Sony Xperia L review
|Review: September 2013|
In a nutshell: The Sony Xperia L is a mid-range Android smartphone with above-average photo capabilities thanks to its Exmor RS sensor.
Today's best buy: Sony Xperia L1 from Laptops Direct (£149.97)
Design & looks
The Sony Xperia L is a mid-range, medium-sized Android phone that looks smart but isn't out to win any fashion prizes. It's similar in looks to the rest of the Sony range, and is neither too big nor too small. It's reasonably slim, and has a subtle curve that makes it easy to hold in one hand. The styling is modern, and there are some premium touches such as the aluminium finish to the power button and around the camera lens.
Available in a choice of Black, White or Red, the phone adds a funky touch with the illuminated strip that runs around the base. The phone is pretty slim, measuring a whisker under 10mm depth, yet surprisingly heavy, at 137g.
The display measures 4.3 inches across, which is a good size for a smartphone without making the phone too large to fit in a pocket. It's a TFT screen with an 854 x 480 pixel resolution, which is perfectly acceptable, but quite some way behind the HD screens that are now beginning to appear at this price point.
Android Jelly Bean
The phone runs Android Jelly Bean, but version 4.1 not the current 4.2.
Processor & memory
The phone is respectably kitted out for a mid-range product. It uses a reasonably fast 1GHz dual-core processor, coupled with an Adreno 305 graphics processor and 1GB of RAM.
The installed flash memory is 8GB, and you can add microSD memory cards up to 32GB in capacity for storing all those photos and videos.
These are not earth-shattering specs, but reasonable considering the relatively low cost of the phone.
The camera is what Sony is telling everyone what the Xperia L is all about. It's certainly a decent camera, equipped with Sony's Exmor RS sensor. This is Sony's best CMOS image sensor, featuring HDR (High Dynamic Range) to handle a wider dynamic range of light and shadow. The camera is fully equipped with autofocus and a pulsed LED flash, and there's a handy dedicated camera key that can activate the camera in less than a second from a locked screen.
The resolution of the camera is 8 megapixels, which is higher than the majority of rival camera phones in this price range, although a little disappointingly, video recording is at 720p HD resolution, not full 1080p. The front-facing VGA camera can be used for making video calls.
Overall, we'd say that this is one of the best mid-range camera phones around, although not up to the standard of the now similarly-priced Xperia T from 2012.
The Xperia L, like most Sony phones, is also no slouch when it comes to music. Clear Audio+ delivers crystal quality sound when combined with a decent set of headphones. A manual equaliser is included in the Walkman music player. You'll also find an FM radio with RDS.
This is a 3G phone with support for HSPA+ giving maximum download speeds of up to 21Mbps. The phone also supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and micro USB connectivity and includes aGPS. An NFC chip is also present, and the phone supports screen mirroring with Sony Bravia TVs. These features enable you to share content with a single touch of your phone to a compatible device.
Sony's marketing guys are making statements that include the phrase "large battery", yet the 1700mAh battery in the Xperia L is plain average by our reckoning. Although you can engage Stamina mode to prolong the battery life in standby, Sony's own battery life figures speak for themselves, with a paltry 8.5 maximum continuous use. We'd like more than this please, especially considering the relatively high weight of the handset.
The Sony Xperia L is a good mid-range Android phone with a better than average camera, but nothing else that really makes it stand out from the herd. If you choose this phone, you'll be getting your money's worth and shouldn't have any regrets, but you could instead opt for the superior Sony Xperia T, once a flagship phone, but now available at a similar price to the Xperia L on contract.
Sony Xperia L features include:
- Operating system: Google Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
- 8 megapixel fast-capture camera with Sony Exmor RS sensor, 4x digital zoom, autofocus, face detection, smile detection and pulsed LED flash
- HD 720p video camera with video light
- VGA front-facing video camera, Google Talk with video chat
- Display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 854 x 480 pixels (4.3 inches), 16 million colours with auto-rotation
- Media player with album art, TrackID and PlayNow
- Clear Audio+, Clear Bass, Clear Phase, Clear Stereo, xLoud
- FM radio with RDS
- aGPS/GLONASS with Google Maps
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, conversations
- 3D games, motion gaming, PlayStation® Certified
- Vibration alert
- Internet: GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, YouTube, voice search
- Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8230 dual-core processor
- Memory: 8GB flash memory plus 1GB RAM plus 32GB microSD card slot
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, NFC, WiFi hotspot support, screen mirroring
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900) plus 3G UMTS/HSPA
- Size: 129 x 65 x 9.7 mm
- Weight: 137g
- Battery: 1700mAh
- Talktime: 8 hours 30 minutes
- Battery standby: 498 hours
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Sony Xperia L user reviews
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Average rating from 2 reviews:
Reviewed by Arvinal Gonzales
on 13th Feb 2014
This is the worst SONY Mobile out there. So many problems after they rolled out the latest software update. (15.A.3.1.14 Version). A lot of people are complaining about it and SONY cannot do anything about it cause they are already enjoying the people's money and they have no intention of fixing the Xperia L problem
Never buy this phone you will surely regret it besides there are other better brands out there like HTC, LG or Samsung. Sony sucks big time and we will not buy any Sony Mobile ever again.
Reviewed by sandeep singh
on 11th Dec 2013
it's a best phone..n want to purchase it..but X peria have a bad back look it should be straight or plain..