Say hello to Sony’s new phones: the Xperia SP and the Xperia L

Sony has just announced two midrange Android smartphones that are, how should I put this, rather unexciting. Before I get to my rant, let me introduce you to the devices. First up is the Xperia SP. It has a 4.6 inch 720p display, dual core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 1 GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera, 4G LTE support, NFC, and it ships with Android 4.1.2 on-board. It weighs an astounding 155 grams thanks to an aluminum frame, and it’s almost 10 millimeters thick. The design language is a mix of Sony’s 2012 smartphone portfolio and the latest Xperia Z.

The key feature of the device, and I’m not making this up, is the return of Sony’s light bar. It’s basically a strip of LEDs that illuminate the bottom of the phone whenever you get a notification.

So why don’t I like this thing? Sony hasn’t announced a price tag. They said it’s going to come out in Q2, but they weren’t more specific than that. Want to know about a phone that’s already out on the market, has a 720p screen, 8 megapixel camera, and can be had for a not so premium price tag?

It’s called the Samsung Galaxy S III.

With that, let’s get to the next phone, the Xperia L. It has a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 clocked at 1 GHz, it has a 4.3 inch 854 x 480 pixel display, NFC, and the same 8 megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera that’s in the Xperia SP. Sounds like a recipe for success, right?

Wrong. And you know what I’m going to say next: What other phone has a 4.3 inch screen with an amazing 8 megapixel camera and a dual core processor? That’s right, the Samsung Galaxy S II. Samsung loves that phone so much that they refreshed it in January of this year.

Am I a Samsung fanboi? No, but I do get out a lot, and I’ve been to five countries in the past three months. They’re all plastered with Samsung ads, whereas the only Sony ads I’ve seen are for televisions. To give you some perspective, Sony managed to sell just 8.7 million smartphones in Q4 2012. That’s a holiday quarter. That’s less than 100,000 phones a day.

I want Sony to succeed, but these two phones are, to me at least, clear examples that the company just doesn’t get it. What should they do to improve? Invest more of their money in promoting the one flagship phone they have. Because what’s the point in creating a portfolio of devices and then not telling the world about them?

Just ask HTC how well the One X, One S, and One V worked for the company in 2012.

[Image Credit: International Business Times]

Update: The Dutch press release announcing the Xperia SP and Xperia L has price tags! The SP will cost 399 EUR, while the L will cost 279 EUR. Yes, those prices include tax. Huge thanks to Arnoud Wokke for the tip.