Sony Ericsson Xperia neo Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia neo Review

The 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.

The 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.

Sony Ericsson Xperia neo 360-degrees View:

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1. Jo unregistered

For that price, the Neo seems like a great phone :)

2. ryq unregistered

geez! i was expecting a better review that this.

3. dara unregistered

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

Posts: 272; Member since: Nov 22, 2009

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

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

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

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

The camera samples in this review are not really good, which is weird since preview pics looked great.

7. Shadders unregistered

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

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

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

...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

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

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

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

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

how does it costs in Malaysia , can someone reply this ?!

26. lin unregistered

13000 but u can get it from 970

17. mayer

Posts: 2; Member since: May 31, 2011

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 ....) PLEASE~

18. mayer

Posts: 2; Member since: May 31, 2011

* different *does slim phone such as arc comfortable to used ? Please give some comments ....

19. Clarkovic

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

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

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

lol this review sucks

22. Raul unregistered

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

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

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

please update your review with android 2.3.4 ...

27. sree unregistered

wht about its audio quality? Have any equilisers or other settings in it?

28. Kalevro

Posts: 56; Member since: Sep 11, 2011

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

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.. ?? Thanks Partha

33. nandakumar

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

how much u paid in dubai?

30. Smoky unregistered

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..
Xperia neo
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 1 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)

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