Sony’s new Xperia SP has all the makings of a runaway success; however the launch timing isn’t exactly opportune. The SP by itself is a good looking handset along with plenty of features and performance but yesterday’s flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X+ have now dropped in price and are available under Rs 30,000, which makes you think twice before splurging on the Xperia SP. With all three handsets running Jelly Bean and packing in similar features and performance, we turn to our beloved grudge match to sort out our conundrum.

Sony Xperia SP
The design of the Xperia SP has been heavily inspired by the Xperia ZL and that’s a very good thing. Not only that, Sony has gone with a sturdier aluminium frame rather than a plastic one, which should give you a premium look and feel. The SP is no slouch either as it’s backed by a highly potent Qualcomm S4 Pro SoC, something that puts even quad-core offerings to shame. The handset also comes bundled with Sony’s Music service and Sony LIV streaming app.

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Looks classy

Samsung Galaxy S 3
The Galaxy S 3 may have been the butt of many jokes when it first launched but almost a year later, no one’s laughing, especially with its new selling price. After a Jelly Bean update and many of the Note II features making its way to the S 3, it’s suddenly become a very viable option at this price. The S 3’s high points are the rich multimedia capabilities, the removable battery, expandable memory, potent processor and of course, the gesture-based features of TouchWiz.

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Suddenly looks very tempting

HTC One X+
We immediately fell in love with the One X+ during the course of the review since it fixed most of the issues of the One X and upped the specifications list while at it. The handset features double the storage of the One X, a faster Tegra 3 CPU, Jelly Bean and that wonderful burst mode that we’ve all come to know and love. With the massive drop in price after the launch of the One, it’s suddenly back on the radar.

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Very good option after the price drop

Next, let's break down these specifications and lay them out in a chart for a head-to-head comparison.

A close one

A close one

The bottom line
Shoppers in the Rs 25,000 – 30,000 price bracket have a tough task on their hands. Should you go for the S III or the One X+ or wait a bit for the Xperia SP to go on sale, which should happen in a couple of days? It’s tough and we can’t say for certain without having tested or played with the SP but no matter which you pick, you won’t be disappointed. The Xperia SP is the cheapest of the lot and will be slightly more comfortable in your hand due to the smaller screen. It also has the biggest battery of the lot and with an efficient dual-core like the S4 Pro, we could be looking at a superior battery life compared to the other two. The S III has its merits like a slimmer chassis, better multimedia support and if you’re big on gestures, then that’s the phone for you. The One X+ has the biggest storage capacity (out-of-the-box) but is also the most expensive.

The bottom line is, if you have the budget, these are the three phones you should be considering and nothing else.

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