By Andrew Grush May 7, 2013 8 10 30 2 No beating around the bush here, contracts stink. Thankfully Sony seems to understand that, and so the company is giving us ample opportunity to grab their handsets directly from Sony’s website, without requiring us to commit to a two-year agreement. Just yesterday, Sony announced the Xperia Z had arrived in the United States in unlocked form, for just $630 outright. Additionally, the Sony Xperia SP is now available for pre-order.Advertisement The Sony Xperia SP is clearly not as exciting as the Xperia Z or ZL, but it is still a highly attractive handset with reasonably capable specs. The handset has a 4.6-inch 720p display, a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 8GB storage, 1GB of RAM, VGA front cam, 8MP rear cam, and NFC. The Xperia SP also comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Like the Xperia ZL, there is no water or dust-proofing technology in the Xperia SP, but it still appears to have a relatively durable design. Priced at $480, the SP might make some spec sacrifices in the name of saving you money, but it is still no slouch, and at the very least follows a similar design style to the Xperia Z and ZL. If price is no object? The Sony Xperia Z or ZL are probably the better choice, packing a quad-core processor, double the storage and double the RAM for just $150 more. Again, depends on your budget and your needs. The Sony Xperia SP is expected to start shipping on May 20th, and is avaliable in both black and white color choices. 8 10 30 previous postWill Firefox OS change the face of smartphone operating systems?next postYou’re frustrated, Android users. Bill Gates says so.