Sony Xperia L review: Xperia Lite

GSMArena team, 03 June 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011Ľ

Tags: Sony, Android

Introduction

Sony's ticking along nicely and it's almost hard to believe this is only its second season on its own. Having finally made their presence felt in the premium end, the Japanese are showing enviable focus and determination in bringing the middle ranks up to date.

The good thing is they have a solid foundation to build on and the Sony Xperia L looks ready to take advantage. It picks up exactly where the Xperia U left off and tries to fix only what needed fixing, without overspending on gimmicks. A bigger screen, beefier battery and still resolution up from 5 to 8MP are things we wouldn't say no to. Yet, the expandable memory is what seems to be the most exciting piece of news.

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Sony Xperia L official photos

The Xperia L is about to enter a segment that saw some of Sony's most compelling performers last year. This is no small responsibility but the L seems to have the right tools for the job. It comes across as one of the hottest prospect in Sony's lineup - one that's more likely to pleasantly surprise than disappoint. Let's take a closer look at what the Sony Xperia L has to offer.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual or quad-band HSPA support
  • 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
  • 4.3" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen of FWVGA resolution (480 x 854 pixels) at around 228 ppi
  • Android OS v4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-core 1 GHz Krait CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon chipset
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8 GB of inbuilt storage (5.8 GB user available)
  • microSD slot (32GB supported)
  • 8 MP autofocus camera, single LED flashlight, geotagging, touch focus, HDR, proper shutter key
  • 720p @ 30fps video capture with HDR
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • NFC
  • PlayStation certified
  • Accelerometer, ambient light and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v4.0
  • LED strip for breathing light and notifications
  • 1750 mAh Li-Ion battery, user-replaceable

Main disadvantages

  • No 1080p video capture, poor video quality
  • No Mobile BRAVIA engine
  • Sub-par viewing angles
  • Rather big and heavy for its display size

The Sony Xperia L obviously cannot escape the issues that even the flagship had to deal with. In honesty though, it's a lot easier to get away with less than stellar contrast and viewing angles in the midrange. No Bravia and lower ppi than the Xperia U are the only things that don't sound right when you look at the lists above.

This was a compromise obviously that had to be made and the reasoning must've been that screen size is what ultimately matters in this price range. Elsewhere though, the Xperia L is clearly superior and in ways that will make a real difference to the majority of users.

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The Sony Xperia L at HQ

OK, a good enough display and adequate processing power are a start. The styling of the Bond phone was readily available - no points for creativity but in the end, the Xperia L has good looks and character with minimum effort. That's the thing here, Sony makes upgrading look so easy and it's a skill that sometimes evades even the most talented competitors. Let's see though if the Xperia L can keep it up. Make sure to check back in after the break.

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