Sony Xperia SP glams up Android, shimmies to UK for £250

Sony's new Android phone has a disco-flavoured coloured light strip and it's partying it up on Orange and T-Mobile for £250 pay as you go.

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
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Sony's new Android phone, the Xperia SP, has a disco-flavoured coloured light strip and it's partying it up right now on Orange and T-Mobile for £250 pay as you go.

The SP's more fun than your usual dowdy mid-range blower, with a see-through strip underneath the screen that glows different colours. It's part notification light, part glitter ball -- it'll flash however you want when you get a text, or pulse with disco passion to the beat of your music.

Until we get our hands on it for a full review we won't know if that's tremendously naff or wonderfully gaudy (or perhaps both), but it's glorious to see a bit of camp in a phone.

The Xperia SP's other specs are pretty classy though -- its 4.6-inch, 1,280x720-pixel screen has a nearly retina-class density of 319 pixels per inch. A respectable 1.7GHz dual-core chip powers the reasonably recent Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software. And an 8-megapixel camera packs in Sony's Exmor RS imaging gubbins. It's even got 4G.

We recently got wind of a new Xperia feature on the SP -- the ability to link up with a standard PlayStation 3 controller so you can play Android games without covering up most of the screen with your hands.

The Xperia SP isn't exclusive to Orange and T-Mo. As it's packing 4G, EE is offering it for free from £26 per month, but to get the most of its high-speed mobile Internet, you'll probably need at least 3GB of data every month, and that'll set you back a whopping £46.

If you want it SIM-free, Carphone Warehouse will flog it to you for a hefty £380. Phones 4U will do you a deal for a free phone from £25 per month on Vodafone, but with a meagre 250MB of data.

What do you think? Will you take the Xperia SP for a turn around the dance floor? Dance like nobody's watching in the comments, or on our flamboyant Facebook page.