Sony Xperia SP Android phone (preview)

The Sony Xperia SP boasts an aluminium frame, a 4.6in screen and 4G connectivity

The key design feature of the Xperia SP is a transparent panel below the screen.

The key design feature of the Xperia SP is a transparent panel below the screen.

Sony has spent most of its energy so far this year on its flagship Xperia Z Android phone but it clearly hasn't forgotten about the rest of the market. The Xperia SP is the company's latest mid-range smartphone. It boasts an aluminium frame, a 4.6in screen and 4G connectivity.

Sony claims the Xperia SP uses a "precision-crafted co-moulded aluminium frame". We're not sure what defines precision exactly but the use of aluminium on a mid-range device is a nice change from mostly plastic alternatives. A physical camera shutter key is a nice inclusion for those who use the camera regularly. The Xperia SP will be available in black, metallic red and metallic white variants.

The key design feature of the Xperia SP is a transparent panel below the screen. It's a feature Sony first debuted on last year's Xperia S and one that certainly gives the phone a unique look. The transparent strip isn't just for looks, either, as it displays customisable notifications.

The key design feature of the Xperia SP is a transparent panel below the screen.
The key design feature of the Xperia SP is a transparent panel below the screen.

Users can personalise these notification lights to alert of incoming calls and text messages and using the built-in Walkman music player means the lights will pulse to the beat of music. They'll also change colour depending on the album art. The transparent bar means the notification lights can be seen when the phone is face down on a desk or table.

The Sony Xperia SP has reasonable specifications for a mid-range Android phone. The highlight is a 4.6in 720p HD display with a resolution of 1280x720. The screen uses Sony's Reality Display and Mobile Bravia engine technology, claiming to enhance sharpness, contrast and colour saturation of photos and videos while also minimising digital image noise. It has a pixel density of 319ppi.

Sony claims the Xperia SP uses a
Sony claims the Xperia SP uses a "precision-crafted co-moulded aluminium frame".

The Xperia SP is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, has 1GB of RAM and includes 8GB of internal memory. A microSD card allows the memory to be expanded and there's also built-in NFC connectivity. The Xperia SP is 4G capable for Australia, so it's compatible with the 1800MHz 4G networks used down under by Telstra and Optus.

There's a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with Sony's Exmor RS image sensor, which claims to offer higher sensitivity and less image noise in low light areas than traditional mobile phone cameras. The Xperia SP's rear camera can capture HDR still images and records full HD 1080p video, but there's no HDR video. A front-facing VGA camera handles video calls.

The Xperia SP will be available in black, metallic red and metallic white variants.
The Xperia SP will be available in black, metallic red and metallic white variants.

Sony will launch the Xperia SP with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) but the company has promised it will be upgraded to the latest 4.2 version "shortly after launch". The Battery Stamina mode feature seen on the Xperia Z is also present here. It prevents applications from running when the screen is locked, therefore saving power of the 2370mAh battery.

Sony hasn't confirmed specific Australia details for the Xperia SP, but the phone is set to be available worldwide in Q2 2013.

A promotional video of the Xperia SP can be viewed below.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Sony Mobile4gmobile phonesAndroidSony Xperia SPsmartphonessonyjelly bean

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?