Sony Xperia SP review: SPlendid

SPlendid

GSMArena team, 30 April 2013.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Sony Xperia SP uses a Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960 chipset, which includes a 1.7 GHz dual-core CPU - planting it firmly in the upper end of the midrange. It does, however, feature an Adreno 320 GPU, the same found on the flagship Xperia Z, so we're expecting good performance when it comes to graphic-intensive activities like gaming.

As we said, the Xperia SP is a midrange device largely due to its dual-core CPU, yet the processor is clocked quite high at 1.7 GHz, which resulted in some pretty good performance in the BenchmarkPi single-core CPU benchmark.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    132
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Sony Xperia SP
    184
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    264
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    362
  • Nexus 4
    431

When it comes to multiple CPU testing, the Xperia SP expectedly lands behind most quad-core devices, but not by much. In fact, the SP results act as a sort of bridge, landing somewhere in the gap between quad-core flagships and dual-core midrangers.

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    631
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Sony Xperia SP
    348
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214
  • Nexus 4
    213
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    189
  • HTC One X+
    177
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175
  • HTC One X
    160
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    24716
  • HTC One
    22678
  • Sony Xperia Z
    20794
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    20743
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    20056
  • HTC Butterfly
    19513
  • Sony Xperia SP
    15874
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    15547
  • Oppo Find 5
    15167

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    7912
  • Sony Xperia SP
    7897
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5170
  • Nexus 4
    4567

Interestingly, the Xperia SP scored more than the Xperia ZL on GeekBench 2.

Geekbench 2

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    3227
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    3040
  • HTC One
    2708
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2173
  • HTC Butterfly
    2143
  • Sony Xperia SP
    2105
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    1995
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1845
  • LG Optimus G
    1723
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1661
  • iPhone 5
    1601

We ran GLBenchmark off-screen, which means we're testing at a fixed resolution, which lets us test the raw GPU power. The Adreno 320 is currently one of the more powerful mobile GPU's around, and the one found in the Xperia SP didn't disappoint, scoring as high as the Xperia Z flagship.

GLBenchmark 2.7 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Oppo Find 5
    32
  • Google Nexus 4
    32
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • LG Optimus G
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • HTC One X
    11

But most games will probably want to run at native resolution, so we're including Epic Citadel, which uses Unreal Engine 3. Unreal Engine is popular with mobile game makers, so it's a pretty important test. Here, the Xperia SP was able to top out are charts, but before we get too excited, let's keep in mind that the test is run in native resolution, which in the SP's case is 720p. Most of the other top scores are from 1080p-toting devices.

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia SP
    58.0
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    57.1
  • HTC One
    56.4
  • Sony Xperia Z
    55.6
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    55.4
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    54.2
  • Nexus 4
    53.9
  • Asus Padfone 2
    53.4
  • LG Optimus G
    52.6
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    41.3
  • Oppo Find 5
    38.6

Having tested many other droids with Google Chrome as the default web browser, we were expected a clearly midrange performance, but it turns out Chrome has become a lot faster after its latest software update. The Xperia SP scored 1116ms on SunSpider, which is the top result by a Sony device.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    810
  • Samsung Ativ S
    891
  • Apple iPhone 5
    915
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    910
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    972
  • HTC One X+
    1001
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1011
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    1059
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1116
  • HTC One
    1124
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1192
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    1290
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1312
  • Sony Xperia Z
    1336
  • LG Optimus G
    1353
  • HTC Butterfly
    1433
  • Nexus 4
    1971
  • Oppo Find 5
    2045

In HTML5 BrowserMark 2 and Vellamo tests, the Xperia SP did very well, once again likely due to the Chrome browser's most recent optimizations.

BrowserMark 2

Higher is better

  • LG Optimus G
    2555
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    2438
  • Sony Xperia SP
    2263
  • HTC One
    2262
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2107
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2093
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1801
  • Oppo Find 5
    1797
  • Nexus 4
    1794
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    1774
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    1760
  • Samsung Omnia W
    1632
  • HTC Butterfly
    1475
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1247

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia SP
    2497
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2186
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    2060
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Oppo Find 5
    1658
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1468
  • Nexus 4
    1310

We're more than happy with the Xperia SP, and particularly impressed by the beefy Adreno 320 GPU found inside. While it cannot match the raw horsepower of some of the top dogs, the 720p display means there aren't as many pixels to push out, resulting in some great performance for its class.

Reader comments

  • Rocky

Does anyone know how much it costs to replace the battery in this phone? (I'm in the UK)

  • Pavith

Is it support an otg?

I really liked this Sony phone and I don't usually like Sony but this one has great camera and you can get it now for around $79 and for a budget conscious person it's great but kit Kats outdated