Sony Xperia L Review
Introduction:

The Sony Xperia L is a mid-range device that screams Sony from the first look. And in a world filled with affordable mid-range Android devices design is of paramount importance. In this case, the Xperia L is an elegant phone, featuring a noticeable inward curve and a beautiful diffused LED light strip at the bottom that lights up whenever you have notifications pending.

With a 4.3 inch screen the Xperia L is a compact handset, great for single handed operation. It has no huge ambitions when it comes to performance or camera quality, but for some a smooth overall experience in the interface might be enough. Is there more to the Xperia than it appears on the surface, though? Read on to find out.


Design:

The Xperia L has the very distinct for Sony concave shape we have first seen in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. It adds an extra flare of elegance but is also practical as it makes it harder for the device to slip out of the hand. Overall the device feels solidly built. In terms of physical dimensions, it has this prolonged hexagon shape that makes it look a bit larger than the typical 4.3-inch smartphone. The soft-touch plastic back makes it pleasant to hold.


Sony Xperia L

Sony Xperia L

Dimensions

5.07 x 2.56 x 0.38 inches

128.7 x 65 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.83 oz (137 g)

HTC One SV

HTC One SV

Dimensions

5.04 x 2.63 x 0.36 inches

128 x 66.9 x 9.2 mm

Weight

4.30 oz (122 g)

Nokia Lumia 720

Nokia Lumia 720

Dimensions

5.04 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches

127.9 x 67.5 x 9 mm

Weight

4.52 oz (128 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

LG Optimus L7 II

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches

121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.07 oz (116 g)

Sony Xperia L

Sony Xperia L

Dimensions

5.07 x 2.56 x 0.38 inches

128.7 x 65 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.83 oz (137 g)

HTC One SV

HTC One SV

Dimensions

5.04 x 2.63 x 0.36 inches

128 x 66.9 x 9.2 mm

Weight

4.30 oz (122 g)

Nokia Lumia 720

Nokia Lumia 720

Dimensions

5.04 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches

127.9 x 67.5 x 9 mm

Weight

4.52 oz (128 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

LG Optimus L7 II

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches

121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm

Weight

4.07 oz (116 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



All of the physical buttons are located on the right hand side: the new round power button that sticks out a bit, a volume rocker above it and a dedicated camera shutter key on the bottom. On the back there is an 8-megapixel camera with a single LED flash.



Finally, all of that comes in three color versions - a starry black, diamond white and a red one.

Screen:

The 4.3-inch screen is a welcome break from the large 5-inch and bigger screens of today as you can actually operate this device with just one hand. Sony uses the Android on-screen buttons for navigation. That means they do take up a bit of those 4.3 inches, so in reality there is less room for icons and other usable content.

At 4.3 inches diagonal and with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels the screen is not amongst the sharpest ones out there. Pixel density comes at the mediocre 228ppi.

Viewing angles are fairly average and when you tilt the device you’d notice colors losing their saturation. Even without tilting the device though colors look a bit bleak and that is especially noticeable in the blacks that tend to look greyish rather than pitch black. Brightness is sufficient for outdoor use especially if you manage to get the device at the right angle to avoid reflections.


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48 Comments

1. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

I don't think 6.5 justifies the phone. If compared to flagships then yes, but this is a mid-to-low range device and i cannot see how it isn't better than other mid range offerings from major manufacturers. And why put the soc used as a con? Isn't it the norm for mid-rangers like the L720 and s2 plus to feature a processor of that caliber? I think the device deserves no less than a 7.5

3. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

i think you're new here low rates for Sony are common in PA

4. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

On the contrary, i knew that but i still expected them to rate it fairly

30. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

So you are new here.

5. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

The problem is the price: the price is INSANE, it's currently selling for EUR 270 on Amazon.de, consider that with EUR 300 you can get an Xperia S that sits in a completely different league. The L is not even a mid ranger anymore: in 2013, it can be considered between entry level and mid range. Everything in the L speaks entry level: low res screen, slow processor, ridiculous amount of internal storage, underperforming camera. The price should 100 EUR less. IMO the final rating of 6.5 is right once you consider what you can get at the same price or a just little more. With just a few euros more you can get the S and this means hi-res screen, better camera, better performance, better design. Sony is just trying to milk its users.

12. yudi.nemesis unregistered

oh so the problem is the price?? i don't think so just check GS2 PLUS review even with low specs can have 7.5 GS2 PLUS also Pricey at launch and i can find many better phone with the same price point. so i think the problem is : Samsung paid PA reviewer, PA reviewer is Samsung fanboys, or PA just hates Sony so bad. i don't know for sure but the rating with almost all Sony devices is not fair

18. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

I agree that the GS2 plus is just a marketing gimmick and it's even worse than the model it replaces, but right now it can be purchased for a lower price than the L (about 250 euros). Its specifications are more or less the same of the L, actually it is slightly better IMHO since it has an AMOLED screen and a faster CPU. Sony should price its products slightly lower than Samsung, because they have to gain some market share. With the L at that price, the chance that people will choose the L over the GS2/GS2 plus is close to zero.

