Sony has recently revealed that it is cutting its sales targets for its smartphones, digital cameras and tablets by at least 13% until March 2015, but said there were “encouraging” signs of a revival in its electronics business.
Like many smartphone manufacturers the past few years have proved to be a testing time for the Japanese firm, as competition in the mobile space continues to build. But, its flagship of 2013, the durable Xperia Z, hasn’t failed to impress and its latest mid-range offering, in the form of the Xperia SP, is also expected to turn heads.
We pit these two handsets head to head to discover whether forking out on one of the many Sony Xperia Z contract deals is worth the extra cost, or if the Android newbie will offer performance to match its spec sheet.
Physically there’s a lot of Xperia Z design heritage brought forward to the Xperia SP, although its form factor is more rounded and slightly bulkier than the flagship. It’s certainly not one of the lightest or most slender handsets currently available, but its moulded aluminium frame and plastic back plate makes it feel very solid in the hand.
Sony has included a LED notification light on the bottom part of the Xperia SP’s frame, which is visible from the back and front of the handset, so you can instantly see if you’ve received a new message. The LED also glows to match the dominant colour of photographs on the display and pulse in time to music, something which was first seen on the Xperia S.
However, unlike the flagship the Xperia SP isn’t water resistant or dust proof, and while this does mean there’s no fiddly rubber port covers to handle, there’s no chance of taking this one for a swim and still have it working perfectly.
The specs indicate that there should be a huge difference when it comes to the screen performance of the two devices, and although the Xperia Z has a greater level of contrast, colours can sometimes appear a little over saturated, which can become tiring on the eyes.
Both devices house Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine 2, which optimises screen performance and makes sure that, whether you’re watching videos or reading your favourite websites images and text will appear bright and defined.
When it comes to processor performance there is no comparison between the dual-core offering on the Xperia SP and the ample quad-core chip on the Xperia Z. The hefty 1.5GHz number on the flagship coupled with 2GB of RAM makes for a totally lag-free experience, whether its processor-intensive gaming, multitasking or extreme social networking.
While the 1.7GHz dual-core processor on the Xperia SP may not be so speedy it does mean that the battery takes less of a battering, and when compared to its higher-end sibling is much better at conserving juice, so you’re less likely to be left without any power after a days use.
If it’s a rugged high-end device you’re after with faultless performance then the Xperia Z is most certainly for you, but for a mid-range Android handset the Xperia SP is certainly an impressive offering. Despite a few niggles its large display, solid build quality and remarkable battery life make this a fantastic proposition.
There are a number of places to buy mobile phones these days, on a range of different contract and pay as you go deals, so if you’re watching your pennies then a smartphone like the Xperia SP is certainly worth considering, making sure you get a slice of the high-end Xperia Z action.
Thanks to Sarah Hazelwood of Phones 4u .
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