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Sony Xperia SP Review

Sony Xperia SP 8

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Camera:

One of the Xperia SP features that Sony brags with the most is the 8-megapixel Exmor RS camera with auto-focus and LED flash. The benefits it brings include super-fast launch even from the lock screen and rapid burst shot capturing. Sure enough, our tests show that the smartphone indeed delivers what its maker promises in that respect.

As the case is with other recent Android smartphones by Sony, the camera launches in Superior Auto mode by default. That's a supposedly intelligent feature capable of detecting the scene type and adjusting the camera settings accordingly. Well, we can confirm that the mode works fine in most cases, but we didn't like its unpredictability. For example, HDR mode gets turned on without any warning, while sometimes, two consecutive photos of the exact same scene would have a totally different color temperature. Still, we find it suitable for casual photographers, while those who wish to have more control over the frame are free to switch to Normal mode, or use one of the numerous shooting scenes.

Camera interface of the Sony Xperia SP - Sony Xperia SP Review
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia SP - Sony Xperia SP Review
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia SP - Sony Xperia SP Review
Camera interface of the Sony Xperia SP - Sony Xperia SP Review

Camera interface of the Sony Xperia SP



Photos taken with the Sony Xperia SP look nice in general, especially the close-ups. We'd classify them as ideal for sharing online and maybe even making small prints. However, don't expect any miracles out of the smartphone's 8-megapixel camera as we've dealt with much better 8-megapixel snappers in the past. The Xperia SP has a tendency of boosting the color intensity of the photos it captures, which might actually be pretty cool for some scenes, but may ruin others. Capturing fine details is also an issue as they are usually blurred by the software's noise suppression algorithms. Indoor photos are much noisier and don't look particularly pleasant. 1080p video captured using the main camera is of average quality at best, but at least it runs smoothly at 30 frames per second.



Sony Xperia SP Sample Video:




Multimedia:

We've said it before and we'll say it again: The Walkman music player found on Sony's Android smartphones is pretty awesome. Not only does it look great, but it has a broad arsenal of useful features, such as its lock screen controls and home screen widget. In case your audio collection isn't too organized, the app will automatically download any missing album art. On top of all that, you get an equalizer, bass booster, and other sound-enhancing tweaks. The built-in speaker is loud and doesn't crackle even at maximum volume.

The Walkman music player is pretty awesome - Sony Xperia SP Review
The Walkman music player is pretty awesome - Sony Xperia SP Review
The Walkman music player is pretty awesome - Sony Xperia SP Review
The Walkman music player is pretty awesome - Sony Xperia SP Review

The Walkman music player is pretty awesome



If you're among the people who watch a lot of video on their smartphone, then chances are you'll be pleased with the Sony Xperia SP and its video player. The best thing about it is that it handles any popular video file format, including DivX and MKV. The built-in Mobile BRAVIA 2 engine provides a contrast boost, so watching videos on the handset's large screen is even more enjoyable.

The Xperia SP can play any popular video format - Sony Xperia SP Review

The Xperia SP can play any popular video format

62 Comments
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posted on 01 May 2013, 09:19 17

1. flexile (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)


It was a good review, but, 8/10? ... .__.

I really like this phone, my next phone will either be this, or the Xperia ZL.

posted on 01 May 2013, 09:26 7

3. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1017; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Check out the ZR.http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_zr-5421.php

It's a higher end version of the SP. Same 4.6" screen but iwht a quad core processor, 2GB of ram, 13mp camera and water/dust resistance.

posted on 01 May 2013, 09:35 6

6. flexile (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)


I didn't know about that one, I will have to check it when it's announced. I just hope it is a compact phone, since that's why the ZL seems so appealing to me. I really like the SP since it keeps the transparent bar from my previous Xperia P.

posted on 01 May 2013, 14:59 1

17. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1017; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


I'm not sold on the light bar as it seems to add a bit of size. It looks great though. I'm hoping the image on that page is what the ZR looks like after all. Would love the compact size and upgrade it specs.

posted on 14 May 2013, 10:25

42. saket.shrivastava (Posts: 55; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)


+1
and why is there a removable back if battery is not accesible????? why not just put a flap like one s/x/v

posted on 01 May 2013, 14:07 4

15. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4002; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


