Sony presents to us another promising handset in the form of the Sony Xperia SP. This device is aimed at the mid range market and probably the to be successor of the company’s previous flagship the Sony Xperia S.
Let us just quickly brush up on what the phone has to offer.
Design is one area where Sony almost never goes wrong and Sony Xperia SP is no exception. The whole handset is bordered by an aluminium frame which does give the phone a premium feel. Up front the handset’s 4.6 inch display is protected by a generous layer of Corning Gorilla Glass. The device sports no hardware buttons on its ventral side, making the front of the device perfectly planar. Other assets up front are the VGA front facing camera , the earpiece and the primary microphone. Your attention will clearly be diverted by the most fascinating aspect of this phone, the transparent LED strip. This strip adds more character to the already sophisticated handset. It is used a lot in notifications, music playback and viewing albums. The characteristic of this LED light is that different colours can be set to notify different incoming calls . The LED exhibits it’s coolness when used with Sony’s Walkman app, more on that later.
On the rear, the device has an 8 MP camera with Sony’s Exmor RS sensor, LED flash and a secondary microphone. All this is positioned well on the textured plastic back. The curved back coupled with the aluminium frame gives the user a superior grip on the device, in our view, better than the Xperia Z.
On the right side of the device, the pleasant aluminium frame seats the volume control, the aluminium power button (borrowed from the Xperia Z flagship), and the dedicated camera button. On the left the device has a USB port which can be used for charging the phone or for data transfer. On the top, a 3.5 mm Audio jack is in place.
Overall, the handset sports a very premium design which is comparable to flagships, the LED strip at the bottom truly stands out. In addition to this, the phone has the perfect dimensions to slide into your pockets with ease.
This is one feature that Sony boasts about this phone. In our opinion, the camera is not the best 8MP camera we have seen. The Exmor RS sensor that is supposed to help in brilliant low light photography, in this case is not as good as we expect from Sony. However, the camera does take good photographs in bright light though some may feel that the images look a bit over processed. The LED flash is pretty good and does enhance low light photography. It has 16x optical zoom. The camera has a decent aperture and does take in a lot of light. Low light photography is not the best or the worst, it finds a place midway.
The camera does have a lot of cool features like the HDR (High dynamic Range) which is a technology that is used to capture good images against high backlight. The camera automatically takes images at different exposures and chooses the best
Another feature is the Superior Auto Mode. This automatically decides what kind of mode is to be used depending on the lighting levels. A perfect feature to use for someone who wants to take easy and quick photos.
All the photos may be viewed through the album app provided by Sony. The LED strip at the bottom changes colour in accordance with the photo being viewed.
The user interface that Sony provides is definitely one of the best in the market. With it’s own skin over the otherwise ordinary stock Android , Sony keeps the UI beautiful and simple at the same time. Users may choose between a variety of themes and wallpapers.The UI welcomes you with a cool shutter effect lockscreen, after which you are greeted by Sony’s homescreen. The UI also sports a simple 5 x 4 app drawer. Sony’s own icons make the overall experience pleasing. The drop down notification bar has good shortcuts for settings, Wifi, Bluetooth etc. In addition to this it also has Google Now which is a stock Android feature exclusive to the JellyBean version. The messaging and calling applications are also satisfactory. Messaging is done through the Sony Xperia keyboard which is pretty responsive and also has features like Swype and word predictor.
The device has a 4.6 inch (720 x 1280 pixels) capacitive display. Straight on, the display looks crystal clear and does have crisp image rendering thanks to Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine 2, which is an image stabilization algorithm. Viewing angles are not the best but are definitely better than what we have seen from the Xperia Z (I guess most of us would prefer looking at the screen straight on). That being said the screen does have good brightness levels. Reading ebooks etc from the display is a pleasure. The quality of Full HD videos viewed through this screen is also excellent. The screen does have excellent touch response and also has an option of Glove mode.
Sony’s Walkman app
One of the most fascinating things about a Sony phone is the Walkman app. The Sony Xperia SP has an excellent Audio output and can also utilize the Xloud driver . The LED strip at the bottom also acts as a cool visualizer while playing any music. The colour of the LED automatically changes in accordance with the album cover (it takes the colour which is present in majority in the cover picture). The Walkman app is probably the best music app and beats all other companies by a huge margin. You can choose to view music in the form of Tracks, Albums, artists, playlists, favourites etc. The app also has a built in visualizer. You can easily control media volume through the volume control provided on the right hand side of the device. The audio output of this phone seems to leave the Xperia Z behind.
Sony Xperia SP is well versed in connectivity options with Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, 3G and LTE. This is one of the first mid-range phones to sport LTE connectivity. The phone has no problems connecting to any Wifi, Bluetooth or NFC connections. It connects to any nearby connections really fast. Data connectivity through 2G or 3G is also pretty smooth. Voice reception is good at both ends of the conversation.
The 2370 mAh battery provides enough juice to power the handset for two days on moderate use and one and a half days on heavy use. It provides an astonishing 39 hrs of music playback. In terms of battery , it lasts more than most handsets.
The Xperia SP has in total 8 GB of internal memory. This memory is thoroughly partitioned into the phone memory and the app memory. 5.8 GB is the available app memory. The data of all apps is stored here. Unfortunately apps cannot be moved to SD card without root. This is not Sony’s problem but a problem with Android 4.1 JellyBean where Google have eliminated the Apps to SD feature. This is not a big worry as most of the apps will easily get installed in the 5.8 GB provided and internal memory is much faster than external memory. As a part of the memory is allotted for the phone, even a large amount of space occupied in the app memory will not slow down the phone. Games like Asphalt 7, Dead Trigger etc can easily be stored. It also has an expandable 32 GB external storage where media and files may be transferred.
The 1.7 GHz Dual core processor coupled with the Adreno 320 GPU makes the Xperia SP a very fluid device. The 1 GB of RAM ensures no lags. The Adreno 320 GPU with the 720 p display gives the Xperia SP very high graphic performance. It is rightful to say that the Xperia SP is a gaming powerhouse. Games like Asphalt 7 , Modern Combat 4, Dead Trigger etc run with high fluidity. Multitasking on this handset is amazing. You can literally run 10 or more apps and still experience no lag. Apps open in a flash and there are no unexpected force closes.
Other attractive features
- NFC lets you transfer files to other NFC enabled devices or even play music through an NFC enabled speaker. All it takes is one touch.
- View your pictures on a big screen through one touch mirroring
- The Sony Xperia SP is also playstation certified, you can connect a Dual Shock controller to play Games
Sony Xperia SP Quick Specs
|OS||Android 4.1 Jelly Bean||Processor||Dual-core 1.7 GHz Krait|
|Touchscreen||Capacitive touchscreen||Display Resolution||720 x 1280 pixels|
|Display||4.6" TFT||Primary Camera||8 MP|
|Dimensions||130.6 mm x 67.1 mm x 10 mm||Weight||155 g|
Buy Sony Xperia SP online
|Infibeam||In stock||Rs. 22990||Shop Now →|
|eBay||In stock||Rs. 20900||Shop Now →|
|Flipkart||In stock||Rs. 22990||Shop Now →|