Sony unveils Xperia SP, a “premium” HD smartphone with an affordable price tag

March 18, 2013
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Sony Xperia SP

Remember when we used to call petite 4-inch WVGA phones with 1 GHz processors and 5 MP cameras “flagship” devices? Of course you do, it was only a couple of years ago. And now 4.6-inchers with HD screens and dual-core 1.7 GHz chips are mid-range. We live in exciting times, folks.

Anyhoo, meet the Sony Xperia SP, the not-so-modest little brother of the impressive Xperia Z and ZL. This fellow has been making the rumor rounds for a couple of months now (under several names), but has become official earlier today and is due out in Europe and Asia “from Q2 2013”.

I already let a few of SP’s specs slip, but here they are in full:

  • 4.6-inch scratch-resistant TFT display with 1,280 x 720 pixels resolution and 319 ppi
  • Sony Mobile Bravia Engine 2
  • Dual-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960T processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8 GB of internal memory
  • MicroSD card slot for expanding the storage with an additional 32 GB
  • 8 MP rear-facing snapper with LED Flash, auto focus, 16x digital zoom, back-illuminated sensor
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2,370 mAh battery
  • Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC, DLNA certified, MHL support, USB 2.0, aGPS, Glonass, screen mirroring
  • 4G LTE
  • PlayStation certified
  • 3D surround sound
  • 130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm dimensions
  • 155 grams weight

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was telling you how the now mid-end Xperia SP would have been the stuff of legends two years back. Heck, it would have been a top-tier device even a year ago.

But what does that make it now? A darn fine handheld to own for anyone that can’t afford or just doesn’t want to pay the piper for the Z, HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4.

That display is as close as perfection as you’ll get in the “budget” niche these days, you got your Jelly Bean, your snappy Snapdragon CPU (a last year unit, but still), 4G LTE speeds, not to mention the little things like 3D surround sound or PlayStation certification which make this more than just a phone.

The design is pretty awesome too, even if it can never compare with the Z or ZL. The SP is a lot thicker and even weighs more than the Z while having a smaller screen, but it’s still made out of aluminum, so it combines elegance with sturdiness.

As for flaws, the front-facing camera fitted on the phone is only a VGA unit, while the internal storage and battery seem average. Then again, rumor has it Sony will be launching the SP in Europe for just €300 outright, which sounds like a price you just cannot argue with. Agreed? Would you like to see this fellow swing by the States as well?

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