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.