Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – What’s the difference?

by Jerry D on March 22, 2013

If you compare the Sony Xperia SP and the older Sony Xperia S side-by-side, which one is the best? Does the 4.6-inch screen on the Xperia SP, outperform the Xperia S’s display? Is its dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T processor closer to the cutting edge? These questions (and more besides) are answered below.

XXXX versus graphic Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S   Whats the difference? XXXX

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S: stat-fight

Here’s how the two phones compare. If you you want more information on any of the technologies that you see mentioned, click on a highlighted term to find out more about it. Or view our FAQs.

Sony Xperia SP VS Sony Xperia S
Display 4.6-inch LCD 4.3-inch LED-backlit LCD
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
(319.348 PPI)
720 x 1280 pixels
(341.628 PPI)
Keyboard No No
Processor 1.7GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260
Software Android 4.1 Android 4.0.4
Storage 8GB internal, microSD cards up to 32GB 32GB internal, no expansion slot
Rear
camera
8.0 Megapixels with autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama mode and 1080p video recording 12.0 Megapixels with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, image stabilization and 1080p video recording
Front
camera
Yes, 0.3MP Yes, 1.3MP
4G LTE No
3G 3G/HSDPA 3G/HSDPA
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP 2.1 with EDR/A2DP
Size 67.1 x 130.6 x 10.0mm 64.0 x 128.0 x 10.6mm
Weight 155g 144g
Talktime 19.0 hours 8.5 hours
Standby 734 hours 420 hours
Extras GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, digital compass, stereo FM radio, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality and a TV-out GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, stereo FM radio, HDMI port, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine, DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S analysis

You’ve seen the specs for the two phones above. But that doesn’t immediately tell you which one is technically superior. Here’s how this Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S fight plays out…

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Connectivity

The Xperia SP is equipped with a 3G/HSDPA chipset, along with NFC, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. It also gets a speed boost with 4G connectivity. Sony has jammed its handset with NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP. 4G isn’t supported here.
— The Xperia SP wins (1-0)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Size/Weight

In this round, we compare heftiness. The Xperia SP measures 130.6 x 67.1 x 10.0mm. In comparison, the Xperia S is 128.0 x 64.0 x 10.6mm. The Xperia S is the shorter of the two phones by 2.6mm. Weigh the two phones and the Xperia SP weighs 155g, while the Sony Xperia S is 144g.
— The Xperia S wins (1-1)

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Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Camera/Video

Sony has opted for a 8.0 Megapixel camera in its SP phone, which boasts autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama mode and 1080p video recording. It supports a max resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. For video calling, you’ll find a second 0.3MP camera on the front.

The Xperia S KOs the Xperia SP with a 12.0 Megapixel lens (4290 x 2800 max resolution), plus features such as: autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, image stabilization and 1080p video recording. Another 1.3 Megapixel camera located on the front is ideal for video calls.
— The Xperia S wins (1-2)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Display

The display on the Sony Xperia SP is a 4.6-incher, featuring touch-sensitive LCD technology and a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. By cramming 921600 pixels into its 4.6-inch screen, the Xperia SP has pixel density of 319.348 pixels per inch (PPI).

XXXX pointy arrow The Sony Xperia SP features a 4.6-inch LCD display with a quoted resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Its Pixels Per Inch (PPI) rating is 319.348.

Measuring 4.3 inches in comparison, the Xperia S’s touch-sensitive LED-backlit LCD screen is not significantly smaller. The screen resolution is also 720 x 1280 pixels. With 921600 pixels on the 4.3-inch screen, the pixel density is a formidable 341.628 pixels per inch.
— It’s a tie, one point to each phone (2-3)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Processor

Speed matters and the Sony Xperia SP has been constructed around a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T chip, clocked at 1.7GHz. In comparison, the Xperia S has a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 1.5GHz processor.
— The Xperia SP wins (3-3)

Half-time: Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S

As the first half comes to a close, the Xperia SP and the Xperia S have 3 points each. Which way will this fight go? Has the Xperia SP got the specs to win it?

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Software

Neither phone wins this Android 4.1 vs. Android 4.0.4 battle. So…
— It’s a tie, each phone gets a point (4-4)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Applications

It’s Google Play vs. Google Play and there’s no winner here. Which means… The has pulled it back to tie the scores. But can it go on to win?
— The two phones share the points (5-5)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Storage

— It’s a tie, one point to each phone (6-6)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Battery Life

With a good overnight charge, the Xperia SP boasts 19.0 hours of talktime according to Sony, while the Xperia S is rated at 8.5 hours. Standby time is rated at 734 hours and 420 hours respectively. The Xperia S finishes last here.
— The Xperia SP wins (7-6)

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Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia S – Extras

Finally, the Xperia SP also includes GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, digital compass, stereo FM radio, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality and a TV-out. In comparison, the Xperia S is packed with GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, stereo FM radio, HDMI port, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine, DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
— The Xperia S wins (7-7)

BPF verdict: It’s a tie! (7-7)

Neither phone wins this match-up. Here’s a summary of which phone has the best features:

The best connectivity: Xperia SP
The best size/weight: Xperia S
The best camera: Xperia S
The best display: Comparable
The fastest processor: Xperia SP
The best software: Comparable
The most applications: Comparable
The most storage: Comparable
The best battery life: Xperia SP
The best extras: Xperia S

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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