The Sony Xperia SP is the new kid phone on the block but isn’t about to be pushed around, toting premium design, a top-notch user experience and 4G functionality, on paper it already looks like an enticing prospect, but here are a few tips and tricks to really show off its strengths.

Tip 1: Themes

If you want to customise the look of the SP’s interface in one fell swoop then simply press and hold on any blank section of a homescreen to reveal its control panel. This customisation menu allows you the ability to add and remove screens, set a default homescreen, add app shortcuts, widgets and choose from a number of predefined themes which change elements of the UI such as wallpaper, font colour and so on.

Tip 2: Organising the apps drawer

When we're talking phones, customisation and organisation go hand in hand. As well as tweaking the SP’s look and feel, you may want to better organise your applications. From within the apps drawer, simply tap the menu in the top left to choose whether applications are arranged using your own layout, alphabetically, by how often they’re used or by when they were installed.

Tip 3: Changing the notifications bar colour

A great aspect of the Sony Xperia SP’s design is the transparent antenna at its base, which doubles as an LED notifications bar. By heading to the Display section of the Settings menu and opening up ‘Light Effects, there are a number of options to set whether the LEDs respond to music and photos as well as what colours they shine for different notification types.

Tip 4: Battery STAMINA mode

Sony handsets aren’t known for their lengthy battery life, but the huge 2370mAh battery that the SP packs can last for a solid day with 4G in play or event longer if you’re careful. Battery STAMINA mode draws the SP’s life between charges out further still. Flip it on under the ‘Power management’ section in the Settings menu and watch seven hours of battery turn into a prospective four days. Incredible, if not a little optomistic.

Tip 5: Toggling 4G

Another way to push battery life with the SP is to switch off 4G. Unless it’s imperative, the browsing experience is still lightning fast over a 3G (WCDMA) connection and using 4G has the most obvious drain on battery to begin with. Tap the ‘More…’ button under ‘wireless and networks’, followed by ‘mobile networks’ and finally ‘Network Mode’. From here you can choose whether the SP’s mobile data connection runs over 2G, 3G or 4G.