Someone has their hands on a brand new Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo and their name is Gareth Beavis of Tech Radar. This is one of several XPERIA phones coming out in the near future from Sony Ericsson, two more being the XPERIA Arc and XPERIA Play (aka PlayStation phone.) Is a lineup of some giant magnitude like the team they've got coming out soon enough to keep Sony Ericsson in the green with Android fans?
If you'll take a moment to head to the XPERIA Play and/or the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc tag, you'll note instantly the similarities between those two and the one we're about to look at: the XPERIA Neo. The biggest similarity between them, beyond the obvious family resemblance, is the rumor that they'll all be released into the wild at this year's Mobile World Congress - we'll be there to let you know, of that you can be sure.
One the front/top of the Neo you'll see a proximity and light sensor, giant camera, and earpiece. Beavis notes that this sensor appears to be better than the average VGA hardware found on most phones, while the rest of the hardware appears and feels like it's all in the right place for easy access with one hand - for instance the lock/power key on the right side of the phone, easy to access with one's thumb (or index finger, whichever you are.) Below the power/lock is a volume dongle and a physical camera shutter button. On the back of the device is the monstrous 8.1 megapixel camera with LED flash. "HD" and "XPERIA" surround the camera and flash circles, making this phone back appear stylish and well planned.
On top of the phone in addition to the headphone jack is both a microUSB jack and a mini-HDMI out connection for connecting your phone to a larger screen. Under the battery cover is a gigantic battery with no name (surely to be named upon release) as well as a changeable microSD card.
Inside is essentially the same XPERIA experience that's to be had with every other XPERIA phone. It's a TimeScape overlay with slight improvements due to the inclusion of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This interface is said to feel very fluid with little to no feelings of judder or slowdown. The user interface at this point is not complete, as this phone isn't set to release yet for some time, but Beavis does note that the keyboard does not quite seem as accurate as the Gingerbread keyboard offered on the Nexus S. Beyond that, everything appears to be working as one would expect - smooth, fine, nice.
Now it comes to it - will this phone be thrown under the bus when it's released aside the slightly wilder looking XPERIA Arc? Since both phones appear to be so strikingly similar but for the hardware shape, the XPERIA Arc being slightly more stylish and thin, we're going to go out on a limb and say yes. Yes, this phone will be thrown under a bus.