Sony Xperia L review

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

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When it comes to messaging on the Xperia L, like every smartphone out there, there are a multitude of options with which you can play with until your heart's content.

We'll start this off by mentioning the keyboard though. We've played with many a keyboard in the past, and we have to say that we felt the Xperia L struggled. The keys felt far too narrow for our liking, maybe this is down to the fact that we have gotten used to using larger screens.

Sony Xperia L

The keys also felt annoying unresponsive. We've learnt to type quickly using two hands, and the Xperia L always appeared to be playing catch up.

The auto correct feature is also by no means the best that we have encountered. There are also no double functions reserved for long presses, with numbers and symbols reserved for a second page.

HTC are still way ahead, although third party apps such as SwiftKey do a superb job and are available on the Google Play Store.

Thanks to the curved chassis of the Xperia L, we did find that typing in landscape felt a lot more natural than it has on flat backed devices, with the added bulk at each end making it easier to grip. The 4.3-inch screen is also just about small enough that we didn't have to over stretch in order to hit every key.

The major downside to this is that the keyboard stretched to encompass the entire screen, making it impossible for you to type and see the message thread. Swype style messaging is also included, should you find that easier.

Sony Xperia L

You'll be surprised to find that the Xperia L messaging app displays conversations in a fairly standard way. Or maybe you won't.

The white theme is continuous, with the messages coming through in bubbles, with a little contact icon to the side. This icon can be tapped to bring up the mini contact card we mentioned earlier.

Starting a new message is done via that little pencil icon, bringing you to a familiar feeling conversation window, with boxes to type in the contact you want to type, and a smaller one at the bottom to take the message text.

The little contact button allows you to pick out multiple contacts from your address book, making group messaging a lot easier. As you might have guessed, the paper clip icon is there to send attachments, converting the SMS into and MMS.

If you root through the settings, you will also find SMS templates that you can use in order to send quick preset messages to tell people that you are otherwise occupied.

Sony Xperia L

Important conversations can be starred, and are then stored in a special folder, great if you are finding that you are sending lots of messages, and want to highlight the ones from your boss or loved one. Sony doesn't want you to miss your meetings, or more importantly your dinner plans.

Email and Gmail applications are both included on the Xperia L. Both are well formed apps, with Gmail offering everything that the desktop version has to offer.

The Email client provides a lot of options too, allowing you to connect up to multiple POP3, IMAP or Exchange Active Sync server accounts in one place, providing an aggregated inbox.

IM is also catered for to some extent, with the Xperia L obviously missing out on iMessage, BBM and ChatOn. As for the latter two, they are actually available via the Play Store, but as we mention in other reviews, we don't see them being used very often.

Google Hangouts is the IM client that is bundled on board, being Google's replacement to Talk. Fitting in with Google+, it allows you to send instant messages to all your Google contacts. Apps like WhatsApp are available on the Play Store.

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.