Overview

If you’re shopping for an attractive and smoothly running smartphone but can’t afford to break the bank for your newest gadget, then the new Sony Xperia SP is among the few decent mid-level handsets to consider. While it is entirely true that Sony doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel with the Xperia SP design, you shouldn’t interpret this as poor or ugly design. In fact, the latest marvel of Japanese technology is as much functional as it is aesthetic, thanks to its attractive molded aluminum curved, but smaller frame. But, there’s more to the Xperia SP than appearance, as you are about to find out.

Manufacturer

In all fairness, Sony is currently a name that needs no further presentation in the electronics, entertainment, gaming and the financial services industries. Even though the collaboration with Ericsson set the basis for a promising multinational mobile phone manufacturing company, it all went downhill with the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. Still, after suffering serious losses during the next three years, Sony is back on its feet and ready to plunge into the smartphone market.

A quick look at its main features

  • Comes in a very sleek frame design measuring approximately 131 x 67 x 10 millimeters and weighing 5.5 oz
  • Incorporates a 4.6 inches touchscreen, capable of 720p HD display
  • Includes an 8 megapixel camera and can stream 1080p videos
  • Has a dual-core processor of 1.7 GHz (the famous Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro), 1GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 graphics chip
  • Its basic storage capacity is of 8 GB, but it can be increased via a MicroSD card
  • Operates on Android 4.1.2 and includes some Sony UI features
  • Capable of 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networking

Pros

The main highlight of the Xperia SP is its impressive 8 MP rear-facing camera. It is an outstanding feature able to shoot 3,264 x 2,448 pixels and that allows you to perform any action imaginable, from sweep panorama mode to on-the-fly picture effects. And, if you’re curious as to how Sony managed to incorporate this powerful camera into such a thin device, then the answer is the new Exmor RS sensor; needless to state, the 1080p HD display is impressive.

There have been numerous discussions regarding the limited storage space and the fact that out of 8 GB, you only get to use around 5.5 GB. However, Sony thought things through and integrated a MicroSD slot, a feature this phone can’t do without. Some users might even go so far as to say that without the MicroSD, this model would have been a real turnoff for Sony fans.

Critics will suggest that Sony stole the “tweaking the Android interface” idea from Samsung. However, even if they did – this is nothing but a rumor – the truth is that their Walkman app is considerably better looking and more intuitive than the basic Android music player. From organizing and cataloguing music to a significantly larger number of options, the manufacturers have really outdone themselves here. Given Sony’s background, it’s pretty clear that music plays a big part in the company’s history.

Cons

Unfortunately, the responsiveness and overall performance of the OS remain an issue for Sony. If the manufacturer would have consider including the necessary hardware to support the attractive interface and extra features, perhaps we would be looking at a top of the line mid-range smartphone. Still, a dual core 1.7 GHz is too little for what the Xperia can offer.

Reputation

True enough, Xperia’s strong points include the music app, camera and attractive design. However, the slow processor and the questionable battery life doesn’t put the new Sony smartphone among heavy users’ top preferences. Nevertheless, if you’re keen on owning a decent smartphone and don’t want to spend a lot of cash on it, the Xperia could be the perfect model for you.

In a nutshell

Looking beyond the limited storage space and occasional poor responsiveness, Xperia SP is not really that bad. Analyzing its features and design, you might even think that this is Sony’s first attempts to sit down at the grown-ups table and get noticed. All in all, if you’re on a budget, then the amazing camera and the range of connectivity make the Xperia SP a good investment.

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