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Sony Xperia L review

Is Sony's baby Xperia one L of a good phone, or one L of a letdown?

Contacts

If like us, you still use your phone to make phone calls, you will be glad to find that the Xperia L comes with that ability. If you have lots of contacts, unlike us, you'll also be pleased to find that with Google's Android Jelly Bean behind it, the Xperia L will draw in your contacts.

Sony Xperia L

The contacts app itself is a nice design, with Sony adding a few tweaks to customise the Android underneath. The white background is pleasing and makes the text easier to read in the sunlight. Each contact also comes with a little profile picture, which defaults to the Google+ image.

Images will also be drawn in Facebook, or other social accounts, should you not have a Google image for that person.

Overall as an app, it is a pretty standard affair by smartphone, or Android standards. The list is quick to navigate, and as you scroll through, a little letter pops up at the top of the screen to allow you to stop when you get to right one. You can also navigate by tapping the letters down the side.

Android also allows you to filter contacts, only showing data from certain accounts. The Xperia for Facebook app also pulls in your data, and allows you to view contact's status' . After installing the Twitter app from Google Play, you can also use the Xperia for Twitter function.

Within the Xperia's contact and phone app, the top houses four main tabs, allowing you to flick between Contacts, the Dialler, Favourites and Groups. Each app is fairly self explanatory, and you'll be pleased to know that the Dialler does support smart dialling.

Sony Xperia L

Besides the settings button (denoted throughout Android as a series of three dots), sits a magnifying glass, for contact searching, and the contacts add button.

Within the settings are the account settings, as well as allowing you to filter out on/offline contacts, and show only contacts with phone numbers.

Contact cards on the Xperia L are, again, a fairly standard affair. Mini cards can be accessed by tapping the profile pic, or the main one is loaded by tapping the contact. The theme continues through, and you are able to make calls and send messages directly by tapping the contact information.

Disappointingly, within the contact card, the larger pictures that fill the top of the screen can feel a little low res, as they have often been stretched to accommodate the large horizontal bar. Within the editing screen, it is possible to set customised ringtones, or even send calls from that contact straight to voicemail.

Calling

The call quality on the Xperia L is actually rather decent. The microphone and speaker are both placed well enough and are both loud enough for you to hear. We also found that the volume rocker was well placed so that we could adjust it while in a call with little no hassle.

When receiving a call, a large contact image comes up, or a large silhouette. This is a massive improvement over the Samsung cartoon face, that always seemed a bit creepy to us. Large red and green buttons also appear allowing you to swipe to accept or reject calls.

Thankfully, we didn't experience any dropped calls. Signal holding is about what you can expect, nothing spectacular, but it managed to match what we expected from other handsets.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia L
Cellular Generation3.9G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourRed
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time8.50 Hour
Product ModelC2104
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 854
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)136.9 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density228 ppi
Front Camera Resolution300 Kilopixel
Height127 mm
Width50.8 mm
Depth9.4 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time498 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXperia L C2104 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXperia L
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number1271-1960
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Sharper images

Your chopping skills. The latest movie releases. Or your own favourite memories. Sit back and admire it all on your Android cell's large 4.3" display. The superior screen quality makes every image brighter. Images feel as crisp as the day you shot them, and entertainment becomes even more immersive.

Easy connectivity with One-touch functions

Want to see your favourite moments even bigger? Switch to your home TV. With One-touch mirroring you can see the pictures or movies on your NFC-enabled Xperia L directly on your TV. With just a single touch. And when the movie is done but the night isn't, pick a song, touch your phone to a Bluetooth speaker and start dancing.