Sony has a plan and is sticking to it. Not a piece of tactical genius either but one that seems to work for it. A couple of phones did well for Sony in the midrange last year and the right touches here and there was all they needed to be highly competitive again.
We liked it how the Xperia SP built on the Xperia P and the Xperia L would've been foolish not to adopt the same strategy. Bigger screen and battery, memory expansion and a seriously good camera for the price - there you go - last year's great midrange package is relevant again, in three easy steps.
There's Jelly Bean too, which may not be the latest version available, but way better than Gingerbread, on which the Xperia U launched at a time when ICS was widely available. Add the styling of the ex-flagship and things are looking good for the Sony Xperia L.
Like we said, not a massive effort but one that might just pay off generously. The way we see it, the lack of full-HD video and a screen that's acceptable, but not impressive, are the biggest question marks. Elsewhere, the Xperia L is looking quite convincing.
The Samsung Galaxy S II Plus features a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display of WVGA resolution, has great 8 MP camera, Jelly Bean, expandable storage. Its chipset is certainly inferior to the Krait-powered Xperia L, but the display image quality comparisons go in its favor. Priced about the same as the Sony Xperia L, the midrange sequel of the once proud flagship is worth checking out.
HTC doesn't have an up-to-date alternative but last year's One S should be very much in consideration. With an attractively thin body (at 7.8 mm) and the impressive ceramic finish, the one S not only looks the part but means business with a qHD (540 x 960) Super AMOLED display and dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait. It costs a bit more than the Xperia L, though, and being over an year old now it's got slim chances of getting its Android version updated in the future.
Over at Windows Phone, the HTC Windows Phone 8X shapes up as one of the most likely options to consider. It packs a 720p screen and faster dual-core Krait processor, but is larger than the Xperia L despite not offering a bigger screen. It costs more than the Xperia L, too, and given the inferior productivity of the Microsoft platform compared to Android, it will only appear to very casual users.
Overall, the Xperia L is a package that fits in its midrange spot nicely. It's an adequately powered smartphone and an above average cameraphone. There seems to be enough appeal there for common-sense buyers - and that's something to build on. Without a doubt, the Xperia L should be grateful to the Xperia U for the momentum and to Sony, for doing the right thing.