The Sony Xperia neo L is trying to break into an already well-populated market of affordable smartphones that give you a loud bang for your buck. It's a hotly contested game, but the neo L doesn't come unprepared. It has Sony's screen and camera know-how behind its back.
The Sony Xperia neo L is the second revision of the neo design. The biggest change is the screen, which grew to 4 inches, and the OS - the L model launches with Android 4.0 ICS out of the box.
There are some other changes visible on the outside - Sony decided to drop the HDMI port, there are now four hardware buttons under the screen and the hardware shutter key is missing, but that's about it.
On the inside, things are more familiar - the Sony Xperia neo L is based on the same platform as quite a few Sony Ericsson phones - the previous two neos, the Xperia arc, mini, ray, PLAY and so on.
In Froyo times these were flagship specs and when Gingerbread came out, they were relocated to midrange territory. Today, they are even lower than that but the neo L has a couple of aces up its sleeve.
The lack of a dual-core processor might put some people off, but it's really the HDMI port that we miss. It's a real rarity, especially since manufacturers started using MHL instead, but that requires an adapter and it's usually only the higher-end devices that get it.
So, there have been a few omissions, but the Xperia neo L still has quality components like that Reality display and Android Ice Cream Sandwich (a lot of former high-enders and even current models are still - and might remain forever - on Gingerbread).
Jump to the next page where we start to find out just how much Sony heart went into what looks like a Sony Ericsson body.