Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review : Sony Xperia L - Brings freshness to 20K smartphone segment!

For: Design, Screen, Looks, and dedicated camera buttons
Against: Front VGA camera, No Android v4.2 out of the box.  

The Sony Xperia L has been launched in India in June 2013 with a price tag of Rs. 17,000. The device is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon Dual-core 1 processor, 1GB RAM, Adreno 305 GPU, 8GB Internal storage, 8MP Primary +VGA Secondary camera, 4.3 inchesTFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M color and 480 x 854 pixels which gives 228 ppi pixel density with scratch resistant glass and Android JellyBean 4.1.2.

Sony has again marked its presence in the mid range smartphone segment with Sony Xperia L after last year’s popular Xperia Sola. The Xperia L is a fantastic device at around 17,000 rupees and will compete with likes of Samsung Galaxy Grand. Let’s find out more about it.

Screen & Build Quality

Sony is known for making beautiful phones and Xperia L is no exception. The finely crafted Xperia L looks and feels premium. Xperia L comes with 4.3 inchesTFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M color and 480 x 854 pixels which equals to 228 ppi pixel density. It does not comes with cornering gorilla glass but is scratch resistant. A Good quality screen cover is recommended and avoid lamination on the screen. Touch response is feather smooth, color production, image quality, color saturation, contrast ratios are perfect on this screen. On the screen there are couple of sensors and a VGA front camera.

The screen is surrounded by nice chrome plated boundary. The back panel is of good quality plastic and infact the construction is so good that it gives it a unibody feel. Build quality is fantastic and the phone feels very soft to hold and operate. ‘Xperia’ logo is printed on the centre of the back cover and just below it you will find a small NFC logo confirming that this device is NFC supported. A large speaker is also placed just below the NFC logo.

Camera, Buttons & call/audio quality

Sony Xperia L comes with an autofocus 8 MP primary camera with LED flash which shoots 3264 x 2448 pixels photos.  The camera is also capable of recording 720p@30fps videos with video stabilization. Camera supports necessary and advanced functionalities like Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, sweep panorama. Image quality is very good for daytime photographs with quality deteriorating in low light conditions. Sony has done fantastic job by adding a dedicated shutter button on the device with zoom function operational from the volume up/down keys. This certainly adds to great convenience. Front VGA camera is bit disappointing, it should have at least 1.3MP secondary camera considering the segment in which this device is placed.

The chrome plated Power button is very nicely designed on the device and lies on left side of the phone along with volume rocker and camera shutter button. A 3.5 mm audio jack is on top of the phone. Data syncing cum charging port lies on the right side of the phone. Buttons feels nice and soft to operate.  There is a noise cancellation microphone just above the LED flash on the back which results in excellent voice communications. Call quality is very good. Speakerphone output is above average. Xperia L comes with standard sony earphones which offer decent sound quality.

OS/Performance and Battery

Sony Xperia L comes with Android v4.1.2 out of the box which is nicely integrated with Sony’s timescape UI. The user interface is beautifully designed and grabs the attention of nearby people once the screen is on. Sony’s timescape doesn’t feels too heavy on the 1 Ghz dual core processor. It would have been great if the processor was at least 1.2 GHz dual core. There are upto seven home screen which can be customised as per user’s requirements. It comes with Sony’s proprietary apps like Walkman, Select, Movies etc.
Xperia L comes with 8 GB internal storage out of which around 5.8GB is available to user. It also supports SD card support upto 32GB. That results in ample of space and storing multimedia on phone including movies will not be an issue. 

It would have been better if Xperia L came with Android v4.2 out of the box. Sony is already very lazy in bringing Android updated to its devices so the wait for further versions can be very long. Adreno 305 GPU results in satisfactory gaming performance with games like Temple run2 running perfectly without any lag or device being heated up. I don't expect Android 4.3 on this device considering it's 1GHz Dual core processor. The device scored 4367 points on the quadrant benchmark app which is quite impressive. Xperia L comes with removable Li-Ion 1750 mAh battery which gives around 9hours talktime which is quite impressive. It should be noted that Xperia L is not a power hungry device so battery backup should be good.


If you are in market today to buy a smartphone within 20k segment and want something fresh and exclusive, grab a Sony Xperia L now.

Ratings (out of 5 stars)

Build Quality ****
Screen ****
Performance ***
Value for Money ***
Overall ****

Thanks folks for reading.

Sony Xperia L key specifications

4.3-inch 480x854 TFT display
1GHz Qualcomm MSM8230 dual-core processor
8GB internal storage, expandable by up to 32GB via microSD
8-megapixel Exmor RS autofocus camera with LED flash, VGA front camera
Network Type
3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, EDGE, GPRS, GPS, LTE
1,750mAh removable battery
Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
128.7X65 X9.7 mm
137 grams