In addition to the new mid-range Xperia SP, Sony's also updated its entry-level model with the introduction of the Xperia L, and Pocket-lint was on hand to have a tinker with this latest affordable Xperia handset.

Although Sony won't confirm exactly how much the Xperia L will cost, it doesn't have the immediate feel of a "budget" handset by any means. The 4.3-inch screen smartphone is large yet light in the hand, but still features some of the higher-spec build quality from further up the Xperia range.

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To the side of the model is the very same aluminium standby button as found in the top-spec Xperia Z, for example. A small thing, perhaps, but something that nods towards a more premium experience that's a far cry from the often "plastic fantastic" entry-level handsets.

Sony says that the Xperia L will offer a premium camera experience too. The 8-megapixel Exmor RS sensor and f/2.4 aperture are the same as that found in the Xperia SP, but most of the L's potential prowess comes from software-based solutions. Sony's implemented a My Albums hub where on-devices images can be viewed in their respective homes - whether Picasa, Facebook or whatever- as well as globe-based GPS positional views.

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The L can not only deliver HDR (high dynamic range) stills, it can also capture HDR movies in real time to better expose for both shadows and highlights in a single shot. Impressive for a budget phone and the example we saw was impressive for the most part despite the slightest of flicker on the occasional frame.

Just a shame that the screen is only an 854 x 480 resolution to play these files back on and there's no colour-boosting Mobile Bravia Engine to be found here either.

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Under the hood the Xperia L comes loaded with a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm 8230 processor, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity, and 8GB of on-board storage. The L will be 3G HSPA+ capable instead of the nippier 4G-capable Xperia SP and Xperia Z models.

Looks like a quality handset assuming the as-yet-unknown price comes good. The Sony Xperia L will be available in black, white and red finishes from this summer.

ee.co.uk - PAY MONTHLY PHONES The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is now available on EE who have been awarded the UK’s best network for the fifth year running. RootMetrics tested the four UK networks and EE was faster and more reliable than all of them, with better data performance. Their network has come a long way since they launched in 2012. Back then they had 11 UK cities covered by 4G. Today they cover most of the UK’s land mass, thanks to 19,000 state-of-the-art 4G sites. They’ve got faster, too – from 50Mbps to a maximum speed of 400Mbps. And they’re soon to experience even greater possibilities with the launch of 5G.

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