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Sony Xperia E1 review

6.2/10 AVG.
RATING



6.2/10
Informr score
The Sony Xperia E1 currently has an Informr score of 6.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 12 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Sturdy design
  • MicroSD card support for built-in MP3 player
  • Excellent battery life
  • Walkman button

What's bad

  • 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.


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
4"
Camera
3+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TrustedReviews

The Sony Xperia E1 is a decent value entry-level Android phone, but hardware compromises matched with some performance and stability issues mean you can get better for under £80.

- Andrew Williams, TrustedReviews
TechRadar

It's small and convenient but performance issues mean there are better options out there.

- Andrew Williams, TechRadar
Know Your Mobile

“You get what you pay for.” It’s a tired saying trotted out by desperately irritating people, often telling you off for trying to get a bargain. However, it does apply to the Sony Xperia E1 to an extent. While a serviceable little phone, it isn’t quite the bargain that some o...

- Andrew Williams, Know Your Mobile
TrustedReviews

The Sony Xperia E1 is a decent value entry-level Android phone, but hardware compromises matched with some performance and stability issues mean you can get better for under £80.

- Andrew Williams, TrustedReviews
Notebookcheck

Sony's Xperia E1 has a lot to offer. Being compact and well-built, its looks are more a matter of taste. The choice of materials makes a cheap impression, but not the equipment - of all features, particularly the Walkman function with a dedicated hardware button alongside a powerful music player app...

- Michael Moser, Notebookcheck


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Quick view

Screen Size
4"

The Sony Xperia E1's screen size is 4 inches with 480 x 800 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8210 Dual core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4 KitKat) operating system (OS).

Camera
3+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 3+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
4 GB

Internal memory is 4 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1750mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1750 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 521 minutes.

Xperia E1 Specs

Overview
Release date March 12, 2014
Regions available Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card size
Micro-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4 KitKat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8210 Dual core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage 4 GB
RAM 512 MB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.53 W/kg
Body: 1.17 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1750 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 492 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 521 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 20.8 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Purple
Dimensions [H x W x D] 11.8 x 6.2 x 1.2 cm (4.6 x 2.4 x 0.5 in)
Weight 120 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Pixel density 233 pixels
Size 4 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
3+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
4x digital
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Panorama, Self-timer, White balance, Scene recognition, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, OGG, WAV
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Facebook, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony D2004, D2005

Also available in a dual-SIM model.

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia E1 Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia E1
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