Although not the most high-end handset in the current Sony Xperia range of smartphones, the Sony Xperia P is a phone that punches above its weight and continues to impress with every new turn taken and new feature used.

Closer in terms of abilities and performance to the Xperia S as opposed to the Xperia U, the Xperia P is a well-priced Android smartphone that offers considerably more bang for your buck than you can rightly expect from a device with a pay-as-you-go price tag in the region of £340 in the UK or $490 in the US.

We liked

Giving a selection of high-end handsets a serious run for their money, the Nokia Lumia 800-rivalling device plays host to a fanciful array of impressive specs that have been pulled from the flagship phones of less than a year ago.

A joy to use with a smooth, fluid user interface and familiarly welcome operating system, the Sony Xperia P is speedy, sharp and easy to navigate with the handset's 8 megapixel rear-mounted camera and 4-inch 960 x 540p display combining for brilliant entertainment abilities that is further enhanced by 16GB worth of inbuilt storage.

We disliked

While the Android operating system provides a smooth user experience, on the software front there is relatively little that separates the Sony Xperia P from many of the other iPhone and Galaxy S3-targeting devices.

Again picking weaknesses in a strong all-round performance, thanks to its plastic construction, the smartphone's aesthetically pleasing, eye-catching good looks will not remain in pristine condition for long.

Final verdict

A handset that will have owners planning for the future, the Sony Xperia P is packed with enough high-end specs to ensure it remains one of the most impressive devices within its price bracket for a long time to come, and will keep users appeased and free from handset envy for the foreseeable future.

Add to this the inbuilt NFC capabilities - a feature that is to become increasingly prominent in the near future - and the Sony Xperia P quickly marks itself out as a standout performer that is bridging the expectations and blurring the boundaries of mid and high-end handsets.