch
If you feel the need of downloading certain applications, then you can download it for free from the Android market.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Features
Ericsson Xperia Neo runs on Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and there are plans to upgrade Xepria Neo to v4.0. There are five home screens, shortcuts and movable widgets. Android 2.3 Gingerbread brings in a lot of new APIs and extends gaming capabilities of Xperia Neo. Xperia Neo internal memory offers storage of 320MB. There is a 8GB memory card included in the phone. The memory can be increased to 32GB. The 1GHz Scorpion processor helps to carry out operations at ease. The visually customized phonebook can store wide information about all your contacts and can sync multiple accounts. Ericsson Xperia Neo is capable of handling SMS/MMS and emails at ease.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Keyboard
Ericsson Xperia Neo is packed with a virtual on-screen full QWERTY keyboard. In portrait mode, the typing experience was very comfortable. The keys are large and are well-spaced. However, in landscape mode, the keyboard is quite cramped and we had difficulty in typing messages.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Camera Quality
Xperia Neo is packed with a 8MP snapper with a single LED flash. It uses an Exmor R backlit sensor which provides better images during dim lighting conditions. The user interface of the camera is quite good and you get five shortcuts on the right. The shortcuts allows you to change the capturing mode and upon pressing the menu key users get customizable options such as focus mode, geo-tagging and image stabilization.
Xperia Neo boasts of features like face detection and smile shot. The quality of the images is mixed bag. Though there is enough details, yet as compared to Arc, the images were quite subdued. The color rendering is good and the noise levels are quite high. We expected the image quality to be better than that. Xperia Neo also has a front facing camera which helps in video chat.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Video Quality
One of the nice features of Ericsson Xperia Neo is that it is capable of HD video recording at 30fps which is quite steady. The In our tests, the video ran smooth and they are very much the same as that of Xperia Arc. The details are quite good and the noise levels are quite low. But similar to Arc, the staircase effect was quite visible.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Connectivity
The phone has full set of connectivity options with the phone supporting quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band HSPA. Wireless connectivity in the device is enhanced by Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 2.1. However, we would have liked the phone to be equipped with NFC support. One also gets a 3.5mm audio jack and a mini HDMI port which completes the connectivity tally of the device. Surfing the web is great on Xperia Neo and the UI and with Flash 10.1 support, the browser of Neo does a great job. The UI is pretty light and the pages loaded quite fast. Text reflow is supported by the browser.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Multimedia
With an HDMI port and 3.7 inch screen accompanied by the Bravia technology, Xperia Neo is heavy on multimedia aspects. With an 8GB of external memory card, one can store a nice amount of media. The music player of the phone is quite good and a wide range of audio formats are supported. However the lack of dedicated video player app on Xperia Neo is a bit of dampener. The video player only supports 3GP and MP4 videos. There is also an FM radio whose interface is nice and simple and the sound quality of Xperia Neo is quite good. Just like Xperia Play an Arc, the audio quality is excellent.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Accessories
While we unboxed Xperia Neo, we found the phone to be stuffed with the following accessories:
- Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo
- USB Charger
- MicroUSB-to-USB cable
- 8GB microSD card
- HDMI cable
- User Manual
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Battery Life
Battery life of Ericsson Xperia Neo is very basic. After heavy usage, the battery lasted for about 10 hours while more standard use gave us a runtime of around 12 hours.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Release Date
The phone has been released sometimes in March 2011.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Price
Ericsson Xperia Neo price in the USA is approximately $ 300 while price of the phone in India is approximately Rs 15,000.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Disadvantages
Apart from boasting some nice features, Xperia Neo also suffers from certain disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages of the phone are:
- Poor Viewing Angles
- Lack of smartdialing
- No support for DivX/XviD
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Verdict
Ericsson Xperia Neo is a pretty decent smartphone which has impressive specs and nice features. Gingerbread 2.3 worked pretty smoothly and connectivity too is pretty decent. Overall Xperia Neo is a nice smartphone and will not disappoint you.