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

by Jerry D on March 20, 2013

If you compare the Sony Xperia SP and the Sony Xperia Z side-by-side, which one wins? Does the 4.6-inch screen on the Xperia SP, trump the Xperia Z’s display? Does the Xperia SP have more storage capacity? Is the Xperia Z smaller and thinner than its rival? These questions (and more besides) are answered below.

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

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z: 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 Z
Display 4.6-inch LCD 5.0-inch Reality
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
(319.348 PPI)
1080 x 1920 pixels
(440.6 PPI)
Keyboard No No
Processor 1.7GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T 1.5GHz quad core Qualcomm APQ8064
Software Android 4.1 Android 4.1.2
Storage 8GB internal, microSD cards up to 32GB 16GB internal, microSD cards up to 32GB
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 13.0 Megapixels with autofocus, LED flash, face/smile detection, touch focus, image stabilization and 1080p video recording
Front
camera
Yes, 0.3MP Yes, 2.2MP
4G LTE LTE
3G 3G/HSDPA 3G/HSDPA
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP 4.0 with A2DP
Size 67.1 x 130.6 x 10.0mm 71.0 x 139.0 x 7.9mm
Weight 155g 146g
Talktime 19.0 hours 14.0 hours
Standby 734 hours 530 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, gyroscope, digital compass, stereo FM radio, TV-out, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality

 

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

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z – Connectivity

The spec sheet of the Xperia SP lists NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP as the core connectivity options. Data downloads will zip over 4G (if your network supports it). The Xperia Z has NFC, 3G/HSDPA, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi in its own connectivity package. More importantly, it supports 4G too.
— It’s a tie, a point to each phone (1-1)

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

Let’s put the two phones side-by-side… The Xperia SP measures 130.6 x 67.1 x 10.0mm, while the Xperia Z is 139.0 x 71.0 x 7.9mm in comparison. The Xperia Z is the taller of the two phones by 8.4mm. The Xperia SP weighs 155g, whereas the Xperia Z is 9 lighter and weighs 146g. The Xperia SP has fallen behind, but there are still eight rounds left.
— The Xperia Z wins (1-2)

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

The Xperia SP’s built-in camera has a resolution of 8.0 MP, plus features that include: 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.

The Xperia Z boasts superior imaging technology and defeats the Xperia SP with a 13.0 Megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, face/smile detection, touch focus, image stabilization and 1080p video recording. An extra camera on the front is designed for video calling. The resolution is 2.2MP.
— The Xperia Z wins (1-3)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z – Display

Sony has built the Xperia SP with a 4.6-inch touch-sensitive display. The LCD screen has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. The pixels per inch (PPI) measurement here is 319.348.

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.

In comparison, the Xperia Z’s touch-sensitive Reality screen is slightly larger, measuring 5.0 inches. With 2073600 pixels onscreen, the pixel density is a terrific 440.6 pixels per inch.
— The Xperia Z wins (1-4)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z – Processor

How fast are these two handsets? The specs reveal that the Xperia Z uses a quad core Qualcomm APQ8064 processor, rated at 1.5GHz. The Xperia SP’s core is a 1.7GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T chip.
— The Xperia Z wins (1-5)

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

Halfway through this fight, the Xperia Z has opened up a solid 4-point lead. But this fight is far from over. With five more points to fight over, the Xperia SP still has a chance to notch up some points.

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z – Software

Neither phone wins this Android 4.1 vs. Android 4.1.2 battle. So…
— It’s a tie, each phone gets a point (2-6)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z – Applications

It’s Google Play vs. Google Play and there’s no winner here. Which means… There’s been no real change since half-time, the Xperia Z is still ahead. The Xperia Z is proving just how much better it is than the Xperia SP.
— The two phones share the points (3-7)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z – Storage

Next round: storage. The Sony Xperia SP is only available in one configuration with 8GB of storage. The Sony Xperia Z also comes with one storage option – 16GB. While the Xperia SP only boasts 8GB, the Xperia Z comes with a better 16GB capacity. Of course, the Xperia SP also features a microSD slot, which supports cards up to 32GB. This will boost the overall storage to a roomier 40GB. Likewise, a microSD slot on the Xperia Z further boosts the overall memory on Sony’s phone to 48GB.
— The Xperia Z wins (3-8)

Sony Xperia SP vs. Sony Xperia Z – Battery Life

With a full charge, Sony’s spec sheet lists 19.0 hours of talktime for its phone, compared to 14.0 hours for the Sony Xperia Z. As for standby time, the phones can last for 734 hours and 530 hours respectively. A first place result for the Xperia SP.
— The Xperia SP wins (4-8)

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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 Z – 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 Z is packed with GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, stereo FM radio, TV-out, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality and its IP57-rated for ruggedness.
— The Xperia Z wins (4-9)

BPF Verdict: The Sony Xperia Z wins! (4-9)

The Sony Xperia Z wins this match-up. It beats the Sony Xperia SP, taking 6 of the 10 rounds available, drawing 3 and losing 1. Here’s a summary of where this fight was won and lost:

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

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

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