Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo preview: First look
The music player is a looker
The music player on the XPERIA Neo is quite similar to the music section of the axed Mediascape app. The interface is laid out in four tabs for the available sorting options: all artists, all tracks, playlists and albums.
If you hit the menu key you’ll get a search shortcut, as well as send and delete options.
The Now Playing screen offers nothing but the standard music controls, shortcuts to the library and the Infinite key, which allows you to quickly look up a song or album on YouTube or Sony Ericsson’s own Play Now arena.
The only available visualization is the album art.
The music fans will appreciate the equalizer: it’s a rich selection of presets.
The XPERIA Neo has an FM radio, you just need to connect the headset to function as the radio antenna.
Premium 8 megapixel sharpshooter
The XPERIA Neo boasts an 8 megapixel snapper accompanied by a single LED flash. Both the Neo and the Arc use an Exmor R backlit sensor which, in theory, provides better low-light images. In reality the advantage of the backlit technology is marginal at best.
The user interface of the Neo’s camera is the same as the Arc’s. You have a bar with five shortcuts to popular features on the right, a bar with the latest captured images on the left and still camera/camcorder switch at the bottom.
The five most used shortcuts allow you to change the camera in use (front/rear), set capturing mode, manage scenes, choose flash mode and change the focus mode (macro, face detection, touch focus, etc).
Upon pressing the menu key you get some extra customizable options like resolution, white balance, geotagging, image stabilization, etc.
The image quality is really good, though we notice considerable corner softness in both left and right, but the image in the center is exceptional. Other disadvantages include geometric distortion and visible purple fringing in high-contrast edges, but we hope those could be fixed with some software fine-tuning from the Sony Ericsson R&D.
Photo quality comparison
We’ve also added the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo to our Photo Compare database. The tool’s page has a quick how to guide.
You will notice that the camera on the XPERIA Neo is pretty much identical to the one on the XPERIA Arc.
HD video recording
The HD video recording is also a really popular feature recently and the XPERIA Neo is doing pretty well with its 30fps. We noticed a few duplicated frames, but still won’t pass any judgments before we try the retail unit.
Other than that, the videos are relatively smooth with excellent colors and resolved detail.
The Neo’s camcorder joins the select few with continuous autofocus. Its approach is the same as on the XPERIA X10: it may take a few seconds to refocus after you reframe instead of fast and constant re-focusing. It’s the better option because the fast re-focusing may ruin the video.
Check out the 720p samples that we captured with the XPERIA Neo.
Alternatively you can download this untouched sample, taken straight from the device.