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

by Jerry D on March 24, 2013

If you compare the Sony Xperia SP and the Sony Xperia U side-by-side, which phone wins? Does the 4.6-inch display on the Xperia SP, outshine the Xperia U’s 3.5-inch screen? Does it feature a more versatile mobile processor? Is the Xperia U’s 5.0MP camera better? All of these questions are answered below…

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

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U: 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 U
Display 4.6-inch LCD 3.5-inch LED-backlit LCD
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
(319.348 PPI)
480 x 854 pixels
(280.0 PPI)
Keyboard No No
Processor 1.7GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex A9
Software Android 4.1 Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
Storage 8GB internal, microSD cards up to 32GB 8GB 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 5.0 Megapixels with autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile detection and 720p video recording
Front
camera
Yes, 0.3MP Yes, 0.3MP
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 A2DP and EDR
Size 67.1 x 130.6 x 10.0mm 54.0 x 112.0 x 12.0mm
Weight 155g 110g
Talktime 19.0 hours 5.5 hours
Standby 734 hours 472 hours
Extras GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, digital compass, stereo FM radio, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality and a TV-out GPS/A-GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, stereo FM radio with RDS, video light, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot

 

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U 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 U fight plays out…

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U – Connectivity

The wireless talents of the Xperia SP include NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi And Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. It also includes 4G connectivity where available. In comparison, the Xperia U features 3G/HSDPA, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi And Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and EDR. No 4G in this model though.
— The Xperia SP wins (1-0)

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

Get the spec sheets out and we can compare sizes. The Xperia SP and the Xperia U measure 130.6 x 67.1 x 10.0mm and 112.0 x 54.0 x 12.0mm respectively. Overall the Xperia SP is the bigger phone. Drop the two handsets on the scales and the Sony Xperia SP weighs 155g, while the Xperia U is 110g.
— The Xperia U wins (1-1)

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

The Xperia SP’s 8.0 Megapixel camera features a full resolution of 3264 x 2448 plus autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama mode and 1080p video recording. For video calls, there’s also a second, front-mounted camera rated at 0.3 Megapixels.

Even with autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile detection and 720p video recording, the Xperia U’s older 5.0 MP camera underwhelms. A second 0.3MP camera on the front can be used for video calling.
— The Xperia SP wins (2-1)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U – Display

The specs show that Sony has built the Xperia SP with a 4.6-inch touch-sensitive display. The LCD panel has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. Is this good? Bad? The resulting pixel density of this handset tells us exactly that. It’s 319.348 pixels per inch. So good. iPhone 5-esque…

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.

The touch-sensitive LED-backlit LCD screen on the Xperia U is 1.1 inches smaller, measuring 3.5 inches. It boasts a lower resolution than the Xperia SP too, namely 480 x 854 pixels. Do the math again and, with 409920 overall pixels, the pixels per inch (PPI) rating of this screen is slightly lower at 280.0.
— The Xperia SP wins (3-1)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U – Processor

How nimble are these two phones?  The Sony Xperia SP is powered by a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T processor, clocked at 1.7GHz. The Xperia U has a 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex A9 chip.
— The Xperia SP wins (4-1)

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

At half-time, the Xperia SP leads the Xperia U and has opened up a clear 3-point lead. Can the Xperia U turn this around?

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U – Software

The Sony Xperia SP is built around Android 4.1, while the Xperia U launched with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
— The Xperia SP wins (5-1)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U – Applications

It’s Google Play vs. Google Play and there’s no winner here. Which means… The Xperia SP is still leading in this fight. The Xperia SP already has this battle won.
— The two phones share the points (6-2)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U – Storage

As for digital storage… The Sony Xperia SP boasts 8GB of built-in storage. The Sony Xperia U also comes in a love it or leave it 8GB model. Neither the Sony or Sony handset comes out on top. Plug a 32GB memory card into the Xperia SP’s microSD expansion slot and the maximum capacity rises to 40GB. Unlike its rival, the Xperia U is missing an expansion slot and so the max storage options remain 8GB.
— The Xperia SP wins (7-2)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia U – Battery Life

With a maximum charge, Sony claims 19.0 hours of talktime for the Xperia SP, compared to 5.5 hours for the Xperia U. Standby times are 734 hours and 472 hours respectively. Points go to the Xperia SP this time.
— The Xperia SP wins (8-2)

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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 U – 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 U is packed with GPS/A-GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, stereo FM radio with RDS, video light, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot.
— It’s a tie, one point each (9-3)

BPF Verdict: The Sony Xperia SP wins! (9-3)

The Sony Xperia SP wins this match-up. It beats the Sony Xperia U, taking 7 of the 10 rounds available, drawing 2 and losing 1. Here’s a summary of where this fight was won and lost:

The best connectivity: Yes
The best size/weight: No
The best camera/video: Yes
The best display: Yes
The best processor: Yes
The best software: Yes
The most applications: Comparable
The most storage: Yes
The best battery life: Yes
The best extras: Comparable

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

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