The Sony Xperia SP (C530X) was formally announced last week with its 4.6-inch 720p display, 1.7GHz dual-core chipset (MSM8960T), 1GB RAM, 8MP Exmor RS camera, 8GB storage, 2370mAh battery, aluminium frame along with the return of the transparent bar, now fully customisable.
It’s a great looking handset that will hit retail in three colours (black, red and white silver) and looks to be a very capable mid-range offering. We’ve attached a hands-on roundup below from those that have managed to give the handset a tour. Positives included the design, build quality and the transparent bar whilst most reservations were around pricing. You can check out impressions of the handset below.
Xperia SP: Hands-on roundup
Engadget: “The standout feature for us was the return of the notification light, which can now do a little bit more in this new aluminum frame. When you’re playing music content, not only will the lighting (roughly) match the album artwork, but it’ll pulse in time to the music, like an off-screen equalizer graphic. On the Xperia, SP, you can also program different notifications for different callers, red alert for the boss, gentler hues for the family, etc, and as the notification light is now contained within that transparent bar, you’ll get a good idea of that caller without the need to check the screen.”
GSM Arena: “As is consistently the case with Xperia smartphones, the display viewing angles are not among the best we’ve seen. Otherwise, helped by the Mobile Bravia Engine 2, the picture quality isn’t bad at all. The limited viewing angles might cause some trouble if you plan on sharing the screen with your buddies. At 155 grams, the Xperia SP gets the balance right between comfortable handling and reassuring heft, and the 4.6″ diagonal makes the package distinctly more manageable than 5-inch flagships.Sony’s midrange offerings have consistently delivered top value for money in the past two years and the Xperia SP follows in the same footsteps.”
The Inquirer: “On first impressions the Sony Xperia SP is a decent, well configured mid-range smartphone. However, it has some fierce competition in the mobile market from Nokia and Samsung, and we’re not fully convinced that Sony has done enough here to win over budget conscious smartphone buyers.”
KnowYourMobile: “The Sony Xperia SP targets a mid-to-high end demographic. Think of it as the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, just done to a much higher standard and with a significantly larger display. Overall, the Sony Xperia SP is a very compelling proposition. The display, powered by Mobile Bravia Engine 2, is bright, detailed and crisp, and you have LTE-connectivity, as well as a decent sized 2370 mAh battery which, combined with Stamina Mode, should deliver excellent results.”
Mobile-Review: “Sony Xperia SP explicitly created for young people, not only for those who want something beautiful, who spits on the performance, but the design is important. The unit is well built, I liked the white matte plastic sample resembles Sony Xperia S. In my opinion, the Xperia SP could be Sony’s best-selling phone in the summer.” (Translated)
MobileTelefon.ru: “I definitely liked the overall design. I definitely appreciated and most transparent strip with three LEDs capable notify the user of missed events, flashing in time with the music and create background images (if you do not like, you can turn off in the settings). By the way, this strip is not only a decorative role, but also a part of the antenna. The metal frame around looks spectacular, and it also serves as a framework to which are attached the board and screen. At the ends of the screws are visible, and they are designed to show others that the user is not some plastic device, and metal.” (Translated)
Pocket-Lint: “The SP has includes an illuminated transparent bar in its design, much like an evolved version of that found in the original Xperia S. It’s a nice idea, but we think it could have been implemented to look a little better. As it stands there are three clear points where the LEDs emit light, which doesn’t give an equal, diffused spread or the kind of high-end feel we think such a design element could have. Still, it can be turned off and the transparent section is fun without the extra light.”
Recombu (1 & 2): “Heading up the charge is the Sony Xperia SP; a mid-ranger with some pretty high-end specs and most importantly 4G (LTE). Our encounter with the SP was certainly positive. The Sony Xperia SP will appeal to those who want a premium Android experience, but can’t afford the Sony Xperia Z.”
TrustedReviews: “With a dual-core processor and less-than-skinny body, the Sony Xperia SP isn’t going to turn anywhere near as many heads as the Xperia Z. But it’s not meant to. This is a more down-to-earth phone for those who don’t want to fork out top dollar. Our only concern is whether it’s quite cheap enough, with retailers suggesting it’ll cost £329.99 SIM-free.”