In Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo

Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo

First Impressions

While a lot have been excited for the coming of the Arc, Neo has been on its quieter attempt to win the interest of Sony Ericsson and Android fans. As a midrange smartphone that comes from a rather reputable product line-up, I thought I should give it a try.

Besides, I was curious with the promise of its name – new experience. What new thing could I expect from Xperia this time? Let’s see if it delivers.

Sony Xperia Neo compared to my mid-sized hand

Look and Feel

At 126 grams, Neo is easy to use and carry around with just one hand.  Running on Sony Mobile Bravia Engine, I wouldn’t question the beauty of its interface and design. Icons are nicely arranged on top of a translucent base, leaving the user several options for a customized arrangement. Plus, with a scratch-proof screen, there is no use for a protective cover mask. Forget about the accessories, even in its barest form, this phone is already good to go.



The Neo's camera at the back is capable of HD recording

With 8 megapixels, pictures are clear and crisp especially when there is good lighting. Though at times, as in most Sony Ericsson phones, the flash has the tendency of making the pictures look a bit more yellow. As for its resolution, users may switch from 8 to 6 to 2 megapixels. Needless to say, it’s still best to use the maximum to optimize the shots. Neo also has a secondary camera but picture quality is poor and grainy. If you are after a self-portrait, I’d suggest you use a mirror and the self-timer instead.

Sample shot using Sony Xperia NEO camera - automatic settings

Its video capturing feature provides the option of switching from different video sizes, from HD to VGA variety. One major issue is that none of these options would allow for zooming. Even with photos, only the 2MP 16:9 will allow for zooming. Sony Ericsson should work on this further





The best part about the multimedia feature of this phone is its playful and user-friendly interface. From its camera interface, one can easily shift with direct links for photo and video playback. Though, for later viewing, you might also be pleased with the edgy interface of the gallery.

As for the music playing, sound quality is at best when the phone is turned upside down. I also like the attempt to be fancy with the animation at the menu slider. I just wish Sony developed more options for full screen viewing, as it did with the PSP.

Meanwhile, the worst part about this phone’s multimedia is its rather poor battery life. If you are going to be avid at playing music and making calls at the same time, you might need to charge every now and then, at multiple times of the day. Even comparing it to its other smartphone counterparts, I would say its capacity is only next to that of Samsung and even Nokia.


Internet & Social Networking

Facebook UI of Sony Xperia Neo - just like other Android phones

With a fast and stable connection, browsing is seamless. Its Google search at the slider menu reminded me of its Android counterparts for the other brands. As for its Facebook and Twitter client, I am pretty content. File sharing did not give me much problem.

I also like how its internet-based applications are closely integrated with its browser. Say, when searching for items via Google with YouTube links, you will be automatically given the option to open it using the browser or the YouTube application. Also, I would give a plus to the option to switch between windows. I like the fact that I can open multiple pages and be able to breezily navigate through them.

Best Feature & Recommendation

After going through its features, I would say there is nothing new to look forward to with this phone. Nevertheless, while there is generally nothing to rave about, there is also a little or nothing to complain about.

What won me over is the seamless functioning of its user interface. Not most people may be pleased with its design and graphics but its navigation experience is its forte. No lags and no bugs, it’s easy to shift and move from one window and one function to the next. I would say, it is designed well to give users a good experience of Android OS.

And so, overall, with a seamless interface, user-friendly navigation and a flexible Android OS, one wouldn’t find it hard to be content with this phone.




First Look: LG Optimus ME P350


First Impressions:

Having to unbox a phone for the first time proves to be quite an experience, every time. Excitement and anticipation jitters would always ignite the tech enthusiast in me. With LG Optimus ME P350, I didn’t have to wait a long time to be able to get hold of one. Coming at an affordable price, it was a temptation that was too good to resist.

LG Optimus ME P350. Photo courtesy of TechPinas


If you are a fan of sleek and sophisticated-looking gadgets, I would not recommend this phone for you. But, if you are a sucker for fun and youthful-looking phones, then LG Optimus Me P350 might just be the perfect handset for you. I got mine in blue and I like it funky this way. At 130 grams, I usually don’t mind carrying it around and putting it in my pocket, every time.


As in most touch screen phones, the home interface shows a wide array of the handset’s applications. LG could do better at organizing its icons. Related applications have not been clustered together by default. Being new to LG, I was surprised at the messaging icon. It looks quite unconventional in its non-envelope-shaped design. To make it easier for first time users, I think it would be better to have it placed at the topmost left side, as how it is by default in most touch screen phones. Other than these, I had an easy time tinkering on the other controls.

Its touch screen performance is not exactly one for the books, although satisfactory for a low-end phone. I would say I’m satisfied with the response rate. I like how easy it is to navigate through the calendar, messaging and call logs with just simple flips through the screen. This is perfect for people like me who usually find it hard to touch icons precisely.



Boasting a 3.15 megapixel camera with autofocus, photos are okay but not superb. With Facebook and Twitter coming handy as applications, it gives one the convenience of taking photos and sharing them in real time. Although, I didn’t bother dwelling much on its video application, as its VGA remains low at 24 frames per second.


Sound quality is again, satisfactory. Being MP3 and MP4 capable, LG Optimus Me P350 can prove to be one good companion on slow and quiet days. Although, the briefness of the battery life could counter the excitement, as it only took me approximately 3 hours of listening to the FM radio, combined with a couple of hours talk time, until the battery died.


Among the features that I was most excited about on this phone were its 3G and WIFI capabilities. Ideally, these would best complement the built-in applications of Google Search, Maps, Latitude, Facebook and Twitter. So far, I have no complaints on the usability and functioning of these. Graphics were not so smooth and seamless, though, and viewing could be enhanced with a bigger screen size.

This brings me to another good point of LG Optimus Me P350 – it can be used as a WIFI router. With its USB port, I connected it to my laptop and eventually, I was able to establish a connection. Although slow in loading, I would still give it a plus for the connection capacity. Besides, as it is in any platform, the browsing experience of the user can only be fully-optimized with a good internet service provider.


Before purchasing a MicroSD for this phone, I was disappointed to find out that the internal memory is only up to 140MB. Although, it’s 32GB expandable memory compensates for this. With this phone all-boosted up, the average user can already enjoy storing music, videos and files up to his heart’s content and even beyond. For this, I would give it another plus.

Best Feature

As an Android phone with a multitude of possibilities for software download and updates, I like how the developers have explicitly added an icon feature on Software Updates. Most users may not be keen enough to update their installed applications each time but this function makes it all handy for them. Besides, these applications are the lifeblood of Android phones. The more updated and dynamic they are, the better becomes the user experience.

Overall Recommendation

Overall, being an Android phone offered at a friendly, midrange price gives LG Optimus Me P350 a lot more rooms for enhancement. It can be further improved with better graphics and eliminated glitches. Although, with its up-to-date features – from its capacitive touch screen, up to its 3G connectivity, I would still say that there is a lot to LG Optimus Me P350 the user can enjoy and maximize.