Sony Ericsson Xperia neo Review
Sony Ericsson Xperia neo aims to find the sweet spot between price and functionality, but in a world crowded with Android offerings, will the 3.7-inch screen enhanced with Mobile Bravia technology and an 8.1-megapixel sensor manage to stand out? The Xperia neo comes with a robust connectivity package and the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread, all woven in a curvy rounded body which manages to be elegant in carrying a distinct Sony Ericsson look and feel. Actually, the Xperia neo somewhat resembles the Sony Ericsson Vivaz in terms of design, while in terms of functionality it borrows a lot from the high-end Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. But before we jump into any conclusions, let's take a closer look at the design and performance of this handset.
First and foremost, a 3.7-inch LED-backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels defines the experience on the Xperia neo. Dubbed Reality Display, it comes with Sony's Mobile Bravia engine, which is a software enhancement bringing punchier, more saturated colors to your screen when viewing pictures or video. You can turn it off in the settings menu, but we doubt you would – it offers a noticeable improvement in overall image quality.
You can compare the Sony Ericsson Xperia neo with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The touchscreen is scratch-resistant, but despite that after a couple of days of use our unit surprisingly had the tiniest of scratches. What muds the waters of the generally beautiful colors on the Xperia neo is the below average sunlight legibility and viewing angles of the screen as it lacks in both brightness and proper anti-reflective coating. The tidiest of users will also find themselves wiping the front often - the screen picks up smudges and fingerprints easily.
In terms of design, we have to give it to Sony Ericsson – in a world of uniform-looking slabs, the company manages to retain its unique design and actually build on it. The Xperia neo is a Sony Ericsson handset at heart – brand recognition is instant and that's a good thing. The body is curvy and rounded, fitting well in the hand with its healthy heft of 4.4 ounces (126g). The Xperia neo doesn't run circles around the idea of being the thinnest of thin, but it's not overly bulky either with its 0.51 inches of girth (13mm). We had the silver version of the handset, but it also comes in midnight blue and red leaving you plenty of choice.
A quick run of the buttons reveals three physical keys on the front, a plain left side, a lock button, volume rocker and camera shutter key all on the right. Except for a somewhat hard to press lock key, we had no complaints operating the buttons and we appreciated the camera shutter key – a great addition underlining the photographic ambitions of the Xperia neo.
front also holds a surprisingly large in size VGA camera along with proximity and light sensors, while on the back you can find an 8.1-megapixel auto-focus camera equipped with LED flash. Finally, a 3.5mm headset jack sits on top, encircled by lid-protected microUSB and HDMI ports.
1. Jo (unregistered) posted on 29 Apr 2011, 09:37 1 0
For that price, the Neo seems like a great phone :)
2. ryq (unregistered) posted on 29 Apr 2011, 11:25 0 0
geez! i was expecting a better review that this.
3. dara (unregistered) posted on 29 Apr 2011, 15:58 1 2
oh, i second that. This review is a disgrace, the Neo has all that iphone has, and more, for much lower the price!
yet the iphone gets 9 stars. *pukes*
4. aztaxia12295 posted on 29 Apr 2011, 18:11 2 0
you obviously didn't read the review, or ur a blind android fanboy.
im not an apple fanboy, in fact i like android more than ios, but people like you piss me off.
5. not required (unregistered) posted on 29 Apr 2011, 22:11 1 0
i think, what makes it some what dissappointing is fact that on the phone's preview (not only on this site) they mentioned the good performance of the camera both on still pictures & videos. That is why it was "one" of the most awaited phone of 2011 for some people, including me. Now, after reading the review, I'm thinking of probably getting an i-phone or just get a cheaper andriod smartphone that you cant really expect to do much like the expensive one's.
8. rayjones09 posted on 02 May 2011, 12:55 0 0
Much agreed. I actually like Windows. But it really irritates me when all these people always troll the iPhone at every chance they get, even when the iPhone isn't being spoke of. They're the ones who bring up the comparisons anyway.
