Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V is a new phone with a catch as it actually closely resembles the Xperia neo, save for the fact that it runs with an updated version of Android Gingerbread, 2.3.4. Design wise the device is virtually the same, but when it comes to the specs it looks more like a downgrade as the camera now only has 5 megapixels with support for 720p videos on the neo V, while the original Sony Ericsson Xperia neo featured an 8-megapixel snapper.
One of the newer devices that recently rolled out of the Sony Ericsson shed is the Xperia Neo V. Designed to offer high-end like features at a reasonable price, the Neo V could mean serious competition for the likes of Motorola, Spice, among others. Here’s a closer look at the latest handset in the Xperia Smartphone series.
Design The Neo V is the Xperia Pro sans slide out QWERTY keypad The rounded ends gives it a neat “oval” shape, but what didn’t work for us was the rather bulk design and 126g of weight it carries. The Neo V just looks a little odd in the ranks of today’s slim handset configurations. A Mini HDMI and micro USB are located at the top of the device on either side of the 3.5mm handsfree socket. The screen lock/power button and camera activation/shutter release keys are on the left hand side of the handset with the volume rocker in between. Sony Ericsson has removed the ‘Search’ button and stuck to just three physical keys under the 3.7-inch LED Backlit display (480 x 854 pixel resolution). A VGA front facing camera is also present just above the display to the right of the earpiece.
A tag of the plump side
Thankfully, the Neo V features a hot swap memory card slot (up to 32GB cards) under the rear panel. The panel itself, though can be a little tricky to open, so you might want to avoid that task too often. Sony’s Human Curvature design does make the handset slightly easier to grip, though.
Features and Performance Interface With a 1GHz Scorpion processor powering Android’s Gingerbread OS (2.3.4), the Xperia Neo V functions quite well… most of the time. One rather odd circumstance did seem to plague the device though - constant reboots, while using Wi-Fi and then switching the handset to standby. This happened for quite sometime during our testing, but ceased after a while. It seems this particular issue is due to some bug in this particular device, as we weren’t the only ones who came face to face with the Neo V’s Reboot Fairy.
From the Mobile Bravia Engine to Gingerbread, its all there
Other than that, handling was super smooth and even a few slightly heavy games worked without a hitch. On the whole the handset performed quite well with scores not unlike the Xperia Pro. A Linpak Single Thread run gave us a score of 33.97 MFLOPS and ____ in Multi-Thread. The custom UI could use a little tweaking and so can Sony Ericsson’s TimeScape interface, which is definitely due for an overhaul as well.
Media The native music player that Sony Ericsson has customized for the Android UI is quite well balanced for overall audio performance. We were not too thrilled with the bundled handsfree, but with our own set of test earphones we did find a considerable boost in audio quality. EQ presets are provided to help enhance the quality as well, but the difference they make to tone quality is not by large margin. Nevertheless, the fact that they’ve been included is a feather in the Neo’s cap. The Infinity button gives you access to all kinds of information about the track you’re listening to from lyrics to YouTube videos, etc. Sony has also thrown in TrackID for music recognition via the built in FM radio (which might not have had the best interface, but worked like a charm reception-wise) or from external sources.
The Music player has plenty of features, the radios UI could have been better designed
Video codec support is seriously lacking in the Sony Ericsson family, not that the Android Market doesn’t come to its rescue with the likes of MoboPlayer or RockPlayer, but we do believe it’s about time aspect was refreshed to include more format support. The stock player reads MP4, 3GP and WMV video files up to an 800 x 480 resolution.
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