Sony has introduced a mid-segment budget phone to tempt those with smaller bank balances and make its presence felt in the increasingly competitive budget market. Called the Xperia E4, the company has given up on LTE connectivity but in return offers a large 5-inch display and a battery that chugs along for days on end. Although the specs don’t look impressive on paper, we believe that it is always about the performance rather than just numbers. Let’s see if the lack of pizzazz makes up for its impressive claim.
Look, Design, Feel (/10)
Look wise, the Xperia E4 is a bulky piece with a strong, sturdy plastic back shell that envelops itself around the clearly elevated 5-inch screen. The plastic, though very unattractive, is of a very good quality and makes gripping of the phone very easy. However, the shell does not fully envelop the front, leaving the sharp edges exposed. There is lack of coherency in the design, as you feel the edges when swiping inwards from any side of the screen.
The 5-inch (540x960p) IPS LCD screen of Xperia E4 is pale compared to the many phones in the same price bracket with better 720p displays. We could see the pixilation and dull colours even after levering up the brightness. The screen is not decipherable in sunlight and the viewing angles leave a lot to be desired. Sony says it has used a protective glass for the display but doesn’t mention whether it is a Corning Gorilla.
Most of the phone is moulded from plastic except for the metallic power button sticking-out from right edge along with the volume rocker. The micro-USB slot sits on the left. The 5-inch display has a Sony logo, earpiece and 2 megapixels front facing camera above it whereas the microphone is directly in line with the earpiece on the lower edge of the front panel.
The speaker along with camera lens and its LED flash is located at the back of the smartphone. Remove the back cover to discover a dual micro-sim and the microSD card slots and a non removable battery.
The smartphone comes with Android KitKat, which isn’t the most recent version of Google’s mobile OS. But then even top end smartphones like Galaxy S5 are running with older software on board. Of course, an update will be provided but keeping Sony’s track record in mind, don’t expect it to arrive soon.
The Xperia E4 runs on 1.3GHz quad-core processor backed by 1GB RAM. This is complemented by an internal storage of 8GB, of which about 5 is usable. One cannot imagine the E4 without a microSD card, but even then not all apps would move to an external storage. These are as expected low-end specs, but can do their work satisfyingly fast. Expect everyday basics like messaging, social networking, web browsing and editing photos to run perfectly fine on the E4.
The back of the phone is affixed with a 5-megapixel shooter, which is standard for most budget smartphones. It comes with various features such as a HDR function, various scene modes, a panorama mode and burst shooting in addition to shooting video in full HD. The front facing 2-megapixel camera is capable enough to capture the odd shot selfies.
With its lack of 4G LTE, the Xperia E4 definitely won’t appease those of you aching for the best new technology Sony has to offer. Its 3G connectivity with HSDPA and local Wi-Fi connectivity, however, makes it a worthy for those who do not have access to LTE coverage. Phone also offers support for Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP and apt-X, GPS and microUSB 2.0 port. Media transfer from the phone's built-in memory and microSD card is enabled over the USB cable.
There was no apparent lag in the phone’s performance despite constantly swapping between memory sucking apps. The battery stays put between 6 and 8 hours. Of course, there is a choice to toggle the “stamina mode” switch to save battery.
Value for Money (/10)
The Xperia E4 is definitely not an exciting prospect at this price. There are many better phones that come with competitive specs than this one.
- Good battery life
- Sturdy Body
- Decent camera
- No LTE
- Low screen resolution
- Non removable battery