Hands On with the Sony Xperia P
The Xperia P is the new high-end phone from Sony with a metal casing and new "White Magic" display. It looks like the Xperia S and U models, but we do have a few thoughts on it.
The Xperia P looks just like the Xperia S, but it's really a little brother, and a middle child in Sony's NXT line of Xperia phones for 2012. The P has a more modest screen, processor and camera than the S. But it keeps the stylish clear bar at the bottom, and even amps up the style with a sexy metal casing on the back and sides. And although the display is a tad smaller than the one on the Xperia S, it's the first with Sony's new "White Magic" LCD that promises the best outdoor performance of any phone.
The display does, indeed perform well under sunlight (or at least the extremely bright lights Sony was using to simulate sunlight, since the event was at night.)
It's also nice to see NFC carried over from the Xperia S.
A metal unibody back is always a nice feature, although the one on the P doesn't quite have the quality feel of some others. Perhaps it's the sharp corners, or the light weight of the phone overall, or the small, sharp buttons. Whatever the reason, it doesn't feel quite as good as some other metal phones. With that said, it doesn't feel bad. It's sexy to look at and sexy to hold, and it feels miles better than most plastic phones.
The side buttons are small, but work well enough. The clear touch buttons at the bottom aren't actually on the clear part; you need to press the black glass just above them. That's not immediately intuitive and takes some getting used to.
It's hard to comment much on the software, since the phones ship with Android 2.3 but Sony is promising a 4.0 update very soon after. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see US carriers just wait until the 4.0 software is ready before launching. So the final software may be quite different from what we saw, since so much changes between the two versions of Android.
Nonetheless, Sony doesn't fiddle with Android nearly as much as they used to, which helps them keep on top of Android OS updates in a more timely way than many manufacturers.
Here's a quick video tour:
stylish clear bar at the bottom