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Sony Xperia P Review

Sony Xperia P

Posted: , posted by Nick T.


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.

Sony Xperia P Review
Sony Xperia P Review
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.

The Sony Xperia P is one of the smaller (narrower) smartphones out there - Sony Xperia P Review
The Sony Xperia P is one of the smaller (narrower) smartphones out there - Sony Xperia P Review
The Sony Xperia P is one of the smaller (narrower) smartphones out there - Sony Xperia P Review

The Sony Xperia P is one of the smaller (narrower) smartphones out there

Sony Xperia P Review

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.

Left edge - The sides of the Sony Xperia P - Sony Xperia P Review
Right - The sides of the Sony Xperia P - Sony Xperia P Review
Top - The sides of the Sony Xperia P - Sony Xperia P Review
Bottom - The sides of the Sony Xperia P - Sony Xperia P Review

Left edge




The sides of the Sony Xperia P

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.

Front - Sony Xperia P Review
Front-facing camera - Sony Xperia P Review
Android keys - Sony Xperia P Review


Front-facing camera

Android keys

Back - Sony Xperia P Review
Rear camera - Sony Xperia P Review
The transparent band - Sony Xperia P Review


Rear camera

The transparent band


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.

Sony Xperia P Review
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:

  • Options

posted on 30 May 2012, 09:09 4

1. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)

first,, and btw this phone is good for the mid ranged... so if u want it go get it

posted on 30 May 2012, 20:16 2

17. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

I really realllllly reaaaallllllllllyyyyyy want one!!!!

posted on 30 May 2012, 09:11 4

2. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)

also why is it rated bad at gingerbread at launch.. the galaxy s advanced may never get ics but this fone mite

posted on 30 May 2012, 11:07 1

4. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Probably because Gingerbread is over a year old, we're only five months away from receiving what comes after ICS, and "may never get ICS" and "might" mean exactly the same thing.

I'm surprised that this phone somehow managed an 8.5 with a year old processor, tiny screen, and outdated OS. The One S, another mid-range smartphone, uses the latest version of these, yet only managed an 8. But, if PhoneArena says so...

posted on 30 May 2012, 12:45 5

12. Nick_T (Posts: 177; Member since: 27 May 2011)

There is a considerable price gap between the Xperia P and the One S. This may not be true for all markets, but in the U.S., an unlocked Xperia P can be bought for as little as $435, while an One S starts at $520 unlocked. The Xperia P deserves its high score given the great experience we had with it.

posted on 26 Aug 2012, 11:04 1

30. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)

Looks at this phone now! Xperia P Has ICS :)

posted on 30 May 2012, 12:36 3

11. Nick_T (Posts: 177; Member since: 27 May 2011)

Because Ice Cream Sandwich has been out for so long, yet we have an otherwise great phone that still runs Android 2.3. Kind of like buying an ultrabook with Windows Vista. It may be weeks, if not months until ICS reaches this phone, and consumers do not like to wait.

Chances are that the Galaxy S Advance will get updated to Android 4.0 one day. Nothing is official yet, but since the Galaxy Ace 2 is getting Ice Cream Sandwich, it seems logical for Samsung to update the Advance as well.

posted on 30 May 2012, 09:45

3. Grishm (Posts: 54; Member since: 18 May 2012)

6 hours of talk time on 2G is far too low! I don't see any reason in preferring Xperia P to Xperia U other than a slightly bigger and brighter display. Worse, the price difference between the two is a whopping INR 8000.

posted on 30 May 2012, 11:34 1

6. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Nonsense, man.
Xperia P is WAY better than that fail called the Xperia U - we're talking a much better camera, a whole different league of display, DOUBLE the storage.
And it has a premium, beautiful design and built - it's an aluminium phone!

posted on 30 May 2012, 23:36

18. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)

if only if they combiend xperia p and u

posted on 30 May 2012, 11:18 6

5. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

This is the one android that matches the iPhone in terms of class and style - and kicks it out of the park in value for the price.
Brilliant package and the best phone Sony has produced so far imho.

posted on 30 May 2012, 11:39

7. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

I don't really follow Sony that much. Are any Xperias going to be sold in the US? I'd like to see one in person. They're beautiful phones, but are sadly behind the times as far as internals.

posted on 30 May 2012, 11:51 3

8. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Well, Sony is having big plans for US market in the future.
Since the Ericsson stake re-purchase in the joint venture, they are raising their ambitions with mobile division-it will be one of their core businesses.
What is confirmed for now, is the Xperia Ion release on AT&T soon(although that's a way too late, admittedly).
As for the bigger plans - i sense they are holding up some announcements for the Q4

And man, i can tell you Xperias are by far the most stylish android phones.
Xperia Arc is the best(in terms of sheer beauty) designed phone ever, imo.

posted on 30 May 2012, 12:15 2

9. rg987 (Posts: 130; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Buddy........u really know what beauty is

posted on 30 May 2012, 16:33 1

15. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

you too, buddy :)

posted on 15 Sep 2013, 23:13

51. cellabonez (Posts: 6; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)

i am from jamaica and my carriers dont sell sony and i certainly know you can buy a sim free version from their site , all the way

posted on 30 May 2012, 12:19 2

10. rg987 (Posts: 130; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

This is an ultimate mid ranger ,,,,, its sheer beauty and powerful performer in terms of specs

posted on 30 May 2012, 15:24

14. Jyakotu (Posts: 855; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

Even though the phone has Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch and its a con, I'm glad with the score. It's a good looking mid ranged phone. :)

posted on 30 May 2012, 17:51 1

16. rsiders (Posts: 1124; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Why don't new phones like Ice Cream Sandwich? I'm convinced that phones released in December will still have Gingerbread.smh

posted on 31 May 2012, 05:06

19. amaranth (Posts: 4; Member since: 28 May 2012)

Why the hell are they still selling phones with Gingerbread?

I wouldn't buy one, anyway, not with what ever follows ICS out in just a few months.

posted on 31 May 2012, 12:08

20. rrgmmrege (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 May 2012)

good phone looking forward to buy it......
do NFC tag come anolg with it ...??
coz many of the video on youtube show red and black NFC tags in d box it self .....

posted on 01 Jun 2012, 08:31

21. issy_i (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 May 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

posted on 02 Jun 2012, 06:11

22. Hoopled (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Jun 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. Yes...it finds them, then reports an error.
4. How do I add a picture of a contact that doesn't use FB?

posted on 02 Jun 2012, 08:10

23. Hoopled (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)

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

posted on 04 Jun 2012, 15:57

24. rao97 (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Jun 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.

posted on 06 Jun 2012, 18:12

25. ppfrglrsh (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Jun 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.

posted on 07 Jun 2012, 09:22

26. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 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.

posted on 31 Jul 2012, 02:55

27. kkrss (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

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

posted on 12 Aug 2012, 16:21 1

28. SamadKhan (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Aug 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

posted on 15 Aug 2012, 16:59 2

29. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

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

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Sony Xperia P

Sony Xperia P

OS: Android 4.1.2 4.0.1 2.3.7
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.0 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (275 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
ST Erricson NovaThor U8500, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
Size4.80 x 2.34 x 0.41 inches
(122 x 59.5 x 10.5 mm)
4.23 oz  (120 g)
Battery1305 mAh, 6 hours talk time

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