Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Review
Following in the footsteps of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Xperia Arc there are many features of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo to make it a worthy choice of mid-price smartphone. Along with a competitive price it boasts a decent camera, screen and functionality.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Specifications
With its distinct curved shape on the top and bottom edge the look of the Xperia Neo will not appeal to everyone, but measuring 57 x 116mm it is a handset that fits neatly into your pocket. It is fairly chunky with a profile of 13mm but this does give it a robust feel and makes it easy to keep hold of.
It has three physical buttons on the front, Menu, Back and Home. In addition there is a front-facing camera as well as light sensors. On top you will find a 3.5 headphone socket, a mini USB port and a mini HDMI port. On the right side of the device is the power button and the volume rocker switch along with a dedicated camera key, always considered a useful feature.
The 3.7 inch LED back-lit LCD capacitive touchscreen with scratch resistant coating has a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels and a pixel density of 265ppi. Thanks to the Sony Ericsson Mobile Bravia Engine technology the result is crisp, clear and bright images and text.
The Li-Ion 1500mAh battery life is good, lasting between 8 and 10 hours of general usage, including media and Internet connection, if you limit the use of your phone to less draining tasks you may get up to 12 hours operational time before needing to re-charge.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread giving a good overall user experience. There is also plenty of scope to personalise your phone with five Home screens, a wide selection of widgets and the ability to organise your icons into folders. The Notifications Bar at the top of your screen is another feature which enhances the user experience. By dragging this down you can keep up with all your latest email and text messages. When it comes to you sending messages the QWERTY keypad of the Xperia Neo is adequate and reasonably well spaced and as you would expect can be used in both portrait and landscape mode. The Android operating platform does have a Sony Ericsson User Interface on top which has some additional features such as a handy dock at the bottom of the screen to house your most commonly opened apps but it does not over complicate operations. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo comes with Google Maps as you would expect but there are few pre-loaded apps. There is of course a wealth of apps available from Google Play but it does mean you have to buy them.
The Xperia Neo is powered by a 1GHz single core processor with 512MB RAM which in the days of dual and quad-core processors does feel a little dated. However the Neo is able to run apps and games without faltering. The Neo does lack internal storage as only 320MB remains available to the user. There is a micro-SD card slot though so this can be expanded by up to 32GB.
The Xperia Neo is equipped with an 8 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor camera with a powerful flash which captures images of excellent quality. This technology allows you to capture images with bright and bold colours and the quality is maintained when using the camera in low-light even without using the flash. Pictures taken in direct sunlight or very bright conditions did suffer a little colour wash. The downside to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is the lack of features available to use with the camera. You are able to crop and rotate a picture but if you want more options you will need to search Google Play for the appropriate app. The rear mounted 8 megapixel camera on the Xperia Neo is also capable of recording 720p high definition video. With this function there are a few more features available, such as the option to choose Sports mode or Night mode and there are three different settings for focus. Thanks to the mini-HDMI port you can view your videos on a bigger screen and fully benefit from the experience.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Price
If you are looking to recycle your phone and upgrade to a mid-range smartphone you could do worse than the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo. You can buy one for around £300 on a Pay As You Go deal or you can get one at no cost as part of a 24 month contract. These start at approximately £26 per month but prices do vary.