The Sony Ericsson Xperia neo smartphone, powered by Android Gingerbread 2.3, packs a serious punch considering how light it feels in the hand. With its 8.1-megapixel camera but weighing less than 125g, it is a smartphone that means fun and business simultaneously.
What I mean by that is it has all the power to be a serious business phone, and all the frills to be your personal phone for play.
With its 3.7-inch screen and black and blue tinted body (it is also available in red) and silver sidings it has a very shiny look that almost distracts you from the serious firepower inside. It also contrasts sharply with competitors in the market such as the Apple iPhone 4 and 4S as well as the various HTC devices which are made up of far heavier metal and hard plastic mouldings.
The key selling point of the Xperia neo is of course its 8.1-megapixel camera capable of recording in HD. Users can easily connect their phone to their TV with a HDMI cable and share their videos and photos on the bigger screen. This is also designed to work perfectly on DNLA TVs so all you need to do is connect the smartphone to the wireless network in your house and voila, you can do exactly the same thing without an HDMI cable.
What I liked most about the camera was the sheer scale of the photographs I was able to take and how the camera was able to perform many of the technical tasks you would expect to find on a typical standalone digital camera. A CMOS sensor for example allows you to brighten up pictures that you took in poor light conditions.
Because the controls are on the main camera screen you can easily switch fill flash on or off, to automatic or move to a handy red eye reduction mode.
As an Android-based smartphone the magic happens when you turn on the device and automatically – if you have a Google, Facebook and Twitter account – you can sync up all your contacts and access your networks quickly and easily.
Android (2.3) Gingerbread
3.7 inch, 16,777,216 colour TFT, Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine
Size: 116 x 57 x 13 mm, Weight: 126 grams
Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ MSM8255
Phone memory: Up to 320 MB
Memory card included: 8GB microSD
Sony Ericsson’s TimeScape technology comes in very handy in this regard as it allows you to flip through calls, text messages, tweets, Facebook updates and more without having to go in to the app, just flip away with your finger.
At the top of the device Sony Ericsson has located both the USB/power port and the mini HDMI port on either side of the audio jack which – so long as you don’t confuse one for the other – makes perfect sense in terms of design.
Overall the thing that impressed me most about the sturdy neo was its battery life. The device is theoretically capable of up to 7 hours of talktime and 430 hours on standby. All I can tell you is it never powered out on me once. So top marks for reliability.
Users can switch rapidly to the device’s media centre which gives you easy access to movies, photos and music and I found the player very elegantly designed in terms of form and function.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia neo I found to be a very capable smartphone that has all the firepower you need to do your work and endless possibilities to live your digital lifestyle. A sure fire stocking filler this Christmas.
Xperia neo is from free, on contract and available on prepay from €299.
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