The Sony Xperia L is a lower mid-range Android handset and smaller sibling to the company’s flagship Sony Xperia Z. With a 4.3-inch TFT display, the Xperia L is comparable in size to the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and at £250 on a SIM-free basis, costs as much as the Google Nexus 4. Running a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera, the L’s specs tred the line between entry and mid-range handsets. As with many modern devices, it hosts NFC connectivity options although how useful this will be for many is still up for depate. Featuring an arched back form factor and a plastic construction, the Sony Xperia L is neither particularly comfortable in the hand nor reassuring in terms of build quality. Available in white, black and red colour schemes, the L design features angular edges which dramatically reduce the ergonomic nature of the device. Leaving us always searching for a comfortable holding position, the phone lines up at just 9.7mm thick and 137g in weight. While the handset’s 854 x 480 pixel resolution display offers surprisingly strong visuals, the Sony Xperia L camera is a mixed bag of tricks. Capable of producing impressive 8-megapixel shots, the L’s LED flash enhanced camera is a pig to use and rife with issues that make capturing pleasing shots a time consuming process. The Xperia L camera is sluggish from the off. A little slow to load, it is the camera’s pitifully slow shutter speed which is the main issue. With a full two and a half second delay between pushing the shutter button and images actually being captured, the L’s camera is only for those with steady hands. The Sony Xperia L is a satisfactory entry-level handset but one which fails to hit the mid-market heights of some of its comparatively priced rivals. With an uninspiring design, the Xperia L’s screen is a welcome highlight on a largely familiar device. Although the Sony Xperia L camera is an opportunity missed due to multiple issues, overall the handset lives up to expectation. At £250 it might not match the Nexus 4 for value but the Xperia L is a handset that is a strong, if somewhat pricey entry point to the modern Xperia range.
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