This is another phone that runs on the Android operating system, which is a good sign to begin with, but that’s also backed up by delicious looks, superior styling and a formidable specification sheet. Indeed, the Xperia Neo comes with a beefy 1GHz processor that allows you to get the best from the many and varied features of the Android OS.
Before you’ve even powered it up though, the first thing to catch your eye is the finish, which is available in Silver, Red or Blue Gradient. The look is one of class and while the phone feels quite chunky when you first pick it up, the device is actually quite svelte a just 13 millimetres thick. Out front there’s a 3.7-inch touchscreen, which boasts excellent colour and clarity.
Once you’ve powered it up, meanwhile, which doesn’t take long thanks to a nippy startup time, it makes for a multitasking powerhouse. The Xperia Neo also carries on where many other Sony Ericsson phones have left off, because it packs a very decent camera inside this relatively small package. You’ll get 8.1- megapixel-picture power from the lens, while inside there’s a mighty Exmor R for mobile image sensor that has won accolades for its overall performance.
Spend some time playing with the camera features alone and you find that this is a device that may well convince you to throw away your point-and-shoot device and make this your prime shooting tool. There’s auto focus, an image stabiliser feature to reduce dodgy shots along with plenty of image-taking assistants including smile detection, face recognition and a geotagging option. The LED flash is blinding too.
Multimedia types will also find that the capacity of shooting full 720p HD video footage works a treat and delivers pretty dependable results for a handset. That too also features the stabilisation treatment, which on a small smartphone like this does actually prove to be more useful than you might think. Of course, Sony Ericsson has also got all of the connectivity options covered too, meaning that footage can also be played back on a big screen telly using the TV-out option.
Elsewhere, you can look forward to enjoying the extremely good web browsing thanks to the proven on-board Android option, there are all of the usual toys such as FM radio, music and games as well as a 3.5mm audio jack. Being an Android phone there are also the acclaimed array of Google options, including Maps and Mail, while you can also boost the performance and flexibility of the Neo by taking a trip to the Android Market for additional apps too.
Admittedly, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is pretty pricey at not far off the £400 mark, although shop around and doubtlessly it can be yours for an awful lot less than that. However, for a solid all-rounder that also offers exceptional call quality too, then this is one of the current smartphones that does justify its rather steep asking price.
About the author: Rob Clymo writes on behalf of Mobile Phone Genie, the independent comparison website for broadband, mobile broadband and smartphones