A smooth, zippy handset that performs well under pressure, the Sony Xperia P uses its Android 2.3 OS and Timescape UI to good effect, with a pleasant user experience backed up by fast results and a minimal amount of delay.

Sony Xperia P review

From the box the handset is well laid out, with five home screens playing host to a well laid out selection of interactive widgets, application shortcuts and storage folders.

Although these are fully customisable, they require little manipulation to create a smartphone brimming with the most frequently used services.

If you have any familiarity with the Android mobile operating system, you'll be wiping your way through the handset's easily navigated selection of menus and settings in a matter of seconds.

If you're new to the software you'll face few problems, with an intuitive and visually appealing user interface providing a pleasant learning platform that is further enhanced by a handy digital walkthrough guide.

Sony Xperia P review

Pushing the Sony Xperia P's impressive array of entertainment-providing hardware and software features, quick hot key access to a variety of entertainment applications is available from first use on the primary home screen menu, with a Media folder offering instant access to image galleries, the inbuilt music player, FM radio and camera.

Although such features can be accessed readily enough via the main menu, their upfront availability is a pleasant, experience-enhancing inclusion.

Although largely enjoyable and simple to use, the handset's interface is not without a few minor faults.

One small yet irritating issue comes in the device's gallery software, with users scrolling through banks of images offered no image-warping, picture-stretching visual alerts that the final shot in the collection has been reached.

Sony Xperia P review

A customary inclusion of most Android handsets, this feature's omission brings a slightly stilted, briefly awkward and confusing experience that could be easily avoided.

As with most Android handsets, and the majority of smartphones in general, no matter how expensive or feature packed, the Sony Xperia P's digitally crafted touchscreen QWERTY keyboard features slightly small, fiddly keys when held in a standard portrait manner.

Although considerable spacing between keys helps reduce the number of accidental presses, this is still an all-too frequent occurrence.