Sony’s Xperia SP is a mid-range smartphone that packs a full HD screen like its bigger brother the Xperia Z, as well as a similar rectangular design, but cuts back a bit features-wise for a more accommodating price tag. We had the chance to get hands-on and so far it’s shaping up to be a sexy mid-ranger.
While the Xperia Z was very straight-edged, the Xperia SP allows some gentle curving to infiltrate the rear end. Between that and the more compact 4.6-inch screen, the Xperia SP feels more comfortable to clutch than its premium sibling. At 155g it’s also a shade heavier – although not so hefty that you really feel weighed down.
Sony has used the same iconic rounded power button, which juts out of the right edge and is easy to find with your thumb. The mobile comes in red, white and black, and all three models look smart – but we personally prefer the vibrant crimson version. The rear plates pop off to access the memory card slot (useful as you only get 8GB of internal storage space) and SIM card slot, but the battery doesn’t appear to be removeable.
That 4.6-inch ‘Reality’ screen packs in 1280x720 pixels of loveliness (an impressive 319ppi which is great at this price point), and the HD videos we checked out looked blooming marvellous. Everything is rendered with crystal-clear clarity and colours really shine.
A 1.7GHz dual-core processor keeps things ticking over nicely, and the Xperia SP should have no problems running the latest Google Play games. Once more you get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s Xperia tweaks, which looks smart and runs smoothly.
This being a pre-production unit, we didn’t test the 8MP camera too thoroughly. However, the shots we took looked impressively sharp and reproduced colours realistically. You get the usual array of features, including panorama mode and the ability to shoot full HD video.
The Sony Xperia SP is on sale from late April for £322. If that’s a bit beyond your budget, Sony is also releasing the more bargainous Xperia L at the same time as the Xperia SP, which still packs in an 8MP camera and funky Sony design. The Xperia L will cost £234 at launch.