- Basic camera
- Weak speakers
- Poor color reproduction on screen
- Low storage capacity
The entry-level smartphone market is a crowded place these days. Sony is looking to enter the field with the Xperia E1. With 4GB of storage, a 4-inch display, a dual-core processor and dedicated media controls, it certainly seems up to the task. How do reviews rank the small handset? Let’s find out!
While it figures the typical angular design of the Xperia series, reviews show that the phone is noticeably cheaper in design and materials. The plastic shell is light and offers a removable back for access to the battery and MicroSD slot. Wired UK notes that it is a “solidly built device in two-tone textured plastic.”
While the 4-inch display and small size is certainly dwarfed by many newer, more expensive offerings, the smaller format favors well in many reviews. Recombu notes, “The Xperia E1 is dinky enough to comfortably hold and fiddle with using one hand.”
The addition of a Walkman button is one of the features of the device touted most by Sony. A long press launches the Walkman app, a short press pauses or resumes playback and the double press skips to the next track. Reviews note that the button is responsive and well placed for easy access. If you use your phone a media player, Phone Arena calls the feature “a neat touch for music lovers.”
Battery life on the phone is also highly praised. Wired UK found that the phone “comfortably delivered a couple of days' worth of fairly busy use.” More intense battery tests from other reviewers showed the battery lasting for 5 to 6 hours during constant video streaming and playback.
Unfortunately, reviews get much bleaker from here. While Wired UK says that the screen on the device is “more than sharp enough for reading small text on web pages,” numerous reviews note that viewing angles are poor and color is washed out. Due to reflections and dim backlighting, Trusted Reviews states, “it's not much fun to use outdoors.”
While the dual-core processor in the phone provides enough power to run most apps and some basic games, the scant 512MB of RAM appears to hurt performance in many reviews as well. Wired UK claims, “There's noticeable lag, but it tends to be fairly smooth rather than jerky and broken.” Recombu, Trusted Reviews and GSM Arena all remarked on the delay in launching apps and poor multitasking performance.
With a lack of flash or autofocus and a scant 3 megapixel resolution, the camera receives weak reviews as well. Slow performance was reported as well as a general lack of color and clarity in shots. Lack of flash also means that low-light pictures are very poor. Recombu sums up the camera well when they state, “The 3-megapixel camera is another disappointment, from the slow shutter speed to the eventual results.”
Overall, reviews on the E1 are a mixed bag. If you love music and plan to use the Walkman app, it offers a cheap, affordable way to enjoy a smartphone and your media. Unfortunately, it comes with plenty of weaknesses. Recombu calls the Xperia E1 an “affordable mobile" but goes on to say that "it simply can’t compete with its rivals.” Phone Arena perhaps sums up the consensus best when they say, “It’s an affordable device that does little to stand out in the fiercely competitive low-end segment.”
While this doesn’t appear to be a bad phone, there just seems to be too many compelling options at a similar price point.