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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2013
I bought the SP as an upgrade to my reliable but slightly sluggish Xperia Ray. I had been waiting for Sony to announce a similarly compact successor (sub 4-inch screen) but grew tired of waiting and decided to take a chance on the SP. Two weeks in and I am very glad that I did.

Firstly, the performance of the phone is very impressive - menus, messages, games and apps all load very smoothly without a hitch. Switching between concurrently running apps via the multitask menu is painless. The GPU is also highly capable for playing games, as an example, GTA vice city runs perfectly on max graphics/resolution. Battery life is very impressive, Sony have implemented a feature called Stamina mode which puts wi-fi into sleep mode when the screen is off and instantly wakes it up when the screen is on. I can typically go 2 days on a single charge - twice as long I could on my previous phone (Xperia Ray). The device runs Sony's version of Android Jelly Bean (as of 05/06/13 it runs 4.1.2). The tweaks to the stock version are neat and unobtrusive. I own a Nexus 7 and frankly I find Sony's version of Android equal to, if not better than, Stock Android.

On top of all these performance merits, the phone is incredibly well designed, both in terms of looks and ergonomics (despite having a large screen, the device is not too heavy and feels well balanced. It looks incredible, the aluminium rim is a nice touch and goes well with the white version of the phone. The back is plastic but not the glossy cheap looking kind found on other devices, it is matte and feels premium. The illuminated LED strip at the bottom is a great addition for ensuring that notifications (incoming call, missed call, unread sms etc) are not missed, the colour can be customised according to the type of notification. There is also the option to have the lights illuminate in time (and in colour) with music played via the Walkman app, slightly gimmicky but a neat party trick nonetheless.

Additional pros: Dedicated camera button (in my opinion a vital feature), expandable memory (I use a 64gb Sandisk micro SD card with no problems) and support for wireless pairing of a PS3 controller which can be used with some Android games (I use it for GTA Vice City and SNES9x, again without any problems).

Cons: Viewing angles - when looking at the phone face on, it looks very vibrant, however from unorthodox/extreme angles it does exhibit high contrast levels (i.e. Looks washed out).
Internal memory is 8gb (of which around 5.5 is usable) - this could be an issue for people who want to install large apps/games.
There is currently (05/06/13) a software bug which causes music players to force close when running at the same time as the Chrome browser - there is no problem when running either app separately or music apps with other browsers such as Opera. Hopefully Sony will address this in a future firmware update.

All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this device to all fans of technology. The Xperia Z may be Sony's flagship, but frankly I wouldn't trade my SP in for any other device currently in the market.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2014
after having a samsung galaxy s2 for a while I thought it was time for an upgrade, so after checking out the array of smartphones within my price range I came across this little number, so I went ahead and bought it.

intitial thoughts -

the phone was very good looking, the heavy weight felt nice in the hand as it felt well made and well built, the phone was also quite big which isn't usually expected within the mid-range market. the charger cable was a little on the short side.

the performance -

for the price you pay this phone certainly delivers in the performance bracket. a dual core 1.7ghz processor so far is working well with numerous games with no lag to speak of as yet. the RAM is a little on the low side at 1GB however this doesn't usually affect performance of multi-tasking considerably, due to the powerful processor.

the display -

with the display being 720p it may not be as 'sharp' as the top end phones with the 1080p displays, however put side by side you would be hard pressed to find much different in graphical quality. the contrast within the display is good and the high PPI rate helps with colour differentiation in images.

the camera/video -

as most of the people on here have pointed out the camera is most probably one of the downfalls of this phone, at 8MP you would expect a decent performance from the camera, however compared to other 8MP cameras this phone just doesn't seem to cut it (admittedly I don't use the camera a ton so this downfall doesn't really bother me) the video oddly enough seems to fair a little better, it copes with motion quite well and is adequate for most uses. the front camera however is nothing short of pathetic, a VGA camera is a throwback to around a decade ago and is somewhere we don't really want to go back to, this of course affects the ease in which people can take the infamous "selfie"

the battery -

at around 2.3k mili amps the battery is quite sizable, which left me a little disapointed when it came to the actual life of the battery. with general usage I can get around a day out of the battery from early morning to late(ish) at night, which is fine as I can charge it whilst not using it anyway. the phone does come with a stamina mode which turns off certain settings to save battery, which maybe useful to most. how long the battery lasts is down to you as the user, and how well you look after your phone.

the added extras -

one of the noticable things about this phone is the LED strip at the bottom which can be programmed to flash different colours depending on the notification. this may appear a gimmick to some people however I like this little feature, as its good to see some fun in a smartphone for a change. the operating system within the phone works well and is generally pretty stable. the phone also includes small applets which include a notetaker, a calculator and other small useful apps which you can pin onto the screen, doesn't sound like much but the small things do matter and its good to see that this small details have been taken care of.

the phone also comes with a number of sonys features including the walkman app, which works as a music player to play music on the go. the walkman app can also find the lyrics to the song and find the video on youtube for it, which are all useful features which speed up general usage. the phone also comes with sonys own app store, which is pretty pointless considering this is an android smartphone.

overall verdict -

for the price you pay you certainly get a lot for your money, I have had the phone for around a month and had no problems so far (touch wood!) so as far as I can see it is pretty reliable, I don't really see this as a mid range phone, I like to think of this phone as last years top performers, today. I hope this review gave you some idea of what to expect if you buy this :)
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2013
Coming clean, I didn't buy this from Amazon, but thought it could do with a review anyway!

