What’s the difference? Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP

by Jerry D on August 22, 2013

Does the 5.0-inch display on the Xperia ZL, outstrip the Xperia SP’s screen? Does it include a more responsive processor? Is the Xperia SP’s 10.0mm-thick casing eye-catchingly thin? Find out which phone is better by checking the comparison below.

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

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP: 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 ZL VS Sony Xperia SP
Display 5.0-inch Reality 4.6-inch LCD
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
(440.6 PPI)
720 x 1280 pixels
(319.348 PPI)
Keyboard No No
Processor 1.5GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8064 1.7GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T
Software Android 4.1.2 Android 4.1
Storage 16GB internal, microSD cards up to 64GB 8GB internal, microSD cards up to 32GB
Rear
camera
13.0 Megapixels with autofocus, LED flash, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, geo-tagging and 1080p video recording 8.0 Megapixels with autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama mode and 1080p video recording
Front
camera
Yes, 2.0MP Yes, 0.3MP
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 69.3 x 131.6 x 9.8mm 67.1 x 130.6 x 10.0mm
Weight 151g 155g
Talktime 10.0 hours 19.0 hours
Standby 500 hours 734 hours
Extras GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, stereo FM radio, TV-out, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 and an IR remote GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, digital compass, stereo FM radio, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality and a TV-out

 

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

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Connectivity

The innards of the Xperia ZL come packed with NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. It also boasts 4G connectivity where available. The Xperia SP 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 ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Size/Weight

Modern design favours light and slim handsets. How do these two fare? The Xperia ZL has dimensions of 131.6 x 69.3 x 9.8mm; the Xperia SP is 130.6 x 67.1 x 10.0mm. The Xperia ZL is the bulkier handset of the two. As for weight, the Sony Xperia ZL weighs 151g, while the Xperia SP is 155g. The Xperia ZL is losing after this round. Is it powerful enough to fight back?
— The Xperia SP wins (1-2)

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

The Xperia ZL’s 13.0 Megapixel camera features: autofocus, LED flash, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, geo-tagging and 1080p video recording. It has a max resolution of 4208 x 3120 pixels. For video calls, there’s also a second, front-mounted camera rated at 2.0 Megapixels.

Even with autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama mode and 1080p video recording, the Xperia SP’s 8.0 MP camera has a slightly poorer specification. An extra camera on the front is designed for video calling. The resolution is a lowly VGA (0.3MP).
— The Xperia ZL wins (2-2)

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Display

The Xperia ZL comes with a display that features Reality technology. It measures 5.0 inches across and has a quoted resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. Get the calculator out and the pixels per inch (PPI) measurement of this 5.0-inch display is an impressive 440.6.

XXXX pointy arrow The Sony Xperia ZL features a 5.0-inch Reality display with a quoted resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Its Pixels Per Inch (PPI) rating is 440.6.

The Xperia SP’s touch-sensitive LCD loses the size battle. The screen is only slightly smaller at 4.6 inches. In this battle, it loses the pixel battle with a lower screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. With 921600 pixels onscreen, the pixel density is 319.348 pixels per inch.
— The Xperia ZL wins (3-2)

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Processor

Performance-wise, the Xperia ZL’s engine is a 1.5GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8064 chip; the Xperia SP relies on a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960T, rated at 1.7GHz.
— The Xperia ZL wins (4-2)

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

At the halfway mark, the Xperia ZL has opened up a solid 2-point lead. But this fight is far from over. With five more points to be won, the Xperia SP still has a chance to win.

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Software

Neither phone wins this Android 4.1.2 vs. Android 4.1 battle. So…
— It’s a tie, each phone gets a point (5-3)

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Applications

It’s Google Play vs. Google Play and there’s no winner here. Which means… At the end of this round, the Xperia ZL is still out in front by 2. It seems unlikely but the Xperia SP could still pull it back.
— The two phones share the points (6-4)

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Storage

Now where were we? Ah yes. Storage. The Sony Xperia ZL offers buyers 16GB of storage as standard. The Sony Xperia SP also comes with one storage option – a 8GB model. Of course, the Xperia ZL also features a microSD slot, which supports cards up to 64GB. This will boost the overall storage to a roomier 80GB. The 8GB storage capacity on Sony’s phone can also be expanded, albeit only to 40GB, via the SP’s built-in microSD slot.
— The Xperia ZL wins (7-4)

Sony Xperia ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Battery Life

With a fully topped-up battery cell, Sony says that its Xperia ZL can deliver 10.0 hours of talktime, while the Xperia SP is rated at a significantly better 19.0 hours. Meanwhile, standby time is quoted as 500 hours and 734 hours respectively It’s a second place finish for the Xperia ZL in this round.
— The Xperia SP wins (7-5)

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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 ZL vs. Sony Xperia SP – Extras

Finally, the Xperia ZL also includes GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, stereo FM radio, TV-out, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 and an IR remote. In comparison, the Xperia SP is packed with GPS/A-GPS, NFC, accelerometer, digital compass, stereo FM radio, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality and a TV-out.
— It’s a tie, one point each (8-6)

BPF Verdict: The Sony Xperia ZL wins! (8-6)

The Sony Xperia ZL wins this match-up. It beats the Sony Xperia SP, taking 4 of the 10 rounds available, drawing 4 and losing 2. Here’s a summary of where this fight was won and lost:

The best connectivity: Comparable
The best size/weight: No
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: Comparable

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

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