6. Cake (unregistered) posted on 30 Apr 2011, 05:30 0 0
The camera samples in this review are not really good, which is weird since preview pics looked great.
7. Shadders (unregistered) posted on 02 May 2011, 11:13 0 0
Can you do a review or post some pics of the xperia arc and xperia neo in the direct sunlight reflexing cause im hesitating to either choose the arc or the neo (my problem is the viewing in direct sunlight)
9. andregabeh87 (unregistered) posted on 02 May 2011, 17:18 0 0
I didn't understand why the huge image quality difference between Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo in low-light conditions since both models have the same camera sensor, right?
12. anaheim (unregistered) posted on 08 May 2011, 08:27 0 0
yeah, i agree. The arc and neo uses basically the SAME parts, but fused into different "shells" -- the arc has a long, flat, and thin shell, while the neo is chunkier and shorter.
So, logic would tell you, that the arc and neo SHOULD have similar performance, right?? And the EXmor-r sensors are soo good, iphone 5 is rumored to be getting a twin-version of it for itself.
I think its either PhoneArena got a "damaged unit" or it is steeply biased against "cheapies" like Neo... bad bad boy, PhoneArena.
10. MysteryE (unregistered) posted on 02 May 2011, 21:51 1 0
...only 3 pages?
I was expecting more in-depth review for this mid-to-high-range Android smartphone from SE, especially in camera quality. Why this phone has a different quality compared to the supposedly same sensor on Arc?
11. a Vivaz owner (unregistered) posted on 07 May 2011, 17:25 0 0
Interesting, the Arc and Neo have the same camera sensors but you still say that Arc's camera is good and Neo's - bad. What a paradox, isn't it?
13. rye (unregistered) posted on 13 May 2011, 20:22 0 0
i hope there will be a validation with regards to the still photo review, gsmarena also gave a disappointing review with the camera, but ironically gave a good one on their preview.
14. not required (unregistered) posted on 14 May 2011, 22:12 0 0
another thing i noticed... when i read the review on the LG Optimus Black particularly on the battery aspect, when they mentioned the battery can last a day on moderate use seems to be a plus on the phone but on Xperia Neo they were disappointed even if can last more than a day but not two days! "We should mention that we used the camera extensively, however, so the average user should be just fine, but two days without a charge seem to be a tough call."
about the camera... both phonearena & gsmarena has disappointing reviews on the camera which makes you think / ask.... did sony ericsson produced a better preview phone of the NEO than its actual retail unit? confusing... ;)
15. pd (unregistered) posted on 17 May 2011, 01:39 0 0
maybe the camera is affected by the color of the phone
both phonearena and gsmarena used the black ones for their preview and used silver and red version of the phone for their review.
(think of the white iphone 4. the camera of white iphone 4 was affected by the color of it that cause its almost 1 year of delay and apple redesigned its camera)
what do you think guys?
16. may (unregistered) posted on 31 May 2011, 10:58 0 0
how does it costs in Malaysia , can someone reply this ?!
26. lin (unregistered) posted on 04 Oct 2011, 11:00 0 0
13000 but u can get it from 970
17. mayer posted on 31 May 2011, 11:12 0 0
should i buy neo or arc ? does both of them have same function ? what is the difference between them ? and neo cost how much in Malaysia,when will it release in Malaysia(can someone check for me please , i can't find any information ....)
18. mayer posted on 31 May 2011, 11:14 0 0
* different *
does slim phone such as arc comfortable to used ? Please give some comments ....
