Preview: Sony Xperia L

The Sony Xperia L is a low-end Android smartphone with HDR camera capabilities

The Sony Xperia L is targeting snap happy consumers with an 8-megapixel camera that can capture HDR photos and videos.

Sony claims the Xperia "is neither too big nor too small", so it's likely to suit users who might find many flagship Android phones too large to handle.

The Xperia L weighs 137 grams and measures 9.7mm thick, so it's going to be easy to slip in and out of a pocket.

The Xperia L will be available in black, red and white variants and features a similar aluminium power button to its flagship sibling, the Xperia Z.

A dedicated camera button on the side is a nice inclusion and a feature absent from many smartphones on the market.

The Xperia L lacks the Xperia SP's distinctive transparent panel below the screen but there's an LED strip for notification alerts near the bottom of the phone. Users won't be able to change the colour of the light, however.

The Sony Xperia L is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and includes 8GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot allows additional storage.

The Xperia L has a 4.3in screen with a resolution of 854x480 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 228ppi. Built-in NFC connectivity is included but the Xperia L isn't a 4G phone.

The most notable feature of the Xperia L is an 8-megapixel rear camera with Sony's Exmor RS image sensor. The camera can capture HDR photos and video, which is a rarity on most smartphones in this segment of the market.

The Sony image sensor claims to offer higher sensitivity and less image noise in low light areas than traditional mobile phone cameras. A front-facing VGA camera handles video calls.

Sony will launch the Xperia L with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). The Battery Stamina mode feature seen on the Xperia Z is a nice touch. It prevents applications from running when the screen is locked, therefore saving power of the 1700mAh battery.

Sony hasn't confirmed specific Australia details for the Xperia L, but the phone is set to be available worldwide in Q2 2013.

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