Sony's Xperia Z took the company into the big leagues this year: the company finally has a handset that turns heads and can compete with the established Galaxy and One brands. The Z and its plainer ZL variant weren't the only bullets in the Xperia revolver for 2013, though. Back in March, the company announced the Xperia SP and Xperia L handsets to fall in line behind its flagship. While the L is undoubtedly targeted at the low end of the Android spectrum, the Xperia SP sits in a strange middle ground, with a 720p display and internals that rival the flagships of 2012. It's not some kind of Xperia S and P fusion, either. The design is vastly different from the sum of its moniker, although the transparent element that defined those devices makes a comeback here.
And thus, with intrigue, we must put the Xperia through its paces the Engadget way. Is it just another Android handset put out so there's something with the Sony name available at a lower price point than the Z? Is there anything other than a transparent piece of plastic to set it apart from the plethora of other touchscreen rectangles that live in the shadow of their top-tier peers? Instead of pondering the answers to those questions yourself, save time by heading past the break for our full review.