Sony Xperia P Review

The Sony Xperia P is the company's first smartphone to feature WhiteMagic technology. What kind of witchcraft is that, you ask? Well, thanks to some display manufacturing ingenuity, the handset's screen is capable of outglowing almost any smartphone currently on the market, which ensures its excellent outdoor visibility.

Other than that we are dealing with a reasonably priced mid-range Android handset with some pretty decent specs. The processor inside it has a couple of cores ticking at 1GHz, an Exmor R camera of 8 mexapixel resides on the unit's back, and a shell made out of anodized aluminum protects the smartphone's internals. We cannot hide that we have high hopes for the Xperia P, so without further ado, let us fire it up and see how it performs.

Box contents:

  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Wired headset with in-ear headphones
  • Start-up guide


At a glance, the Sony Xperia P looks more or less like a slightly smaller version of the Xperia S. The curved back side, the sharp edges, the glowing transparent strip at the bottom of the device – all of these visual cues have been taken straight from the company's flagship. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. The smartphone looks just as attractive as its boxy big brother, so we are more than happy with the way it has been designed.

You can compare the Sony Xperia P with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

What makes the Xperia P different, however, is that instead of plastic of one kind or another, Sony has chosen to treat its mid-ranger to an aluminum shell, which covers most of its back side, with the exception of areas where antennas are located. At first, the presence of premium materials is not evident, but then you feel the difference once the coldness of the anodized metal is sensed by your fingertips. The lack of a microSD card slot and the non-removable battery are the trade-offs associated with this design trait. At 10.5 millimeters, the smartphone is not too thick, but far from being impressively thin either, so it won't remain unnoticed while it is resting in the pocket of your jeans.

Sony Xperia P is one of the smaller (narrower) smartphones out there, yet using it with a single hand might require a bit of an effort as the display is situated relatively far from the device's bottom side. As a result, your thumb might find it difficult to reach the very top of the handset's elogated body. On the other hand, the physical buttons, all of which are located on the unit's right side, are pretty easy to operate, and the 2-stage camera shutter is really convenient when taking photos. The transparent band below the display is where the usual capacitive Android keys are, and it is great to see that they are really responsive to the touch.


We are genuinely amazed by how blindingly bright the LCD display on the Sony Xperia P can be. At 935 nits, its outdoor visibility is nothing short of excellent even when Mr Sun is shining right at the handset’s front side. That is thanks to Sony’s very own WhiteMagic technology, which we see in a smartphone for the first time, and hopefully not the last.

Brightness aside, the screen exhibits a great level of detail due to its 275ppi pixel density. The exact resolution is 540 by 960 pixels (qHD) spread over 4 inches of real estate. As a result, everything looks nice and sharp, from tiniest of text fonts to the smooth curves of home screen icons.

In terms of color representation, however, things could have been a bit more accurate. Unless the brightness is set to a high level, whites appear yellowish, but once the display is glowing near its maximum, shades of yellow start looking greenish. Thankfully, you won't be noticing these flaws all the time due to their dependency on the brightness setting, which gets adjusted automatically by default.

Sony Xperia P 360-degrees View:



52. Apian

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Great midrange phone,, I think this phone had crap Batteray.. and not get KitKat OS, sadly..

50. lovingzana

Posts: 1; Member since: May 07, 2013

i want this fhone..what price for this fhone

49. camohan

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Just updated my Sony Xperia P (India) to 4.1.2. The update is superb.. for all those who cant update, pls update ur phone from Sony Update Service..It requires 580 MB of data to be downloaded so updating thru SUS is recommended.. Enjoy..!!!

48. achin

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

only sony mid range phone with 1gb of ram


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

in my device i dont see any significant changes except for that if feels much more smoother/snappier and sleep mode to save battery is bit more less consuming which is really good, compare to my last update. aside from that i dont see any major or significant change..

46. camohan

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

@ Reyner Any significant changes? And what do you meab by snappier?

44. camohan

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Thanks reyner for your comment, i was about to update the phone but for now i would wait for xperia blog to confirm...!!!


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

the 1.75 software updte is already confirmed by xperia blog i aalready updated mine the only difference is it feels much snappier this time it doesnt fix my previous bug though

42. camohan

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

New update for sony xperia p 6.1.1.B.1.75 is now available. getting this on PC companion, but nothing mentioned in the sony website ( as per sony website global latest software version is 6.1.1.B.1.54) nor any notification on update center in mobile for availability of update. Can anyone confirm?


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

nope it xperia blog confirms it! i also have that update but i haven't update my phone yet im still waiting for other xperia p users review im too scare to try it for i heard there are "FEW" who had encountered problem or did not fix any current problem they had..

