Sony adds Xperia SP and Xperia L to 2013 line up

Sony has introduced two new Android Jelly Bean-based handsets to accompany the recently launched Xperia Z handset in a bid to help it take on the mid-range, as well as the high-end.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Sony has introduced two new Xperia smartphones that will join the Xperia Z in the company's new line-up for 2013.

The devices — the Xperia SP and Xperia L — follow hot on the heels of the flagship 5-inch Xperia Z smartphone-cum-tablet, announced at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. Sony expects both handsets to be available globally from the second quarter of 2013.

The Sony Xperia SP. Image credit: Sony


The better specced, and larger, of the two is the Xperia SP which comes with a 4.6-inch 720p HD Reality Display which draws on Sony's TV manufactuiring expertise and includes its Mobile Bravia Engine 2, which the company claims delivers a better viewing experience by analysing content type and making minor adjustments like real-time contrast optimisation, sharpness enhancement, high-quality colour management, and noise reduction, all  automatically.

Aside from the display, other key specs of the device include a 1.7 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960Pro dual-coreprocessor, 4G LTE and NFC compatibility, microSD support up 32GB and 8GB of internal storage (of which, just under 6GB is usable out of the box).

There's also an 8-megapixel camera on the rear capable of 1080P HD video capture, and HDR mode for stills and video. The camera also uses Sony's Exmos RS sensor, which the company said delivers improved clarity and colour reproduction.

On the front of the device there is also a small strip of plastic that changes color according to certain conditions. For example, you can set it to change color to alert you of a missed call or text message.

Like its smaller Xperia L sibling announced alongside the Xperia SP, the handset will arrive running the Jelly Bean (4.1) version of Android. Both handsets also use Sony's 'Stamina' system for longer battery life too, the Japanese handset maker said.

While some of the hardware specs of the Xperia L cannot match the SP, the camera is still an 8-megapixel affair, but maxes out at 720P HD video capture. Under the bonnet is a dual-core 1GHz processor and there is no 4G connectivity option. The screen is also a little smaller at 4.3-inches and has a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels.

Despite representing the more cost-sensitive end of the range, the L includes many of the same software features as the SP and even the range-topping Xperia Z, such as one-touch connection to external displays via NFC for big screen playback of videos or photos.

Like Sony's other devices, both handsets also include the Walkman branded music player and access to Sony Movies and Album apps.

Pricing for the Xperia SP and the Xperia L was not available at the time of writing. However, the handsets are both more modestly specced than the Xperia Z.

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