The ZR does look nice with the screen taking the overall front space, but i don't think it'll come cheap.
This here, the SP, i'm falling in love...i'm really interested with this one. The pros out-weigh the cons. Agreed that the camera isn't the best out there but it gets the job done...for the blurred, over-saturated, washed etc pictures, i have photoshop, so no worries. Besides that, i'm all for this phone...the screen size is just perfect for me.

posted on 23 Jan 2015, 21:00

61. ported (Posts: 2; Member since: 23 Jan 2015)


this phone is complete garbage. The wifi signal drops constantly even when within 5 feet of the wifi router. I would rather cut my own throat than own another of these POS's. Free would be thousands too expensive.

posted on 01 May 2013, 09:25 11

2. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 551; Member since: 07 May 2012)


would love to get the xperia l,ain't got no money right now. xperia sp is an awesome phone,really like sony's designs

posted on 01 May 2013, 09:31 29

4. istitch (Posts: 181; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


lumia 720 got 9, and xperia sp gets 8? well done, PA, well done!

posted on 01 May 2013, 09:33 9

5. flexile (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)


Pretty much this.

posted on 01 May 2013, 10:02 12

7. kobainez (Posts: 429; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


It's PA and im not even surprised lol

posted on 01 May 2013, 14:53

16. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


they need to push WP sales...

posted on 02 May 2013, 02:04

23. rgxVOiD (Posts: 440; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


they can do that by having more apps

-Lumia 820 user

posted on 02 May 2013, 02:17 11

25. GTR722 (Posts: 261; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


They just hate Sony with a passion.

posted on 02 May 2013, 03:11 5

27. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


your post will be deleted soon. LOL

posted on 03 May 2013, 21:15 1

31. Dimitru (Posts: 40; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


even the Xperia ZL also only got 8 -____- that one thumb down is PA !! he doesnt like ur comment haha

posted on 01 May 2013, 10:11 3

8. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Mid range smartphone from Sony with the Quality and performance of High end devices.

But Sony still have the same problem with Camera, just hope Sony can fix that problem soon...

posted on 01 May 2013, 10:33 13

9. CaptainXperia (Posts: 15; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


why phonearena why ????....y do u become a miser when rating SONY phones????

just wanna ask for the last time... and i know how u'll respond...."is it intentional" ???

posted on 01 May 2013, 11:35 1

13. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


How is giving this phone an 8 miserly? This phone is sporting specs and performance of a late-2012 flagship that would've received ~8.5. It's the middle of 2013, of course the score is going to drop a bit.

posted on 01 May 2013, 18:23 5

20. Xenaz (Posts: 144; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


Go check on the Xperia ZL review by the same reviewer Nick.T.....

It come out with a joke cons for me.

posted on 02 May 2013, 15:25 2

30. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Yeah I read that review, and both the pros and the cons are jokes.

posted on 01 May 2013, 19:47 1

21. kobainez (Posts: 429; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Boo..

posted on 02 May 2013, 02:07

24. rgxVOiD (Posts: 440; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


Someone doesn't know "optimization"

posted on 02 May 2013, 15:13

29. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Someone's posting really vague comments.

posted on 01 May 2013, 10:36 18

10. imparanoic (Posts: 88; Member since: 15 Oct 2012)


and an expensive ( literally same guts as s advance ) s3 mini gets 8.9, talk about super bias

posted on 01 May 2013, 11:25 2

11. lovefist (unregistered)


c'mon PA! 2 points off just for the camera? the pros outweigh the cons, man.

posted on 01 May 2013, 11:32 1

12. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


And the numbers reflect this. If a 5 is average, then an 8 reflects a phone that is far more pro than con.

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 11:52

53. Sammy141 (Posts: 5; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


compared to other high end devices,maybe.But compared to other mid-range devices,this whitewashes them so i think it at least deserves a 8.5 or 9

posted on 01 May 2013, 12:24 4

14. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 594; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


I love the way the SP produces punchy colors but sometimes there are oversaturated ones. Image detail is only visible at zooming a photo but not a big deal. I guess this phone should have at least gets an 8.5-9.

posted on 01 May 2013, 15:11

18. Rajan_sharma (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 May 2013)


Phonearena is really a good blog on gadgets.......

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Sony Xperia SP

Sony Xperia SP

OS: Android 4.3 4.1
view full specs
Display4.6 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (319 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Dual-core, 1700 MHz, Krait processor
1 GB RAM
Size5.14 x 2.64 x 0.39 inches
(130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm)
5.47 oz  (155 g)
Battery2370 mAh, 10.73 hours talk time

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