Review: Sony Xperia Neo V



The story behind the purchase (Read ‘Here's my take on the SE Neo V...’ if you require only the review and nothing else!):
This phone released in India at a time when it was almost 6 months since I started to look for the best mobile that will suit my needs. I had narrowed upon the HTC Incredible S and was waiting for it to come under 20K (my budget).

I had not cared to even look at Sony Ericsson’s mobiles during my 6 months of research as I had a opinion that they were not reliable (in terms of build quality, etc.). One fine day I came across the Neo (not Neo V) in Indiaplaza website and was amazed to see its features... Android 2.3, HD Video, LED flash (for still photos) and HDMI for around 18K! These were precisely my requirements! I didn't buy it then because the Neo model had not launched in India and I realized that the website (Indiaplaza) was selling by buying the mobiles from outside India which meant no Sony India warranty!

After a week Neo V was announced 'quietly' in India. Having noted the features of Neo, I was quite curious to know the features of Neo V. And to my surprise, it had almost the same features of Neo except for a downgraded camera (5MP instead of the 8MP in Neo). Incidentally, when I had gone to a nearby mall, SE was showcasing their new phones and I had the opportunity to try out the mobile. Just in a few minutes of trying it, I had made up my mind to get this phone!!!

Flipkart was selling the mobile for 17.5K pretty much after the announcement and I was just going through the last minute reviews just to make sure that I don’t buy something bad just by curiosity. By that time, started selling it for a mere 15.5K! I couldn't resist... Ordered the mobile by COD on a Saturday and got the mobile on the subsequent Thursday.

Here's my take on the SE Neo V, having used it for around 1 week:
1. Build/Looks: Good. Not Excellent. It's a real beauty by looks (I have a blue-black gradient mobile which contrasts brilliantly with the default blue theme). However, I feel the back cover could have used a different material to avoid the slightly plasticy feel. They should have also come up with a better way to cover the HDMI and the USB ports rather than using cheap flaps that may fall off anytime! However, these are quite small to count as cons.

2. Screen Clarity: One of the best! Coming with a very high resolution of 854 x 480 Pixels and a 264 PPI pixel density (see this link to know about the PPIs of other devices - List of displays by pixel density - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), I don't have to say that they are excellent. They are ONE OF THE BEST OUT THERE!

3. UI/Apps: Excellent. Android and TimeScape have jelled well to give an excellent UI. The 1GHZ processor ensures that there is no delay or snag anywhere during navigation. There are also a lot of Apps that come by default and invariably most of them require Internet connection! There are no games provided by default but I downloaded a couple from Android market and the gameplay experience was good. The inbuilt browser seems to render the WebPages pretty well. Since the S/W is completely customizable, I am not going to go in depth here. But even if you decide not to make many changes to what's given by default, you won't be disappointed!
For those of you who will read a lot of books from your mobile, there is an office suite and an Adobe Reader by default. The latter offers a full screen mode too! However, since the screen size is of WS (16:9 ratio), you may feel that the width is too small in portrait or the height is too small in landscape.

4. Camera: Good. Captured videos (HD) look great! Even in low lights, the video comes out pretty well. However, the still camera seems to be a little inferior (still they are good!), may be because of the lack of Exmor sensor with the images looking good in the phone and not that great when viewed in a large screen. I didn't test the 3D photos in a 3D TV, so can't comment on that. The LED flash is a big plus, because many phones in this price range don’t have both flash as well as HD video recording capability together.

5. Sound Quality: Average. Here's where I was a little disappointed (May be I was expecting a lot!). The phone doesn't come with an in-ear by default; it comes only with a normal headphone. Apart from that, the sound quality is good especially using the Loudspeaker, but I feel that the 'wow!' factor associated with Sony mobiles with respect to music quality is missing because the maximum loudness when listened through earphones (even with the likes of Senheiser) is a little lower than what one would normally expect. Not sure if it's a software or hardware setting but I am hoping that it's a software setting (and the loudness will improve with updates).
A consoling thing in this regard is that sound quality when played from a high quality music source (MP3s coded 192 or more kbps) sounds good, though the 128kbps MP3s sound pretty ordinary. That means if I manage to spend some extra memory space, I could get better sounding music.

