Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo: Media
With the HDMI port, 8MP camera and 3.7-inch screen with Bravia technology, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is especially media and entertainment heavy for a mid-price handset.
With an 8GB external memory card, it can hold a decent amount of media at a time and is easily swapped for a larger card without having to remove the battery. Supported file types are as standard: MP4, WMV, MP3, WMA, WAV and so on.
The music player widget can be placed on any Home screen, making it easy to reach. Any music playing will also leave a notification in the drop-down menu, which will take you to the full player.
There's no cool Cover Flow-esque display here either, with a simple list layout of tunes, whether in portrait or landscape.
The speaker slotted into the back cover towards the bottom is powerfully loud and impressively clear, but badly located and easy to cover with your fingers.
The sound quality is decent on the supplied earphones, but woe betide you if you think you're going to swap them for a different brand, more comfortable pair with a handsfree element, which many mid- and high-end options have these days.
Vocals are lost to the background, and even on the 'normal' setting, the sound seems to float towards you as if you're underwater, something the minimalistic equaliser presets do nothing to help.
A similar fate awaits you when watching videos – dialogue is completely lost to the ether. The only way to fix this issue is to either use 'normal' cans (ie those without a handsfree microphone or controls) or get an adaptor for your buds... and neither is ideal.
Given HTC, Motorola and Samsung models are all OK with third party hands-free kits, we're a little unhappy that Sony Ericsson aren't able to as well.
The video player is easy to access from a Home screen gallery widget, and thanks to the curved form of the chassis, is nice and comfortable to hold while you watch.
The colours, despite the 'Bravia technology' touted by Sony Ericsson, are a little muted on the screen and somewhat grainy, occasionally even a little pixellated, which is disappointing when imagery taken with the camera itself displays so nicely.
The photo gallery is accessed by the same widget, displaying thumbnails to scroll through, with handy controls floating at the bottom of the screen. There's precious little you can do with them, however, in gallery mode. You can't organise into folders and you can't edit past a quick rotate or crop.
A little average in terms of cool functionality really - although it's more Android's, than Sony Ericsson's, fault. But you can share any which way you like, from YouTube to Twitter to Facebook to email.
There's a vanilla FM radio – no interesting additions to the standard plug-in-and-listen format here, and the station tracking is only average, especially indoors. Oh, and of course the headphones are necessary at all times, which we're still desperate for a manufacturer to fix.
Perhaps with an extendable aerial. That would look ace.