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Sony Xperia SP Review

Right now, Sony is focusing all its attention on the Xperia Z, the latest flagship from Sony. It has got the revolutionary water and dust resistant features which make it stand out the the ever growing crowd of smartphones. Following its lead, Sony has introduced another smartphone named, Sony Xperia SP. It is a upper mid-range smartphone which has got all the great features a customer wants. Does the Xperia SP has what it takes to compete against the likes of HTC One X and such. Read on.

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HARDWARE

We have to agree on one point atleast, Sony makes great looking handsets. The Xperia SP is no different. It is an amazing looking device and almost has a premium feel to it. The transparent notification bar at the bottom does a great job in doing so.

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The Xperia SP has a 4.6 inch TFT display. Like the Xperia Z, the phone has onscreen buttons. But Unlike the Xperia ZL, which was a technological accomplishment in having razor thin bezel, the SP has a rather thick bezel. As said above, the bottom of the handset is occupied by the transparent notification bar. Like the Z and ZL, the right side of the phone has the volume rocker and the unique aluminium power button at the centre. The left side has the micro USB port for charging and PC connectivity. The phone comes with non removable 2,370mAh battery. But the back cover is removable which gives access to the simcard slot and the micro-sd slot. The phone comes with 8GB onboard memory and is expandable to 32GB.

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Coming to the most exciting feature of the phone, the power under its hood. The Xperia SP is powered by the Dual-core 1.7 GHz Krait processor supported by 1 GB of Ram. The Adreno 320 handles the graphical tasks. This combination makes it a extremely powerful device its class.

It comes with a 8mp camera with Exmor RS sensor found previously in the Xperia Z/ZL. The camera takes stunning photos in daylight settings but the lowlight performance of the camera is very bad. The fault lies with the software. By aggressive noise reduction of the software, the lowlight images come out very grainy and thus lack detail.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM8960Pro Snapdragon @ 1.7GHz dual core
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Display: 4.6-inch with Bravia 2 Engine, 1280 x 720 pixel resolution
  • Storage: 8GB with expandable memory
  • Camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 2370mAh

SOFTWARE

The Sony Xperia SP runs Android 4.1.2 Jellybean. It carries the same skin we saw in the Xperia Z/ZL. Sony did away with the crappy Timescape UI in the Xperia Z. The new UI called, the Sony or Xperia UI is very much similar to the stock Jellybean UI.

The walkman music player is also present in the phone. The walkman UI is inspired by Windows 8 with its uniquely styled back buttons.

I have complaints with the notification bar though. It seems lot of space is unused and Sony could have included for function keys. The notification bar is simply not good enough. I hope Sony fixes this in future updates.

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Scrolling through app drawer is buttery smooth. I did encounter occasional lags though, but that is the problem in the Sony UI not a performance issue.

DISPLAY

The Xperia SP comes with a 4.6 inch TFT Display. It also features the Bravia Engine 2. The display is 720p which makes a pixel density of 319 ppi. The screen is adequately bright and sunlight visibility is acceptable. But like other Sony handsets, tilt the screen a little bit, the colors will wash out. The blacks also appear as a dull shade of grey. Other than that, the display is excellent offering crisp images and accurate whites.

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PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE

With a dual core 1.7 GHz processor and 1 GB Ram, the performance is excellent. In few tests, it even beat the likes of LG Optimus G and Nexus 4. Antutu BenchmarkSony Xperia Rightware

 

Keep in mind that these tests were single core oriented. On graphic tests, the device lagged behind.

The call quality on the device was very good, even better than the flagship Xperia Z. It even held signals better than the latter.

The battery life on the device is very good. The 2,370mAh battery powers the device. This is also the battery which powers the Xperia ZL. The ZL has above average battery life with its quad core processor and 5 inch 1080p display. So, as expected the Xperia SP offers excellent battery life. The phone will last a day and half with medium usage easily. On light usage, i.e. 1 hr calling, email checkups, the phone may even last for 2 days.

VERDICT

I like the device very much. It has a fair size without feeling large but may at 155g may be a tad heavy for some. The display is very good, if you can excuse the miserable viewing angles. For a mid-range phone the device is quite powerful and will handle day to day activities smoothly. I’ll thoroughly recommend this device to anyone looking for a good mid-range device.

The device is available in India at MRP of Rs 27,490, but may be brought for Rs. 25,000 at market price. It is also available online at flipkart.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Notification bar looks awesome
  • Acceptable performance

Cons

  • Disappointing Viewing Angles
  • High noise in low light images
  • UI Lag