Connectivity: Excellent. There are quite a lot of options that the phone provides in terms of connectivity. Charging and data connectivity to PC are through the USB port. There is an HDMI connectivity option (though I haven't used it yet) and wireless connectivity options such as Bluetooth, Wifi and DLNA. In connectivity too, I would rate Neo V to be 'Excellent'. Though the included cables (both USB and HDMI) are short, it should serve the purpose for most of us. There's also a 2 GB micro SD card included which won't be of much use but still I am currently thriving with it as the 16 GB card that I had ordered from the website has not come yet!

Battery: Average. Lot of people complain that the battery is pretty poor, but I would say it is average. The phone by default has very high brightness set (may be to showcase its beauty!) which can be reduced if required for better battery efficiency. It's not fair to ask for all things that the phone provides without consuming power!

1. On prolonged usage (continuously for more than an hour, the upper part of the back cover heats up).
2. No in-ear headphone included.
3. No carry case or pouch included (though there’s a screen guard included by default). The worst thing is that I couldn’t manage to get one in the nearby shops too as the mobile was quite new to the market (I had to adjust with some other mobile’s pouch at the end which doesn’t fit 100%).
4. Since the resolution of the screen is such that width : height is 16 : 9, during messaging or entering data in a webpage, the virtual kepboard blocks almost the entire page. But anyway, working out mathematics and aesthetics, there’s nothing that could have been done and so can’t blame Sony for this!

And now to sum it up, I would say that whatever cons I have mentioned are very insignificant. Maybe some of the features are far superior when compared to mobiles in this price range that the whole expectation increases and hence a few of the features might seem inferior!

The bottom line is that if you want all the features packed in one beautiful body and at a price of around (15.5K to 17K), I would say, go and get the Neo V right now!!! It’s absolutely valuable for the money!

Will post photos and videos shot in Neo V very soon. Hope this is helpful. Please do leave your comments.

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Super Moderator
Staff member
Yeah, add pics, it will make your post look better and also break the monotony of reading. :)

Tanmay Satpathy

Sing Along Samsung
This Phone sports good design. Based on SE Vivaz, it is the replica of one of the yesteryear's best designer phone.

I own this phone. It is an awesome piece of electronics.

Although I have heard about the restarting problem and low picture quality, I personally never faced these issues. The only con is the internal memory which should be at least 512 mb.

Video/Picture quality is superb and a visual treat if you watch it over phone.


Right off the assembly line
Great Review Man... As, It not bundled with Native Xvid/DivX feature, Have u got any suitable Video player for ur Neo V???

Also, R u able use Play/Pause key in wired Headsets, available externally with ur Neo V???


Android Addicted
Its build quality is not so good. I'm facing a problem with side panel (Silver Colour). The panel is loose and its makes cracking noise when I hold it. Any one got this problem with Xperia Neo V?


@vetdrchandan: The warranty is by Dealer/Seller and not by Manufacturer (Sony). I would suggest you to buy it from a trusted website or shop.

@sainath: I agree that the phone has a side panel which causes some noise if you press quite hard. But I feel that the side panel is just for the design perspective and not the actual body. The mobile feels quite solid in my hands.

@baccilus: Not actually. All the apps that you install can be moved to memory card.

@arvindgr: I don't play Divx on my phone. I think the easiest way is to convert it via PC.
Regarding the headset, I use 'Player pro' app for music and I am able to only pause and play the current track by the button provided.
Anyhow, since the headset is not in-ear, I seldom use it.


Gaming Unlimited
@vetdrchandan: The warranty is by Dealer/Seller and not by Manufacturer (Sony). I would suggest you to buy it from a trusted website or shop.

Sorry for bumping the thread but if Dealer gives 1 year warranty , won't he do repair / exchange if anything happens to the phone within 1st year ?
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