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Sony Xperia E4 review


Sony Xperia E4 review




TOP FEATURES

*Good battery life
*Decent camera
*Average built and design


Sony Xperia E4 is Sony's attempt to make its presence felt in the increasingly competitive Indian budget smartphone market. The segment is witnessing a lot of action thanks to the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola, Asus and Lenovo.

Although Xperia E4's hardware specifications did not look very impressive on paper, we reviewed it to see if the overall experience was different and if the phone is worth a buy in face of stiff competition...


Build and design

As far as the build and design go, Sony Xperia E4 is nothing special. The dual sim phone looks very chunky and has a plastic body which wraps around the distinctly elevated 5-inch screen. It is 10.5mm thick and feels heavy at 144gram.

The screen of Xperia E4, apart from sticking out, is a fingerprint magnet. The plastic used in the phone is of good quality, but not very good to look at.



The bezel of the smartphone is also not very thin. The power button and the volume rocker button are placed on the right and the micro-USB slot on the left. The 3.5mm headset jack is located on the top of the phone.

The camera lens along with LED flash and the speaker is located at the back of the smartphone, which also bears the Sony logo. The back cover is difficult to remove. Inside, there are two micro-sim and the microSD card slots and a non removable battery.



In short, the smartphone is not a good buy if you're looking for a chic-looking phone in a limited budget.




Display

Sony Xperia E4 has a 5-inch (540x960p) IPS LCD display, which is also nothing special and better displays are available on other phones in the same price range. We found the display to be slightly pixilated. Colours too are not very vibrant.



The screen is very reflective and makes it tough to use the phone in sunlight. The colours on the screen are accurate and nothing appears blurry even viewed from different viewing angles.

It is quite disappointing that Sony has put a qHD display on E4 at a time when we're seeing 720p display as standard on much cheaper Android phones.


Software

The smartphone runs Android Kitkat v4.4.4, which is skinned with Sony's proprietary UI that adds a few features, making the phone slow because of the heavy customization.

A number of apps have been pre-loaded with the Xperia E4 including Sony LIV, Sony Select and their own Walkman, Album, Movie Player, among others. It is noteworthy that these cannot be deleted.

Other features on the software side you can look forward to are deep Facebook and Twitter integration, Walkman Music Player, PlayStation mobile and Stamina Mode (battery saver).


Performance

Xperia E4 has a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6582 quad-core processor with just 1GB RAM and ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU. The phone performed moderately well with a few shortcomings. The UI navigation is slow, particularly in the app drawer, and the apps also take longer to open.

Since most preloaded apps cannot be deleted, these, along with the system's software, take up the already limited 4.78GB (out of 8GB) internal storage available on the device. One cannot think of using the Xperia E4 without a microSD card. Even then, not all apps would move to the card storage.

Gaming performance was decent when playing casual games like Temple Run 2 but we experienced some lag while playing graphics-rich games like Riptide GP 2.

When we performed benchmark tests, the smartphone scored low.

In Antutu Benchmark, it scored 19062; in Nenamark 2 it scored 58.2; the Geekbench single-core and multi-core scores were 352 and 1188 respectively. However, we do not recommend a phone based solely on benchmarks as real world performance is different at times.



The 2300mAh battery of Xperia E4 is decent and doesn't drain out too quickly. One can make it last longer by keeping the phone on stamina mode. Even the call quality offered by the smartphone was good and it was consistent even in areas like elevators and basements.

The GPS antenna of the Xperia E4 also worked perfectly fine and posed no problems.


Camera

Xperia E4 has a 5MP primary camera and a 2MP front-facing camera. However, it fails to be the best feature of the smartphone.

The colour, exposure and the contrast of the images taken was decent but overall quality was average.

Although images taken in a well-lit room turned out to be better compared to the ones shot in low-light situations, the LED flash helps to some extent.



The secondary camera is also not that great and cannot click good selfies.

If we compare the camera and the images taken to that of rival phones such as the Xiaomi Redmi 2, the image quality lags behind by many notches.


Verdict

Sony Xperia E4 is just an average device on every front and lags behind rivals like Motorola Moto G (gen 2), Xiaomi Redmi 2 and YU Yureka.

A phone like Sony Xperia E4 may have stood a chance two years ago when there were no good budget devices, but Motorola and Xiaomi have now transformed the budget smartphone landscape in India.

Sub-Rs 10,000 smartphones like Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G, Micromax YU Yureka and the Lenovo A7000 have hardware and software that will blow the new Sony Xperia E4 out of the water, making it a bad choice under Rs 15,000.
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