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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    Comments

    • inspire

      Oh man! why do you write wrong info on Xperias ?
      “No front facing camera” ? please check the whitepaper and sony website before writing the misleading info!
      “battery seems mediocre” ? 2330mah for dual core 720p seems mediocre ?
      just to remind you, XZ with quad core and FHD has same battery and it did a decent (if not excellent) endurance rating of 48h.

      • Adrian Diaconescu

        Yes, you’re right about the camera, I edited the post and thank you for that! As for the battery, I still think it could have been larger. I’m not saying it won’t perform well, but if you’re going to make the SP thicker and heavier than the Z, why not push the battery capacity a tad further too?

      • Ranjith Thiru

        Why does this fellow feel a 2330mAh battery for a 4.6″ HD screen phone an average? Storage 8GB + 32GB expandable right? Then what more do you want Mr.ADRIAN DIACONESCU

        • mark_F

          2370 mah actually!
          he just wants a Samsung phone … then be it whatever he will be happy.

    • Valery

      Front camera is present! VGA

    • http://profiles.google.com/thunderbolt.dutta02 Sudeepto Dutta

      Very nice looking phone…loved the LED illuminations …

      Mid-range right ??

      For me not more that 25,00 INR (or $462) …

      Sony really needs to base their price point right in India where people are looking more at the mid range category…

      Anything more than the above mentioned price & it might loose the grip that Samsung & other OEMs have made in our country …

    • Wally

      Another sexy phone by Sony. They seem to be the only ones in the Android camp who puts some serious thought into making exclusive designs. (With exception of HTC of course) hope they see the rewards in their sales.

      • jakob fridesjö

        Dont forget about Motorola and lg, they make great looking phones :)

    • hummers

      i like xperia sp .

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