Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V launches

A new phone of sorts from Sony Ericsson with the Neo V, part of a bigger story that sees a software upgrade across all Xperia handsets.

The Neo V is the new hardware though, a varation on the original Neo that got a fairly middling review off us back in June. This new version is really all about the software upgrade (read on for that), with the hardware not a million miles away from the first phone. That means a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, five-megapixel camera with auto-focus, AGPS, HDMI out, a 3.7-inch capacitive touch-screen, 2GB of included storage and a choice of three finishes for the exterior. On the face of it, not anything to get excited about. Perhaps until you factor in the software upgrade.

The Neo V (which will launch with it all) is just one phone that will benefit from Android 2.3.4, enhanced Facebook inside Xperia functionality and a camera upgrade thrown in by Sony Ericsson. Other phones on the receiving end of the upgrade are the Xperia Play, Arc, Neo, Ray, Pro, Mini and Mini Pro. Yes, there have been a lot of Xperias this year.

According to Sony Ericsson, all will get the upgrade from October 2011, which will include a 'super-charged' Facebook inside Xperia. Essentially, you can like, share and discover on Facebook in a faster, easier and more intuitive way, as well as having the option to share and discover apps and games with friends through Facebook. Cameras are improved too, with 3D sweep panorama technology introduced for the first time, allowing you to capture images, which can then viewed in 3D by connecting the phone to a 3D TV using the HDMI output.

The Android 2.3.4 upgrade means Google Talk with Video Chat for smartphones is now an option, if your phone has a front-facing camera, while other additions include the ability to turn your smartphone into a mini-mobile PC by connecting USB peripherals to a Sony Ericsson LiveDock multimedia station, a swipe text input function and screen capture (so you can share a screen grab).

The Neo V lands in the final quarter if this year, while the software upgrade will roll out gradually from that October launch date.

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