Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo review: Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 8 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Bright, colourful screen; amazing 8-megapixel camera; 720p video recording; HDMI output.

The Bad Timescape app is still disappointing; casing feels rather cheap.

The Bottom Line The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo offers an excellent screen, superb camera and HDMI output, helping it to stand out from the horde of competing mid-range Android smart phones.

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Following in the footsteps of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Xperia Arc, the Xperia Neo could be seen as the runt of the litter. But thanks to its excellent camera, bright screen and HDMI output, it's hard to dislike this mid-range Android smart phone.

The Neo is available on monthly contracts starting from around £25. You can also pick it up SIM-free for around £370.

Case and screen

In terms of aesthetics, the Neo looks more like the Play than the wafer-thin Arc. It shares the same bulge at the rear, making it easy to hold. From the front, both the Play and Neo look very much alike, although the latter curiously lacks the standard Android 'search' button.

The camera produces great shots and there's a dedicated shutter button, too.

The Neo still has some tricks of its own, though. The two-tone plastic casing has a colour gradient to it, starting off jet black at the top of the phone and then slowly giving way to a hint of metallic blue at the bottom. It's subtle, but lends the device a classy look.

The 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen is a step-down from the Play's 4-inch display and the Arc's 4.2-inch panel, but, in terms of brightness and clarity, it's fantastic. For that, you can probably thanks Sony Ericsson's Mobile Bravia Engine picture-processing technology.

Buttons and camera

The left-hand side of the Neo is completely bare, but Sony Ericsson has crammed in plenty of physical buttons on the right-hand side. You'll find a power button that also serves as the lock key, a volume rocker and a dedicated camera button.

As with the Arc, the Neo's excellent 8-megapixel camera uses an Exmor R CMOS sensor. The end result is that it captures images of impeccable quality, with bright colours, bold contrast and stunning detail -- even in low-light conditions. You may even find that your Neo outclasses your dedicated point-and-shoot digital camera.

Separated at birth? The Neo shares many design similarities with its close sibling, the Play.

Unlike the Play, the Neo is capable of recording 720p high-definition videos. Again, the power of the Exmor R sensor is evident -- videos are smooth and packed with detail.

HDMI port

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Where to Buy

Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo

Part Number: CNETSony Ericsson Xperia Neo

Typical Price: £370.00

See manufacturer website for availability.