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Sony Xperia SP review

A mid-range marvel with a massively impressive spec list

Sony Xperia SP review

Sony has loaded the Xperia SP with dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and HSDPA at 42Mbps and HSUPA at 5.8Mbps. If you're out and about and need to tether another device, it can also be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Like other Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and above, it arrives with a choice of two browsers pre-installed. One of these is the standard Android browser and the other is Google's recognisable Chrome browser, conditioned for mobile.

Essentially, these both work in the same way, both offering you the option of tabbed browsing, bookmarks and the option of viewing mobile versions of websites or their full-fledged desktop counterparts.

One of the benefits of using Chrome is that you can sync it with your desktop Google account and carry over the pages that you bookmarked and marked as favourites. By tapping the three dots in the top right-hand corner you can access options such as auto-fill forms and save passwords.

Sony Xperia SP review

Next to the settings button is a small box with a number in it, which denotes the tabbed page you currently inhabit. If you tap this, Chrome zooms out and enables you to swipe between, or close, certain tabs.

This is great for multitasking - although it's not often you'll have legions of tabs open at any one time. If you do, you can expect the strain to show on the Sony Xperia SP's 1.7GHz processor. While browsing for the most part was very smooth, the speed fell away as we opened more tabs.

Unfortunately, skipping around a complex, image-heavy web page will result in a fair amount of empty grey space while you wait for the Sony Xperia SP to catch up. This is certainly tolerable for the most part when browsing on a Wi-Fi signal, but expect it to take a bit longer if you're surfing over 3G. There's also a second's delay when switching from portrait to landscape orientation.

Sony Xperia SP review

Flash isn't enabled on the Sony Xperia SP, which doesn't surprise us. We don't rate this as much of a problem as the web shifts towards HTML 5. It can be annoying if you want to visit older sites that aren't supported, but it's something you'll just have to live with.

If your tastes run to some of the questionable materials available for viewing on the internet, then you'll be glad to know that both the stock Android browser and Google's Chrome have an Incognito mode.

This won't protect you from malware or eyes looking over your shoulder, but it will stop the offending website from being listed in your internet history or leaving cookies on your phone.

Alternatively, if you're proud of the sites you visit and want to boast about it, a quick tap of the Share option will enable you to post the page to a variety of social networks, including Facebook and Google+.

Chrome and Android's stock browser are the two options you're most likely to use, but there are plenty of others, such as Opera or Firefox, available to download from Google Play if you fancy a change.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory1 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia S
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time7.50 Hour
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)144 g
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density342 ppi
Height128 mm
Width64 mm
Depth10.6 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time450 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA S Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXperia S
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeGyro Sensor, Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number1257-2734
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Experience watch. Experience capture. Experience play. In full HD, all with the Xperia S smartphone.

Snap, share and view life's greatest hits on the crisp, clear 4.3 HD touchscreen. Escape into blockbuster movies, hit music and PlayStation games. It's all a few clicks away with the Sony Entertainment Network on your Xperia S smartphone. But don't keep all the fun to yourself - share it on your TV, straight from your HD mobile. Sony Entertainment Network with Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited are not available in every market.