Sony Xperia SP Hands On Review

I know this is another late review but its better late than never, right? The mid range smartphone Sony Xperia SP was made available in the Philippines by June 2013 and currently one of the most hot selling Sony smartphones today. I posted an my likes and dislikes article last September 30. only had a short time with it that time and most of it was just first impressions. Click here to see the first impressions of the Sony Xperia SP. Has anything changed since then? Let’s find out.

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Its main selling point is the phone’s LTE capabilities which is very rare for a mid-ranger.The official SRP is P17,490 (based on Sony Philippines website) when you buy this one on Sony stores but online stores Kimstore, DB Gadgets, and Widget City is selling this device below P13,000 already. I also found out that a store in SM Megamall’s Cyberzone area called “Premuim Logic” which used to be a computer store now turned into a cellphone shop, is selling the Xperia SP for P14,100. So much for the pricing, let’s go to the specs.

  •  1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T processor
  • Adreno 320 graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 4.6 inch TFT HD display (720 x 1280 pixels) 319 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • VGA front facing camera
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi Direct, DLNA, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 2,370 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jellybean
  • SRP: P17,490 (Sony stores); P12,780 (Kimstore); P13,400 (DBGadgets)

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Design and Build Quality:

Ever since I always have my biases when it comes to Sony and I’ve said this on my article on Sony Xperia Z1. Back in the day when Ericsson was still running the company, I always admire their design and excellent build quality. When Sony and Ericsson formed a partnership and became Sony Ericsson, My admiration continues to grow. I fell in love with my Sony Ericsson K750i and K850i because of its camera. The legacy continues with Sony’s current Xperia line up. Just like any other Xperia, The big lock/power button remains a trademark. The design remains simple but sophisticated just like any Xperia smartphones. It looks classy and “sosyal” too. I would also want to point out that the phone has an aluminum chassis but the removable back plate is made from premium plastic.

Display:

I think many tech bloggers notice about Sony’s display on smartphones is the use of a TFT panel instead of IPS or AMOLED.. We all know that TFT panels have bad viewing angles and some have washed out colors. I wonder why Sony keeps on using TFT panels. For me I think, there’s a benefit to that. People will have a hard time snooping or glancing on your phone while your texting for checking Facebook while in an elevator or in a public transport. Overall the screen is not bad but not outstanding even if its HD.

Performance:

Don’t underestimate the phone’s 1.7GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It may be only dual core but it performs way better than local smartphones with 1.2 GHz quad core processors from MediaTek. I never experienced any lags and stutters even when playing Plants vs Zombies 2. Based on Antutu Benchmark scores, the device got a score of 21,112! That was impressive despite a fact that the phone only has dual core processors.

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Software:

The phone is running Android 4.1 Jellybean which already outdated. The good news is, Sony is planning to upgrade it to Android 4.4 Kitkat by January next year alongside with another midrange smartphone, the Sony Xperia ZR. I’ve always liked Sony’s UI on top of Android. It’s very simple and intuitive. I also love some neat features like the light effects found at the bottom of the phone. You can customize the colors for each alerts – SMS, incoming calls, and other notifications.

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Camera:

No one can’t deny that Sony’s forte is the camera and it doesn’t disappoint. Take a look at the pictures taken from different lighting conditions.

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Connectivity:

Thanks to its LTE capabilities, web surfing and social networking is fun! I noticed that the Sony Xperia SP gets more signal than the other phone, the Samsung Galaxy S4, another LTE device. Back at our home in Pasig, I never get LTE signal from Globe when I was still using my iPhone 5. But on the Xperia SP, I got 2 bars of LTE goodness! Awesome! Strange that my Galaxy S4 has none. Both have active LTE service from Globe.

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Globe LTE Speedtest I got from my home in Pasig.

Battery:

The 2,370 mAh battery is enough to last the phone for a day of moderate use. I suggest that you turn on the “Stamina Mode” found on the phone’s settings. This maximizes your battery’s performance by turning off your Wi-Fi or LTE connectivity when the screen is turned off. Turn off the Stamina Mode and your phone’s battery will drain drastically especially when LTE is turned on. With Stamina Mode on, I got 12 hours of moderate to heavy usage before the battery went down to 10%

Verdict:

I would like to quote my boss, Carlo Ople from Unbox.ph (I am a contributing writer there), “This is one of the, if not the, best mid-range smartphone to date”. This is true. If you don’t have to money to get a high end, top of the line smartphone, the Sony Xperia SP is your best pick. I also recommend that you consider buying from Kimstore or DB Gadgets.

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7 responses to “Sony Xperia SP Hands On Review

  1. Pingback: Filipino Tech Addict | Nokia Lumia 625 Review·

  2. Pingback: Filipino Tech Addict | Filipino Tech Addict’s Top 10 Smartphones of 2013·

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