There's a 4.3" FWVGA (480 x 854) LCD on the Sony Xperia L, and no budget for Mobile BRAVIA. It's the same resolution as what the Xperia U has, but with the size increased by nearly an inch, the pixel density has dropped to just 228 ppi. It's clearly not the best you can get, but overall, the screen is reasonable for the price.
Brightness is adequate and the contrast looks good even without the Bravia engine optimizations - the colors look punchy and, all things considered, the screen is less likely to disappoint you than that of the flagship Xperia Z.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|Sony Xperia L||0.30||321||1085||0.50||542||1077||Sony Xperia ZL||-||-||-||0.44||575||1294|
|Sony Xperia Z||-||-||-||0.70||492||705|
|Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4||0||201||∞||0||404||∞|
|Oppo Find 5||0.17||176||1123||0.51||565||1107|
|Samsung N7100 Galaxy Note II||0||215||∞||0||402||∞|
|LG Optimus G Pro||-||-||-||0.41||611||1489|
|Nokia Lumia 920||-||-||-||0.48||513||1065|
|LG Optimus G||0.14||197||1445||0.33||417||1438|
|Apple iPhone 5||0.13||200||1490||0.48||640||1320|
Using the Sony Xperia L in bright outdoor conditions isn't the best experience. The glass on top of the display is reflective and the brightness isn't really enough to make up for it, so finding a proper angle for working with the Xperia L can be a bit tricky at times.
You can find all about our display testing routines here.
The prominent power button is a signature Sony accent that makes an appearance on the Xperia L as well. But the control that makes an even stronger statement is the hardware shutter key. The 8MP camera is central to the marketing of the Xperia L and Sony is genuinely trying to deliver the complete imaging experience. We tend to agree that a proper shutter key, half-press and all, is an important part of that.
So, all the physical buttons on the Xperia L are on the phone's right side: volume rocker at the top, the power/lock key not far below and the camera key near the bottom. A long press of the shutter key unlocks the screen and launches the camera.
The left side of the Sony Xperia L is where the microUSB port is.
The 3.5 mm headphone jack is centrally placed at the top of the Xperia L and there's a secondary noise-cancellation microphone right above the camera lens.
At the bottom we find nothing but a lanyard eyelet.
Undoing the back panel is a bit tricky as you need to undo the top part and pop the phone out of its wrap. The risk of breaking the panel is minimal but it's still worth the caution.
The NFC transmitter is integrated within the back panel, under which we find the SIM card slot, microSD card slot and the 1750 mAh Li-Ion battery. You'll need to remove the battery to get to the SIM compartment.
The Sony Xperia L scored an endurance rating of 39 hours, meaning an hour of calls, video playback and web browsing a day will require you to recharge every 39 hours or so. You can check out the detailed breakdown here.
Sony Xperia L battery test