This month we have come down from the dizzying heights of the high end devices to take a look at the mid market which has quickly become a fierce battleground for mobile manufacturers. Providing great functionality at affordable prices is the name of the game and in the last twelve months we have seen a lot of new entrants to this space from Asia. Read on to find out what we thought of the Sony Xperia SP.
Sony Xperia Sp
Taking on a whole host of mid level devices the Sony Xperia SP so desperately wants to play with the big boys but to judge it against any of them would be a tad unfair. For a start the devices comes in at £350 mark which is great value for a smartphone today. The 1280 x 720 pixel screen measures a pocket-friendly 4.6 inches, and the 10mm thin casing is blackened aluminium rather than the glass-slab Sony Xperia Z chassis.
Running on Androids’ Jelly Bean OS the handset actually does a great job of hosting the platform. Moving around from screen to screen is fairly pleasant and there is no noticeable lag of any kind. In fact, most people wouldn’t even notice that this was a mid range device until they started to delve into the processor heavy applications. The processor by the way is a dual core 1.7GHz which is adequate for most tasks.
The phone does come with a ridiculously small amount of storage (just 8Gb, 5.5Gb of usable storage) which will fill up faster than a speeding bullet after you download a bit of music, put a few apps on there, and perhaps a movie or two. Luckily it comes with an SD slot…phew!
The Camera is excellent and it also comes with 4G connectivity which will place it neatly in any modern mobile environment. For the budget conscious the Xperia Sp is an excellent choice and it probably just pips last year’s flagship devices to the post with its enhanced connectivity options. For those heavy users out there you will find the device frustrating and under powered.
LG Optimus F5
Competing against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the iphone is a daunting task for any manufacturer and it is no wonder why LG are tackling the market from a different angle. The Optimus F5 costs a very reasonable £185, which is surprising considering some of the high end specs it contains. The Optimus F5 comes with a 4.3-inch IPS display, 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and 8GB of internal storage, expandable via MicroSD.
It doesn’t come with the most up to date OS (4.1 version of Androids Jelly Bean platform), which may be a problem for the techies among us, but if you are purchasing this device it is far more likely you are concerned about the price rather than having the latest version of Jelly Bean.
The device looks pretty generic and some have even dubbed it the iClone due to its similar design to the iphone. This may be a tad unfair on LG as making a rectangle significantly different from another rectangle is a tough job at best. It sits somewhere in the middle of the beauty scale.
On performance most tasks are smooth and the transitions between screens are surprisingly quick. It comes with 4G and is aimed at converting the low end of the market to 4G services. This is a great little device which isn’t yet available but looks like it will do well in the mid market.
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