Like a few people I know, I felt the latest superphones (Galaxy S4, HTC One and Xperia Z) are just too big to use comfortably one handed; ok, they aren't as Dom Jolly phone gag as the Note 2 and the other phablets, but I didn't want a 5" screen.

Rather than wait for the S4 mini or HTC one mini, I decided to get rid of my Atrix (decent phone, shocking software support from Motorola) and get the Xperia SP on EE's 4G as its the only option, and what can I say - its lightning quick!

Despite not being blessed with 2GB of RAM, the phone is extremely rapid - BBC iplayer is faultless, tested against a iPhone 4S the SP wiped the floor with the Apple phones browser and streaming ability!

The metal frame feels very lush, yet much more sturdy than an all plastic phone such as Atrix/Galaxy models.

The flashing light bar may not be to everyones taste, but so far I think its pretty cool.

I haven't owned an S4 or iphone etc, but having come from an Atrix and owning a Nexus 7, this is one seriously good mobile - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Now to think about a case for it maybe... hmmm... lol
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2013
I've had this for a little over a day and can truly say it is excellent value for money. I went for the white option, it was cheaper than the black! for the price you're getting a high - end phone which is both responsive and colourful, the added illuminating light at the bottom is cool and trendy. The battery, although integrated, lasts more than a day, and there is a stamina mode feature that will help cut down the 1.7GHZ dual core processing power to conserve power.

As a techie, I was looking at owning the Galaxy S4 or HTC One, but was put of by the size and cost of the phone (around £400!) this is similar to an S2 screen size wise. Also has integrated 4G, LTE bands 1/3/5/7/8/20. Where'as the early IPhone 5's only work on EE, this will work with all carriers, O2, Vodafone and Three.

One of the main surprises is that if you have a PS3, you can link the PS3 controller up to the phone and play games such as ridge racer without the need of touching the screen! Fantastic feature Sony!

I didn't like the main menu screen, but luckily enough, most things that run Android are customisable and installed an app called Go Launcher, available on the Google play store. All apps that ran on my Galaxy S2 work well on the Xperia SP.

The front camera is a little pixelated, but still clear, it's a feature I don't really use.

One more thing, this Xperia SP take a micro SIM, instead of the normal SIM. Luckily enough I'm on giffgaff network run by O2 and they perforate there SIMs so you can punch around the existing SIM to make it Micro
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2015
Please consider buying another phone.

It worked perfectly for me for about three months, upon which time I began having problems. The screen froze at least once a day, slowly faded to a yellow colour and then starting to work again. I had issues with the phone restarting itself: this was solved by returning the phone to factory settings (after I lost my patience when it restarted itself everyday of the week) only for it to return to old habits after about a month. I also had problems with the phone screen not turning on when I pressed the unlock button: this happened several times but not with the same frequency as my other problems. This was very frustrating and either meant finding a needle to press the restart button inside the phone, leaving it and hoping it would turn on later or finding somewhere to put it on charge.

I would have returned this phone, however SOMEHOW (and I am still extremely frustrated by this fact) a stupid thunderbug managed to get into the screen of the phone and die within two months of owning it -_- so I spent six months staring at this stupid dead bug in my screen: can't really blame the phone for that, probably just a fluke.

Also had issues with intermittent lagging.

I'm normally the kind of person who just glosses over bad reviews as being the exception or an exaggeration or "it won't happen to me!", but please please don't waste your money :/ or by a used one. My friend also has this phone and she has had to send it into be repaired after it turned itself off and refused to turn back on. Another friend who has the same phone has issues with lag but hasn't had issues as severe as mine.

I was just so so disappointed in this purchase. I was going to wait for next year to buy another but I just lost patience and bought a different phone second hand (which I love).

When it did work, the interface looked good, and I found it easy to navigate (but its android so its going to be). The front camera is pretty terrible but the back camera is decent to good. The light bar at the bottom of the phone was pretty awesome and pulses when you play music, but I never used it due to battery concerns: it was annoying however that it turns on when you're battery is low, cause that's just so helpful.

Battery life was fairly good - always lasted me the whole day. Normal usage (or my definition of normal usage) would bring it to about 45% at the end of the day and heavy usage to about 14% (this wasn't very often).

These phones are NOT worth their new price. If you're going to buy it I would recommend a used one. I'd sell my own but I can't bring myself to pawn it off on someone :/ even if they changed the screen, that doesn't help with the other problems it had.

