Sony Ericsson has delayed the Xperia Neo upper-midrange Android smartphone, saying a while ago that the device will only reach general availability in the third quarter of this year. That’s the quarter that starts in July! So obviously, we weren’t expecting to see the Xperia Neo become available anywhere in the world right now. Yet it is.
The blue version of the Xperia Neo is now in stock at eMag, Romania’s biggest online retailer. As usual over there, next-day delivery is free. The price being asked is 1849 lei, which amounts to approximately $649 or EUR 452 at today’s exchange rates. There will be no contract signing to do to get the device at this price, and the phone is network unlocked.
452 euros is quite a bit more expensive than we were expecting the price of the Neo to be – after all this is supposed to be Sony Ericsson’s midrange Android offering for 2011. Sure, it’s got some pretty high-end features, like that Exmor R camera that can also be found in Sony Ericsson’s flagship Xperia Arc, but still, it does seem like Sony Ericsson hasn’t yet given up on overpricing their handsets, at least when they’re released. Expect the price to fall pretty quickly in a couple of months or so.
Also keep in mind that Romania isn’t usually the cheapest market for unlocked smartphones. So while a price in the neighborhood of EUR 350-400 would’ve made more sense, this pricing isn’t extreme.
On the other hand, consider that the Samsung-made Google Nexus S, the current-generation ‘pure Google’ phone, will set you back 1599 lei at the same retailer. That amounts to approximately $562 or EUR 390 (again, no contracts involved). So, if you’re in Romania and want to get yourself a decent Android smartphone, the question you should probably be asking yourself is: is the Xperia Neo’s camera worth EUR 62? Because if it isn’t, or the 5 MP unit in the Nexus S is enough for your needs, then you do need to consider that the latter handset gets all the OS updates first. And that is becoming increasingly more important in the Android world, now that phone makers seem to be getting slower and slower at updating their devices.
It’s unclear if the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo is about to become available elsewhere at this point, but, as always, we’ll let you know when it does.
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- Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Android 2.3.4 update now available