Sony Ericsson has come a long way as a handset manufacturer. The latest on its ever burgeoning catalogue is the new Xperia neo. The Xperia neo comes chock full of cutting edge features including the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, which is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. The Xperia neo and Xperia pro were released simultaneously. Although both phones appear identical in terms of technology, they have been tweaked to target two distinct audiences – the Xperia pro is out to woo business users; whereas the Xperia neo has casual and media-centric users in its sights.

The initial impression you get upon laying your hands on the phone is that the Xperia neo is well-designed and has a solid feel. It fits snugly in the hand and is nice to the touch. The plastic back cover might put off a few customers, but it helps to keep the phone weight at a mere 126g. The next thing that catches your eye is the impressive 3.7’, 480 x 854 pixel touch screen. Sony Mobile’s BRAVIA enhancement technology promises a truly invigorating visual experience, and it certainly does not disappoint in that respect, providing crisp images and sufficient detail. Having said that, to call it the consummate visual phone would be an overstatement. Besides the ergonomic design, the touch screen’s sensitivity is also noteworthy. Users will be happy to find the Xperia neo extremely easy to warm up to and use. The phone comes in three colours – midnight blue, red and silver.


The Xperia neo’s Android v2.3 Gingerbread operating system is supported by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 application processor, which promises a smooth, glitch-free and enjoyable user experience.

The 16M TFT capacitative touch screen is a looker. It is intuitive and refreshes with minimal lag time except when it is overburdened with applications. Durability wise, the screen is scratch resistant, as discerning users have come to expect. The absence of a QWERTY keyboard is more than made up for by the user-friendly virtual onscreen keyboard. The Xperia neo really is hard to fault on the usability front.

Another major selling point of the Xperia neo is its killer 8.1 megapixel auto-focus camera which records 720p HD video.  It comes paired with a bright LED flash and is remarkably capable, managing to produce sharp and bright pictures even under the most unfavourable lighting conditions. Besides that, the front-facing 0.3 megapixel VGA camera gives users, particularly business users the added benefit of making video calls.

Sony Ericsson has gone to great lengths to bolster the Xperia neo’s status as the multimedia phone to beat. Sony revealed its latest marketing effort lately – At present, 20 game software giants including Namco, EA and Gameloft are in the midst of developing content for the Xperia neo mobile platform through the Xperia Play app for Androids. To top it all off, Sony will also be releasing a Playstation One (PS One) suite of games for the Xperia neo, featuring classics such as Tekken 3, Final Fantasy 7, Need for Speed and The King of Fighters.

Casual users who do not fit into the hardcore gamer category are not left out either, as the Xperia Neo comes with the usual array of multimedia features including mp3 and video playback as well as access to over 15,000 third party applications for the Android Operating System.

In terms of connectivity, the Xperia neo is as complete as it gets, with support for quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band HSPA with a download speed of up to 7.2 Mbps and upload speed of 5.76 Mbps, Wi-Fi, USB v2.0 and Bluetooth v2.1.

One possible grouch users might have is with the Xperia neo’s audio quality, which is rather lacking. The speakers produce clear sound at low volume, but turn up the volume and users will notice the glaring distortion of sound.

The phone’s 320MB internal memory is unimpressive, but it does support up to 32GB microUSD cards.

The battery provides up to 7 hours of talk time, 400 hours of standby time and 31 hours of music listening time.


Pros and Cons
The Xperia neo is hardly groundbreaking but neither is it designed to be. As a smartphone, the Xperia Neo delivers and then some. Its camera and gaming features will certainly win it many fans too. Fortunately, Sony has managed to keep the Xperia neo’s list of downsides to a bare minimum. Audio quality is certainly not top notch, but it is a highly unlikely deal-breaker. However, the Xperia neo’s slightly steep (albeit justified) price is a potential turnoff.


Some opine that Sony faces an uphill task of staving off its competitors, some of which offer features such as dual core CPUs and 1080p video capability. Even so, the Xperia neo outperforms many of its rivals with its Gingerbread operating system and powerful camera. The Xperia neo excels at doing its job, and it also has enough tricks up its sleeves to make users gravitate towards it.

Close Menu