Sony added a new
egg to the Xperia basket by introducing the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V
(pronounced as 'five'), a successor to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo. The
major change is the lowered price and camera resolution. The phone now
competes in the under Rs. 20,000 segment with the likes of the Samsung
Galaxy S, the LG Optimus Black and the Moto Defy Plus. The resolution is
now 5MP instead of 8MP and hence the name Neo V. Read on more to find
out if it actually outshines its rivals or is it just another rat in the
The review unit that we received was a
gorgeous looking white with all the right curves in the right places
thus making it look attractive. It feels decently light enough at 126
grams and fits comfortably in your palm as well.
The build however
isn't that impressive. The plastic-y finishes attracted scratches quite
easily at the back of the device. There is a constant need to wipe your
fingerprints off the phone at all times, including the shiny plastic on
either side. Opening the battery cover was a task in the first instance
giving you a feeling that you might just drop the phone.
too, we faced a couple of issues. The right side houses the power/lock
button which wasn't that easy to press every time. You also have the
volume rocker located on this side which is again a bit inconvenient to
use in the sense that you don't quite get the button-press feeling. Also
your index fingers can't help but find the camera lens at the rear
while doing so, thereby leaving it imprinted with smudges.
left side is completely clean with no buttons whatsoever. On the top you
have the headphones jack, an HDMI out and a micro USB port. Overall,
the phone is slick in its design and pretty compact to carry around.
device sports a 3.7-inch TFT LCD display on gorilla glass, supporting a
resolution of 854x480 pixels making the images look sharp and crisp.
The display quality is pretty neat and the colours appear quite rich.
The 16:9 aspect ratio ensures that images and videos cover up the entire
display without the interference of the black bars at the top and
bottom. The screen size is perfect enough for a normal pair of hands.
disadvantage however is the fact that the screen is too reflective of
objects in the background, which is quite distracting. Though videos ran
smoothly, the reflective glass is a bit disappointing since it almost
acts as a mirror and you end up seeing more of yourself. But what is
most annoying is the automatic brightness control system that cannot be
disabled. The minimum brightness levels are adjusted automatically. So,
if the image is dark, the device lowers the brightness and for a lighter
colour image, it increases the brightness. As a result, images appear
either too dark or too light.
However, games like Angry Birds and
Fruit Ninja ran quite smoothly and appeared rich and vibrant in terms of
the colours and do more than just adding to the visual pleasure.
The device has a 5MP camera as opposed to the Sony
Ericsson Xperia Neo which boasted of an 8MP camera, but what remains
unchanged is the auto-focus, LED flash and 720p video recording. There's
a 0.3 MP front-facing camera for video chatting. The phone has a
dedicated shutter button on the right side which isn't common these
You don't have to be quite a nerd to figure out the camera
software. The functions are pretty basic and simple. These include
Self-timer, Multiple Scene Modes, Smile Detection, Touch Capture, a
Flash menu, Multiple Resolution modes, Sweep Panorama and 3D Sweep
Panorama. This last feature is of use only if you own a 3D TV.
image quality was decent enough, though being a Sony Ericsson you'd
expect more. The pictures do tend to appear a bit smudged. Colours were
fine overall. The lens however is unable to focus on images that are too
close. Videos in 720p were quite smooth and the auto-focus works well
OS & Interface
The Xperia Neo V runs on Android's
Gingerbread and is very quick and responsive. Sony Ericsson's custom
skin is definitely one of the most chic in the Android fraternity
especially when compared to Samsung, Motorola or LG. There are 5
customisable home screens on the device. You have the Timescape UI which
gives you individual information in the form of cards and it appears
quite stylish. It includes various categories such as All (this compiles
information of all other separate categories into one), Twitter and
Facebook feeds, Messages and Missed calls.
interesting features include the ability to take screenshots while
pressing and holding the power button and selecting the screenshot
option. In case you have too many apps or icons on the home screen, you
can organize them in folders. Just drag and drop the icons on one
another and the screen prompts you for a folder name.
memory, the device has an internal memory of 320MB; a micro SD card slot
inclusive of a 2GB memory card which is expandable up to 32GB.
The Xperia Neo V comes with standard pre-installed
Google apps such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and of course the
Android Market as well. Though currently running on Gingerbread (Android
2.3.4), an Ice-Cream Sandwich update is very much on the cards. There
are quite a few apps that won't be of much use to the user, but they can
You also have TrackID that identifies a song
that's playing around you which eliminates the need to download apps
like Soundhound. There's also the 'Facebook Inside Xperia' function that
syncs all your Facebook information such as contact details and
birthdays of your friends with your phone.
battery life of the device is exceptionally good. It has a 1500 mAh
Li-Po battery. With our daily usage which consisted of browsing the web,
using various apps and watching a couple of videos, the battery lasted
an entire day on a single charge.
What impressed us most was the
signal and call quality of the device. While travelling underground in
the metro, the signal was clear throughout the way barring just a few
places, which was highly satisfactory.
The audio quality of the
phone is very good indeed, both with headphones and on the loudspeaker.
One can make use of the xLOUD setting and further enhance the volume.
The music player displays a large view of the album art and also adjusts
the background colour according to the album art which looks pretty
cool. There's also an in-built FM radio that has a very simple interface
and needless to say, works quite well.
Coming to video playback,
the screen size is the first thing that hits you. There is no dedicated
video player and you need to play your videos via the Gallery App which
only supports the MP4 format. Even if you install third party apps for
viewing in other formats, you're still restricted to the 720p
resolution, since that is the maximum resolution available on the
device. The 16:9 aspect ratio brings some respite since you can view
videos without the black bars interfering.
gone through the device, for a price point of Rs. 17,750, the Xperia
Neo V is definitely worth your money. The best part is that the company
has promised an Ice-Cream Sandwich update for all its phones which keeps
it ahead in the Android league of under Rs. 20,000. The Google Nexus S
and the Samsung Galaxy S would have completely crushed the Neo V but
since they seem ancient already, the device easily takes the cake in its
However, if you can extend your budget by a grand or
two here and there, you might get your hands on the LG Optimus 2X or the
Samsung Galaxy R. But if you're pockets are tight, then the Sony
Ericsson Xperia Neo V is more than just a satisfactory purchase.
Impressive audio quality
Ice-Cream Sandwich upgrade available
Inability to change automatic display brightness
body attracts scratches easily
Average camera performance
of setup: 4
Wow factor: 4
AnTuTu Benchmark Score - 2947
2011 Score - 1124
Quadrant Standard Score - 1393
Pi Score - 1039
Linpack for Android Score:
MFLOPS - 38.193
Multi Thread: MFLOPS - 33.327