Sony Xperia SP Review
Introduction:

The selection of mid-range Android smartphones is vast, which makes picking the best model a delicate task. Well, Sony wants to spare you the effort of browsing through all available options by introducing a compromise-free handset that seems to have it all. Ladies and gents, we give you the Sony Xperia SP – a smartphone powered by a fast, dual-core processor, graced by a large, HD screen, and equipped with a fancy 8-megapixel camera. Seems awesome, doesn't it?

Well, that's just specs listed on a piece of paper, which isn't always enough to make any device successful on the competitive smartphone market. Not that the Xperia SP is a bad phone – as a matter of fact, we find it quite promising, but it does come with its imperfections. Read all about the strengths and weaknesses of the Sony Xperia SP in our in depth review below!


Sony Xperia SP Unboxing



Design:

Glass, metal and plastic are fused together to create the outer body of the Sony Xperia SP, and the result is... well, not bad, but nothing mindblowing at the same time, to be perfectly honest. We truly appreciate the inclusion of a metal frame used in the handset's construction, and so do our fingers, but the soft-touch plastic back cover, which actually flexes inwards when pressed for some reason, doesn't quite snap on seamlessly, as it becomes evident when you take a closer look. But details like these would annoy only perfectionists. Those who find black to be too conservative of a color and want to pick a flashier variant may have the Sony Xperia SP in either red or white. 

Sony Xperia SP

Sony Xperia SP

Dimensions

5.14 x 2.64 x 0.39 inches

130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z

Dimensions

5.47 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches

139 x 71 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.15 oz (146 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Weight

4.69 oz (133 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 SP

Sony Xperia SP

Dimensions

5.14 x 2.64 x 0.39 inches

130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z

Dimensions

5.47 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches

139 x 71 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.15 oz (146 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Weight

4.69 oz (133 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


Being well trained in using large-screened smartphones, our hands quickly adapted to the shape and size of the Sony Xperia SP. In fact, we find it very comfortable to handle regardless of which hand we're holding it in. Single-handed use might be a challenge in some rare cases, but overall, the device is easy to operate. 

Another detail we can't complain about are the physical buttons, all of which are positioned on the right side of the device. The volume rocker, power button, and camera shutter key are exposed well and respond with sufficient feedback when pressed.



Sony's trademark transparent strip on the Xperia SP's bottom is a welcome unique feature not only because it gives character to the handset, but also because it serves as a notification light. A bright, easy to see notification light, if we have to be exact. It lights up in a different color depending on what kind of a notification is pending. Those who don't find the feature useful are free to turn it off.

Display:

The displays on Sony's smartphones have always been good, but rarely outstanding. The 4.6-inch screen on the Sony Xperia SP is not among the exceptions, but we think it is very good for a mid-range smartphone. It has a resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels, which gives us a pixel density of 319ppi – undoubtedly the best thing about the screen as the level of detail it provides is excellent. Colors, on the other hand, lean towards the warmer side while whites appear slightly yellowish. Boosting the screen's brightness, however, makes colors much prettier. Speaking of brightness, the display's output is sufficient to ensure that the smartphone is usable even in outdoor conditions, as long as the screen's glassy surface isn't reflecting light straight at the user.

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62 Comments

62. ported

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 23, 2015

this phone sucks - weak wifi - loses signal even within 5 feet of a router. This happens constantly when i use the wifi - not just on one network. The light effect is annoying at night - blinks bright white when theres a message. "feature" turns itself back on when turned off. Way to go SONY - following in Microsofts huge footprints. GARBAGE GARBAGE GARBAGE

60. iainathome

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 30, 2014

an absolutely appalling phone, hangs/ freezes constantly, opens random apps at will, unresponsive touch screen. totally unreliable, returned to my old galaxy s2, the xperia;s going where it belongs, in the bin ....

59. alanmasters

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

I was excited to receive this phone as an upgrade to my Experia S, itself a great phone. Inexplicably though, unlike its predecessors, the SP has no lanyard loop. To avoid the expense and hassle of insuring my phones against accidental dropping, I simply attach them with a watch chain. With regret I've had to return the phone unused solely because of this missing feature.

58. 3ewess

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

Mine scored 21367 on AnTuTu 5475 on AnTuTu 3DRating Benchmark 7800 on Quadrant Standard I'm impressed, quite a good value for money!

57. Sentinel_9743

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 29, 2013

SONY ROCKS. And what about the notification light? It pulsates every time you get a notification, play music etc. it's very appealing and just really cool.....

56. Sentinel_9743

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 29, 2013

SONY ROCKS. And whats up with the notification light? It pulsates every time you get a notification, play music etc. it's very appealing and just really cool.....

55. Sentinel_9743

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 29, 2013

SONY ROCKS. And whats up with the notification light? It pulsates every time you get a notification, play music etc. it's very appealing and just really cool.....

50. VictorHu

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

I hv white version for 3 days. Seriously you need to zoom the quality of silver paint on aluminium frame. I got it spoiled after 3 days use charging using original USB cable. I assume white has problem with silver paint finishing quality on its aluminium frame. I compare it with black version which has more smooth paint. I exchange it as one to one warranty replacement to the store i bought it. We olen 3 sealed white xperia sp and found similiar defects. The store give me black version as replace my white version. Overall...i recommend this phone to you. It has all future tech need except its front vga camera which cannot use face lock features. Lte network..sdcard slot..led illumination...big screen.and its cool lock button. Easy grip.

49. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

Bought 1 for USD307 2 weeks back. What a bargain. Honestly, the only phone that can match this in terms of price is Xperia T. But decided to opt for SP due to its newer design cues, android 4.1.2, raw processing power & Awesome battery. But those who's more into photography & need more internal storage can go for Xperia T which currrently retails for little less than USD300. Won't regret...... Another surprising thing is that Galaxy S4 mini, which is thought to be SP's rival, retails for USD460! And that's after bargaining heavily with the retailer. Heck for that amount of money I can buy Xperia ZR/ZL/Z. What was Samsung thinking?

48. PadFone

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

HI guys pleas answer me i like to buy a phone Im thinking between Sony Xperia T or this one who will be the winner?

52. Sammy141

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

in my opinion dis is the winner

47. Genersis

Posts: 219; Member since: May 29, 2013

I think I'd rate it a little higher. It at least matches the S4 Mini on paper, and unless the S4 mini ends up being significantly cheaper than the Xperia SP(say, £300 or less), I think they should be scored the same at 8.5.

46. Sondae

Posts: 291; Member since: Jan 02, 2013

If this phone come from samsung PA would give it a higher score since its from Sony thats why its lower lol....

54. Sammy141

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

lol so true.....

44. ashfaq07

Posts: 2; Member since: May 28, 2013

Hi.....guys I'm planning to buy a Smartphone in range of Rupees 20000-25000 I have selected two Smartphone’s one is Sony Xperia SP and other is HTC One X + (plus) while looking through specification in some sites it shows that Sony Xperia SP is 50% more faster in Internet than HTC One X +(plus) i.e., HSDPA 42.2 MBPS of Sony Xperia SP and HSDPA 21 MBPS of HTC One X +(plus). If anybody using one of this Smartphone or known’s the correct Maximum internet speed while it is connected to 2g and 3g plz let me knw. I’m buying Smartphone that must be best in: 1. Internet Speed 2. Speed Processor 3. Gamming 4. Best Display etc. So……..plz guys reply me with correct and truth comments if you knw better Smartphone’s than this plz let me knw and don’t suggest Samsung I’m not interested in it.

43. ashfaq07

Posts: 2; Member since: May 28, 2013

Hi.....guys I'm planning to buy a Smartphone in range of Rupees 20000-25000 I have selected two Smartphone’s one is Sony Xperia SP and other is HTC One X + (plus) while looking through specification in some sites it shows that Sony Xperia SP is 50% more faster in Internet than HTC One X +(plus) i.e., HSDPA 42.2 MBPS of Sony Xperia SP and HSDPA 21 MBPS of HTC One X +(plus). If anybody using one of this Smartphone or known’s the correct Maximum internet speed while it is connected to 2g and 3g plz let me knw. I’m buying Smartphone that must be best in: 1. Internet Speed 2. Speed Processor 3. Gamming 4. Best Display etc. So……..plz guys reply me with correct and truth comments if you knw better Smartphone’s than this plz let me knw and don’t suggest Samsung I’m not interested in it.

45. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

I would go for Xperia SP since it's newer (Hence will be updated to Android 5.0 later) and it has 4G LTE connectivity. Btw, u should also consider Xperia T or Xperia V since the prices of these phones have had a huge drop.....it's much cheaper than XPeria SP and u might find their designs more pleasing. Chck it out.

41. LYK1999

Posts: 3; Member since: May 13, 2013

I am finding for a phone which will not lag,has big screen and nice camera. Which phone should I choose,Xperia sp or galaxy grand?

40. k4j98

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 12, 2012

I'm loving this guy's accent...

38. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

XPERIA T OR XPERIA SP??? Still confused which 1 to buy.....

39. giri555

Posts: 111; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Xperia SP, but it. Trust me. I own Xperia Z and I can say the next models (with lock key on right side) are much more premium and comfortable,

51. Sammy141

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

Buy the sp !!

36. kreemer

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

oooo...Im Xperia U - I love the little light band! what is it with their cameras though... very disappointing still, I love the size - can't wait

35. cheetieng

Posts: 2; Member since: May 07, 2013

pls... give me SP price in Malaysia..!!

37. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

Rm 1099!

34. cheetieng

Posts: 2; Member since: May 07, 2013

What is the SP price in Malaysia?

32. madpiyal

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

If the best midrange phone gets only 8 with the best midrange looks and best battery backup and with better benchmark scores than quadcore phones then what to expect from their rating system i don't know. We readers deserve better scoring from a tech site like PA

28. DemiO

Posts: 1; Member since: May 02, 2013

this phone should be at least a 9.5 out of 10.it is now available on t mobile and orange on pay you go for 250. What a bargain!

26. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

8 points ?? are you joking PA ?? at least 8.5 or 9 !

22. DerryAhmad

Posts: 296; Member since: May 05, 2012

This phone deserves a 9 rating IMO. its performance outperforms last years flagships (Quadcore) with much less price. Added with a beautiful design, The SP looks like a winner to me,
Xperia SP
  • Display 4.6 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 8GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 2370 mAh
  • OS Android 4.3

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