39. camohan

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Since it doesnt have a SD card slot,can the APK files stored in my Pendrive be accessed on the mobile thru OTG?

40. nevinjohn

Posts: 9; Member since: May 03, 2012

Yes. It's possible.

41. camohan

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

THanks NevinJohn..!!


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

the operating system is good i bought my Xperia p with ICS out of box and it works really well i bought it in xperia concept store the battery is good for me it last about 10-12 hrs with 3g connection i guess that depends on the user though camera is fantastic as well as multimedia i highly recommend the phone for the price as well as the quality.

37. fouadwagdy

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 16, 2012

i mean operation system ,thx

36. jaygun

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 23, 2012

This phone has some major issues. I had it for 1 week and sold for bargain. 1. Very bad signal strangth. The 3G signals fluctuate always. 2. The battery is a pain. Cant even last 6 hours at regular usage 3. The call quality, which mentioned in the review as axcellent is terrible. the earl piece makes your ears cry in pain cus the very sharp conture of the top margine of the handset. The speaker is loud for sure but the sounds are too sharp and artificial.

34. fouadwagdy

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 16, 2012

i will buy this phone soon but iwant to know can i update his OP to ICS ?


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

im sorry what do you mean by OP? in xperia concept stores they are already selling an ICS out of box


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

i have it from 2mos now the phone itself is good ics out of box gives the battery life last for almost a day(depending on the usage of the user) but i consider myself as a power user that always connected via 3G and the battery last for about 10-12 hrs i highly recommend this phone for the price of it ,the built quality, design, multimedia, camera if 16gb is enough for you then theres nothing to worry. it runs very smooth though there are gitters at home screen every now and then but its not enough to entirely hate the device and it will not ruin the entire experience..

32. matsosg1

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 16, 2012

So if i buy this phone i can't change the battery?? and what is ICS? Thanks

31. vignesh.ssv

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Cam pics appears yellowish. try taking an indoor pic of ur face alone with flash on.

29. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Bought this for my son on his b'day last week. He switched from his Samsung to Sony now.

28. SamadKhan

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 12, 2012

well guyes who think phone is good or bad... i purchase 10dayz before its running awesum great camara for photos and videos and no problem wid battery afta 2 dayz i purchase i thout battery is bad coz only 6 or 7 battery backup den i installed GO POWERSAVER frm android market and now i dnt hav any problem wid battery its working awesum am playing games and 2g internet bt when we are using WIFI or 3G internet battery backup is less like others phones( its common think) wifi and 3g use more battery ... thnx SONY nyc phone .. easy to put n hands.. and NFC is working great... -Samad Khan

27. kkrss

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

it has a novathor u8500 processor , which is d weakest one around nowadays ... is it still worth a buy??????

26. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Battery life is dreadful. Sony claims whitemagic is more power efficient but it's not. Moreover, it has some problems with black color. Really nice phone but battery life ruins everything. Huge nits? Nokia did 1000 nits display more than a year ago. And battery wasn't so nasty.

25. ppfrglrsh

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 06, 2012

so far sony is able to attract people by its so called "WHITE MAGIC" nd tranluscent element .At first glance its looks amazing & looks solid coz of its aluminium body. Moreovr going toward its specs *pretty good 8 mp snapper *got VGA cam in fornt (could hav had 1.3mp) *1300mAH battery which the "MAJOR DRAWBACK " seriouly if ur making a beast with 960 by 540 pixels nd BRAVIA Engine *it has Gingerbread wow sony is trying harder nd harder to f**k up its phone nd moreovr they r not making "XPERIA SX" global which indeed a more better phone.

24. rao97

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

I love this phone. I think it's the best mid range phone right now. It has all the specs I need. The best thing about Xperia P is its design, its just really good. I don't have it right now but i will buy it soon for sure.

23. Hoopled

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 02, 2012

Can delete batches of emails! Added pictures Still cannot connect to car hi-fi

22. Hoopled

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 02, 2012

So far... 1. I cannot connect bluetooth to car hi-fi. Worked with every other phone I have had. 2. I cannot figure out how to delete emails without going into each one and deleting individually. Seriously...300 odd junk emails a day...takes forever. 3. I cannot connect to other devices on same wi-fi network. finds them, then reports an error. 4. How do I add a picture of a contact that doesn't use FB?

21. issy_i

Posts: 5; Member since: May 27, 2012

People who got this phone, please lett us know how the battery performance is :) i really want this phone but will only buy when battery can last atleast a day with light/moderate usage phonearena sux becouse they skipped the most important thing in smartphones >> REALTIME BATTERY LIFE
Xperia P
  • Display 4.0 inches
    960 x 540 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware ST Erricson NovaThor U8500, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB,
  • Battery 1305 mAh
  • OS Android 4.1.2

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