20. yudi.nemesis unregistered

HAH... what are talking about its not about market share but we talking about unfair PA rating i don't think AMOLED 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density) with maximum brightness 358 cd/m2 is good display faster cpu??? you must be doesn't know anything about CPU. Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 and Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU vs Dual-core 1 GHz Krait and Adreno 305 GPU Xperia L CPU and GPU is not only faster, but also more battery efficient, and better thermal efficiency benchmark comparison Quadrant 3833 (GS2 Plus) vs 4223 (XP L) Antutu 8228 (GS2 Plus) vs 9225 (XP L)

36. hms2407

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 25, 2013

my xperia l scores over 11k in antutu

21. yudi.nemesis unregistered

GS2 Plus rating 7.5 even when PA mention there is better phone with the same price point like HTC One S, Xperia SL, G Grand, and Nexus 4

8. stychill unregistered

You're a funny guy, are we seeing the same things? Those specs are the low end of 2013.

33. beastuct

Posts: 1; Member since: May 25, 2013

i agree with u.i think it worths 7.5 - 8.5 at least!!

2. istitch

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

is PA expecting S600 chip with 2gb of ram, 12mp camera, with full hd display from a sony midranger?

6. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

No, but users are expecting a real midranger for the price sony is asking for the L.

9. stychill unregistered

A sony low range device you mean, from what i see calling this mid range and giving it a rating of 6.5 is generous.

7. stychill unregistered

This phone seems more along the lines of a low end device, these specs are considered mid range? I think the rating of 6.5 was being rather generous. Lol, 1gb of internal storage.

10. yudi.nemesis unregistered

if you think the rating is fair please explain to me why GS2 plus with low specs can have 7.5 points???

26. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Because the Galaxy S II Plus review was written five months ago before the new standard for high-end was set in the Galaxy S IV, One, Optimus G Pro, etc. If the standards for high-end are going to change, the standards for mid-range have to change to. It might seem unfair but timing is everything. That being said, I wouldn't have rated the Xperia L any lower than a 7 considering other mid-range reviews (such as the Galaxy S II Plus), but these are all done by different reviewers (Nick T. vs. Victor H.) and I don't think there's some Grand Council over at PhoneArena World Headquarters that decides upon a uniform rating for every single review. Maybe there should be.

29. yudi.nemesis unregistered

what timing ?? in that time you can have better phone like HTC One S, Xperia SL. G Grand, and Nexus 4 with the same price even PA metion about it PA really hates SONY so bad

11. yudi.nemesis unregistered

haha... its SAMSUNGARENA.COM Xperia L 6.5 GS2 plus even with more lower specs than XP L can have 7.5 GS2 PLUS also Pricey at launch and i can find many better phone with the same price point. i think for PA even Galaxy Y still better than Xperia Z

24. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

At least here in India, the Galaxy S2+ and Grand are priced higher than the Xperia L! No NFC for the Galaxy devices but Xperia L has. Better CPU, GPU on the Xperia L. I can also say better camera though doesn't support FHD capture (not a big deal). RAM and storage same. This should easily get a 9! This seriously is disappointing from PA.

13. TheBitterTruth unregistered

PA never appreciates Sony and LG. That is not fair.

15. Ninny

Posts: 5; Member since: May 21, 2013

This review sucks !! This phone should get atleast 8. I bought this phone for my sister , It got great camera at this price , no lag thanks to snapdragon S4 MSM8230 1.2 GHz Dual-core clocked at 1 GHz., Its internal memory is not 1GB it has 4GB internal memory . Phone arena Sucks in review wait for GSMARENA review . They review phones very better ....not like SAMSUCKARENA

17. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

How much did u buy this phone?

23. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

The internal storage is 8 GB! :)

16. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

PA, r u sure about that price?? US$350 is just insane!! U can get 1 in Malaysia for $280 from Sony centre and some shops sell it even for $240, which is definitely a bargain!! Nevertheless, that score is really HARSH!! Y do u hate Sony so much? This is a low-to-mid range phone for God's sake!! The way I see it, the competition for Xperia L includes Galaxy S3 mini, Galaxy S2 plus and Xperia P. But I can righfully say Xperia L is MUCH BETTER than all these devices due to: 1) Newer software (therefore, longer support) 2) Bettter processer 3) Sexier design (with the iconic power/lock button)

19. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

Sony Honami will turn Phonearena On!! I SWEAR!!!

25. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

Haha. Hope so! :)

22. zeiz67 unregistered

There is something that is completely weird. When you look at the sopecs of the phone listed on the phonearena page, you only pros and no cons : among those pros, they list the dual core processor. In the review... the same processor is a con ! Why did that change in a couple of days? And regarding the internal storage memore it's not 1 GB nor 4 GB - officiallly it's 8 GB, but there are only like 5,6 GB remaining for usage. [Not to mention the microSD slot that expands the memory up to 32 GB]. I was planning on buying that phone - i've already seen some reviews in France (I'm french) and the said the complete opposite. Here the phone is a real mid-ranger with good mi-range phone specs. I've always looked at phonearena reviews before investing in a phone - and I have to admit that I'm a litle bit surprised by the 6,5 average... where in France the same phone gets at least a 7,3 to 7,5... It certainly doesn't have the same capabilities as the Xperie SP or the Xperia S, but I know so many people with the Xperia S that have so many issues with that phoe that I would invest a dime in it. The Xperia L appeared like a good alternative, and I still think it is.

28. Rexperia

Posts: 136; Member since: Sep 28, 2012

No wonder and no surprised because PA is really, really, really hates SONY, no matter what the phone is, you blind PA, open your eyes and mind widely!!!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Xperia L
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1750 mAh(9.1h 3G talk time)

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