Sony Xperia L :Coming soon
The Sony Xperia L has a precision engineered feature mix, making it a true successor to last year's Xperia U.Its a new mid- to low-end effort that places a heavy emphasis on the camera experience. Carrying on the Arc's legacy, this 4.3-inch handset packs an FWVGA display, dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 1,700mAh battery, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), NFC and an 8-megapixel rear shooter with Exmor RS sensor into a conspicuously curved body rounded off with that signature Xperia power key. It covers all bases, compromising only on stuff that isn't essential to the user experience, while at the same time, retaining the attractive price tag. The ambience light and the capable camera are here to add some character to the smartphone - something very rare at this price point.
Sony Xperia L official photos
Sony may have had a hard time competing in the high-end market segment for the past two years, but its entry-level and mid-range smartphones were among the most attractive offerings on the market. The Xperia U and Xperia P duo last year, and the Xperia mini before that, provided better value for money than virtually every other smartphone in this class, so naturally we are paying close attention to Sony's newly announced smartphone in the segment - the Xperia L.
Sony Xperia L at a glance
- General: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, tri/quad-band UMTS/HSPA
- Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
- Dimensions: 128.7 x 65 x 9.7 mm, 137 g
- Display: 4.3" 16M-color FWVGA (480 x 854 pixels ) capacitive touchscreen TFT
- CPU: Dual-core 1 GHz Krait
- GPU: Adreno 305
- RAM: 1GB
- OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- Memory: 8GB storage, microSD card slot
- Camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with face detection; 720p video recording at 30fps, LED flash, VGA front facing camera
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port, microHDMI, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC
- Misc: Sony custom UX, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Illumination effect, Stamina mode, dedicated camera key
The Sony Xperia L addresses the non-expandable memory issue of the Xperia U and adds a more capable camera than the Xperia P. It also comes with a newer generation chipset for better performance than both of those. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ensures the extra smooth screen action. Well, the Xperia L already sounds like a worthy upgrade.
Sony Xperia L live photos
In line with recent trends, the screen has grown notably and there's a bigger battery to offset the higher power consumption. The Sony Xperia L also comes with the surprisingly effective Stamina mode, which was introduced with the Xperia Z flagship. But enough with the specs sheet examination - let's get down to exploring the actual hardware.
Sony Xperia L hands-onThe Sony Xperia L has a design similar to that of the entry-level Xperia E, but the arced back is distinct reference to 2011 flagships of the company. The Xperia L is not as slim as the Arc or Arc S, but it's still an instantly recognizable Sony smartphone .
The plastic body with a very thin metal frame lacks the sophistication of the glass panels of the Sony Xperia Z, but you can't realistically expect that kind of build materials in this class. Furthermore the plastic used on the Xperia L is of pretty high quality and feels really nice to the touch. The Sony Xperia L's extra heft also contributes to the great feeling it gives and makes the smartphone feel way more solid than the bulk of its market rivals.
We also like the initial selection of available colors. A more eye-catching red version joins the classical black and white units and the best bit is the color changes do not affect the quality of the build materials. The matte plastics are really hard to get smudged with fingerprints, so they will retain their looks longer, too.
The Sony Xperia L color options
The sloped bottom edge of the Xperial L hosts the Illumination effect LED. Sony has gone for a more subtle implementation here, compared to the Xperia SP and, and while the LED will still match the color of the image you are browsing in the gallery or the album art of the currently playing track, it lacks the option to flash in different colors when a call is incoming and serve as visual caller ID.
The microUSB jack is on the left
From the sides the Sony Xperia L looks like an upsized Xperia E with the camera key showing Sony's commitment to providing better imaging experience than its Android rivals. You also get a microSD card slot under the hood, showing that the company has learned from the mistake it did with the Xperia U.
The Sony signature power key is flanked by the volume rocker and the camera key
The Sony Xperia L display retains the same resolution as the one on the Xperia U, but since its diagonal has grown by nearly an inch, the pixel density has dropped to just 228 ppi. It's not the best you can get out there, but the screen still feels reasonably sharp for a lower mid-range device and the 16:9 aspect ratio comes as a nice bonus to video enthusiasts.
The screen is pretty good for the class
Unfortunately, the Achilles' hell of all Sony smartphone displays - the poor viewing angles - make another appearance here. Of course, that disadvantage matters little in real-life usage, unless you are often sharing your smartphone with others, but it takes away some of the high-end vibe of these displays. At least the contrast looks good and even though the Xperia L lacks the Bravia engine optimizations, its colors are quite punchy as they are.
So that's it for our short meet-up with the Xpeira L. It left a positive impression and Sony promises it will be priced quite temptingly. It surely deserves a more detailed write-up and we're looking forward to that once the smartphone hits the market.