I hope this is informative!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2015
This phone has in effect cost me a fortune. I was recommended to buy this under contract by a member of staff in the EE shop as an upgrade and it has been rubbish. It started dropping signal randomly and would not pick up again unless I restarted the phone or switched airplane mode on and off again. I had the phone sent away for repair and EE again attempting to rip me for money tried to rent me out a phone for a cost, for the duration it took my phone to be repaired. I declined this as I had my old Galaxy S2 from my previous contract. Either way the phone returned after what seemed like an eternity and I can't recall weather or not I either got it repaired or that they couldn't repair it and I was sent a new phone. Either way after a short while the problem returned and I have refused to return the phone again and as I'm still paying monthly for a phone that I didn't have I didn't want to return the phone to EE to continue paying monthly for a phone I couldn't use. So I still have the phone with this problem.

Aside from this issue after installing 3 or 4 small apps such as a flashlight, darts scoring app a music downloader and 4 or 5 games half of which were small and the others running at relatively high draw the phone slowed rapidly to point of even bringing up the apps list would take a considerable amount of time to load. Games and apps would glitch pause and freeze. At first I thought it was an issue the app itself and a fault missed in developing but like I say before once it started on the pre-installed apps, menus, camera etc. I realised it was the phone. I uninstalled most of the things on there, mainly targeting my high drawing games, but sadly the problem persisted.

Putting these 2 major issues together has made the phone practically unusable and I have now switched back permanently to my Samsung Galaxy S2, making the purchase of this phone pointless and I'm now paying for the phone I'm not using. I could have saved myself a lot of money by switching to a SIM only plan for around £12 cheaper than what I'm paying now. So this phone is now rinsing me for money every month I'm not using it. You could argue that it's my own choice to not use the phone but is it not reasonable to expect a mobile to work effectively without grinding to a halt or dropping signal randomly (baring in mind that this was fixed and the issue returned) well within it's first year of use. It's a 2 year contract so you would at least expect the phone to function for the first 2 years before playing up.

To summarise, don't get this phone unless you want to rapidly fall downhill after 6 months (give or take). Rubbish phone and rubbish service from EE, avoid both if it can be helped and you bet your bottom dollar I'll be complaining to them about this too, maybe trying to get some of my wasted money back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2014
I upgraded from the Xperia S so my review is mainly based on comparison to the Xperia S:

Light Bar

The light bar is quite useful and an improvement from the Xperia S which had a similar light which didn’t really have any meaningful function.

Tethering

The Xperia S was only HSPA, the Xperia SP has HSPA+. The difference when tethering for my laptop is great, much better at downloading videos etc.

Size/Weight

The size of the screen seems much bigger than the Xperia S although the size of the phone isn’t noticeably bigger in the hand or in your pocket. The weight feels exactly the same

Form/Style

Looks great next to my GF’s IPhone 5, the back panel feels part of the phone, better than the Xperia S panel which felt a bit cheap.

Battery Life

Much better than my Xperia S although I had it for 2 years of constant use. I can get 2 days out of the Xperia SP with light use.

Screen

Don’t get hung up on the Pixel Density, the screen is as clear as on the Xperia S. The extra size is great, takes a bit of getting use to but when I go back to use the Xperia S for something it seems tiny in comparison.

Final

The main reason for my upgrade was to get a 4G phone to be able to tether to. I had considered the Sony Z1 Compact but at £400 it’s a bit out of my price range. I would say this phone is a great alternative but still with Sony goodness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2014
From my point of view this phone is in the average - poor section in pretty much all areas and had i known what the phone was like i wouldn't have upgraded to it.
Best things about it for me are its nice and simple to use and its quite quick (Processor Speed).
Worst things are It looks quite dull, its quite heavy compared to other smart phones, the rear/main camera isn't great despite being an 8 Mega PIxel i haven't used the front one and the battery life is a bit shoddy. I find it uses about 60% of its battery life just to be on for 24 hours and this is with
medium display brightness and only basic functions running. ( no WiFi or Bluetooth on etc.)

I've had it 6 months and I've experienced a couple of problems so far. 1. The WiFi and Data (3G/4G) stopped working for a few days. 2. Sometimes when i plug it into my laptop to transfer things it won't be recognised so i have to keep plugging it in and out until it does. And When it is connected to a laptop only the memory card is available to transfer from not the actual phone memory itself.
Overall i would say look elsewhere, there are cheaper and better phones out there and as a Sony Ericsson fan thats hard to do. I will be changing my phone in 18 months time when my contract is over and i doubt i will get another Sony. I've had 5 Sony Ericssons in a row.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2014
This phone looked all too promising on paper. Very high specs and good reviews.
However, after using the phone for a while it has slowed right down. I have even had to do a factory reset to get it going again.,
I use my phone as an mp3 player, and made use of the external memory card function. After filling the memory card about 2gb it currupts itself and will not read any files. This has happened twice!
The speaker is also starting to go on the handset so people sound like they are going senile when you talk to them. This shouldn't happen on a 6 month old phone!!
There was also supposed to be an update in Febuary to bring the phone up to android 4.3 It is not june and am still waiting for the update.
Other points to mention is the screen is great, looks really clear, although the photos it takes are grainy and this shows up on the screen.
I will not be buying another smartphone from sony any time soon.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
Cannot be touched for the price

You are getting fairly high end components at a good price price

4G capable and a decent battery life

Better value than HTC One Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini

Superb phone
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