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 "precision-crafted co-moulded aluminium frame".
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 newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesAndroidsonymobile phones4gjelly beanSony MobileSony Xperia SP

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

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?