Just as Sony Ericsson announces another set of Xperia Android phones, we get hold of one from earlier in the year. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is here and we’ve dutifully freed it from it’s cardboard prison for a Recombu What’s in the box?-ing.
As well as coming from Sony Ericsson’s Xperia stable of Android phones, the Neo is also part of Sony Ericsson’s GreenHeart range. GreenHeart phones are made from recycled components and feature minimal packaging to help cut down on waste. As you can see, the two manuals above aren’t exactly War and Peace-sized.
Previously, GreenHeart phones have included mid-range efforts like the Cedar and Naite. So the Neo is something of a milestone, being the first GreenHeart phone that could be comfortably labelled a smartphone and the first that runs Android (2.3 Gingerbread) as well.
So the Xperia Neo then is proof that phones don’t have to be low-specced in order to be environmentally friendly; it has a powerful 8.1-megapixel camera that records HD video (at 720p) and an Exmor R light sensor that lets in more natural light for taking snaps in gloomy locations. This is essentially the same camera that’s present in the Xperia Arc smartphone which we reviewed a while back and praised for it’s imaging capabilities.
So before we crack on with our full review, feast ye weary eyes on our hands on pics and see what else you get (or rather don’t get) in the box.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo features a microSD card slot which you can get at without having to remove the battery. Obviously this isn’t the first phone that allows you to do this, but we always appreciate being able to hotswap memory cards. Having to turn a phone off, dig the battery out, put the new card in and wait for your phone to load up again is always a pain.
Like the Xperia Arc and Play, the Neo features Sony Ericsson’s trademark shiny reflective finish. External speaker over there on the left, LED flash to the right of the camera lens cover.
All GreenHeart phones we’ve reviwed before have come with this material sleeping bag case, so we’re pleased to see that the Neo gets one too.
The Neo with it’s 3.7-inch screen and the standard Sony Ericsson three menu keys, opposed to the normal four seen on most other manufacturers Android phones.
All the controls – on/off switch, volume rocker and the camera shutter key – are located down the right hand strip of the Neo.
The camera’s functions are exactly the same as that of the Xperia Arc – when you hold down the shutter key, the Neo waits until the autofocus has done its thing before beeping at you. You then release your finger and voila – a perfectly focussed picture.
As well as tha big 8.1-megapixel camera, the Xperia Neo has a front-facing VGA camera, for video calls and taking mugshots.
All the connections are housed in the top of the phone; the micro USB and mini HDMI are protected by some handy dust covers and sit astride the 3.5mm audio jack.
A standard multi-part USB cable/mains adapter comes included with the Xperia Neo. The included earphones are of the in-ear variety and come with a number of additional rubber buds.
That’s your lot for now – stay tuned for the full review coming soon.