19. Clarkovic posted on 02 Jun 2011, 16:02 0 0
This review does definately stink. I got one and there great...just watched Premier league darts streamed straight to my NEO. All its missing is a stand :)
20. goku (unregistered) posted on 09 Jun 2011, 06:33 0 0
hello! does your neo lag? i just want to know if it is really fluid... and responsive... it would be nice if you could reply.. thanks!!! :D
21. lol (unregistered) posted on 20 Jun 2011, 20:55 0 0
lol this review sucks
22. Raul (unregistered) posted on 23 Aug 2011, 21:40 0 0
Does anyone have issues with the Xperia Neo's gallery? mine just stop showing the folders, I used SEUS in order to fix the problem, but after 2 weeks it happened again. Does anyone have a solution for this issue?? I will appreciate your response!!
24. momoxxen posted on 15 Sep 2011, 23:31 0 0
wow, this really bad review here. i personally play with this phone extensively at the shop nearby few times (more than an hour), and totally love it. the camera works good and the screen is sharp when viewing photos and watching movies thanks to Bravia engine.
the camera works fine too. makes me wonder why they give such a bad reputation here with this biased review. it even works fine under low light condition.
for the price, it cost around RM1000 here in Malaysia for AP set.
i think u guys should try to hold and use it for a while. quite good and feels great on hand despite being 13mm thick.
25. qReza (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 18:52 0 0
please update your review with android 2.3.4 ...
27. sree (unregistered) posted on 08 Oct 2011, 21:51 0 0
wht about its audio quality? Have any equilisers or other settings in it?
28. Kalevro posted on 10 Oct 2011, 14:45 0 0
Front Facing gamera went up to 1.91 mega pixels which is a quite 2 in pda database getting into the 1600x1200
29. partha (unregistered) posted on 14 Oct 2011, 05:21 0 0
Hey guys.. I got this phone a month back.. in Dubai..
I'm still searching for a pouch to secure the phone.. its not available in indian market.. can anyone help me to find one.. ?
Also, I'm loosing all the media file with in a day .. photos and videos are disapperaring from the gallary .. How to get it saved forever.. ??
30. Smoky (unregistered) posted on 16 Oct 2011, 02:56 0 0
Well i'm soon gonna buy a phone confused b/w LG Optimus Black and NEO..What do u guys recommend? i'm looking For powerful Multimedia..and Big Screen..
31. drshehab posted on 29 Oct 2011, 18:01 0 0
i don't agree with u about the camera, i think it is fantastic camera and video recorder.
about the battery life, it looks like any other droid heavy use means one day and charge again, light use, u charge every two days and no other droid do more than that.
32. milomyminpin posted on 01 Jan 2012, 21:11 0 0
i bought this phone a week ago. before that i like to get the samsung galaxy w but i chose this instread coz the price is much lower here in manila.
i realized that this phone is really great! i have some low end android phones just to wet my feet on android experience. this phone is my first 1 ghz midrange phone. and the review here doesn't justify the capability and specifications of xperia neo. first it runs better than my 4th gen ipod touch. the screen resolution quality is pretty much the same. the text on my ebook reader is at par on what i see on my ibook app in my ipod touch. images like photos here are very sharp and nicely presented anf has an edge over the ipod touch. web browsing is pretty fast. i'm using smart network over here.
android market offers so much apps to my heart content. downloaded pulse, huffington post, yahoo mail apps, and among others. my phone handle them without glitz plus the 3.7" screen size is pretty perfect for these apps.
the big plus with xperia neo is it sounds great. it made my ipod touch sounds like a low end mp3 player. i dont put down the ipod. it is great in aesthetics but the inner quality of the products is pretty second rated to sony and samsung. i could tell because i have them before.
the camera is great as well. i purchased the camera zoom fx from android market that completes what i can do with my phone's camera. it produces high quality pics at par with canon point and shoot.
i could say i'm very happy with sony ercisson xperia neo. i wanted to buy the iphone 4s but not anymore even if i have a budget. i rather wait for the next high end phone from sony later this year. for now i'm enjoying my phone pretty much i left my ipod touch at home and carry this with me as my all-around portable device.
34. arifsyed posted on 27 Jul 2012, 16:44 0 0
is there any software that can play 1280*720 pixels movie if so then pls inform me.....