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Sony Xperia E3 Review- Costs cheap performs rich

  • Review
  • Specification

Introduction

Like every other brand, Sony along with its flagships is focusing on the budget phone segment. In India there is a huge potential for this particular category and Sony sure realises it with its new Xperia E3, an affordable Android smartphone. It sports the classy Xperia looks and oodles of features. So, let’s find out how good Xperia E3 is and if it is actually a great option to consider at Rs 11,490.

Look and Feel

This new entrant in the budget phone category sports a 4.5-inch display but looks bigger than a device with 5-inch display. This means that the device has a lot of bezel space that makes the phone bigger for no good reason. The Moto G flaunts the same display size and still manages to look smaller while there is the Moto G (2nd Gen) which features a 5.2-inch display and the Sony Xperia E3 matches its size.

Sony Xperia E3 Ports

When it comes to looks, the Xperia E3 has the typical Sony(ish) feel with a sleek bar form, a radial power button in the centre of right edge while the volume rocker rests right below it. The 3.5-mm jack sits at the top while the microUSB slot on the left, which is not very Sony. On front there is the camera and sensor on either sides of the Sony branding that’s embellished in the centre right above the display.

Sony Xperia E3 SIM and SD card Slot

Below the display there is a good amount of space that remains unused as the keys are part of the display. And when you flip the phone, you’ll see a primary lens on top left along with a flash next to it. Sony branding goes in the centre while speakers can be seen at the bottom. The flap on the back comes off, underneath which there is the attached battery and slots for SIM and microSD card.

Display quality

The Xperia E3 sports a 4.5-inch IPS capacitive display with a resolution of 480x854 pixels. There is no such coating to protect it from smudges or scratches but the glass used is said to be shatterproof.

Sony Xperia E3 Display

The display is smooth, responsive and with good brightness levels. It produced colours vibrantly and we thoroughly enjoyed watching videos on it. Viewing angles are also pretty good from all sides as the display did not glare back much.

We further tested its display in sunlight where most of the devices fail but thankfully the Sony Xperia E3 stood its ground with a good picture quality and visibility.

Software and Hardware

All new Xperia E3 runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat and topping it is the Sony UI which changes the way your phone looks. It provides the same user experience that we see in all Xperia handsets and that too with lots of pre-loaded content.

On the hardware front, the phone is backed by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and is incorporated by 1GB of RAM. It is equipped with 4GB of internal memory which is expandable to up to 32GB. For connectivity options there is Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, microUSB and surprisingly NFC as well, which is found only in high end devices.

Camera and battery life

Now we move on to its 5.0-megapixel primary camera which was just about okay. I used it in various lighting conditions be it outdoor and indoor but the results that came out can be tagged as average as there is nothing exceptional about it.

Sony Xperia E3 Camera

I noticed a yellow tint in all the images clicked using Xperia E3 which degraded the originality of the picture. However, the clarity in images is good and so is the colour reproduction. Though, we firmly believe that Sony could have done a better job with its 5-megapixel snapper. Other devices at a similar price point and sporting same megapixel count produce better pictures than the ones clicked using Xperia E3. In daylight and good lighting conditions it performs better but in low light it disappoints to the extreme. The device’s 5.0-megapixel lens is not capable enough in low lights; the flash is of little help.

There are various modes and settings to beautify results and to give your images a Sony effect. The UI allows you to play around the camera which is a good thing but that does not make images any better than usual.

But Sony makes it up to you with its 2,330 mAh battery. Battery issues are really common with Android phones but Xperia E3 was a delight. A full charged Xperia E3 in the morning takes you through the day with mix usage. You can watch videos for good 3-4 hours before the phone pops up with a low battery sign.

To enhance and improve battery performance, Sony has included a lot many battery saving modes like ‘Stamina mode’ and ‘low battery mode’. That apart, the phone suggests a number of ways to save power in your needy times.

Sony Xperia Apps

To make its smartphones stand out from the generic Android smartphones, Sony has bundled the Xperia E3 with oodles of Sony apps.

Sony Xperia Apps

There is Sony Music, Sony Live, PartyShare, Sony Liv Sports, Sony Select, Walkman, and Xperia Care for guiding users and helping with software updates, Xperia Lounge to keep you updated about various topics, Socialife News that serves as a platform for a set of websites and networks. There also a number of third party apps, like Games Store, File Commander, Facebook, BigFlix, NeoReader, OfficeSuite, LinkedIn, Smart Connect, Sketch and a lot more.

Xperia E3

So the user will not have to worry about downloading basic apps like these but on the flip side, in case the user finds these apps useless, s/he won’t be able to delete them. Additionally, these apps eat a lot on phone’s internal memory and if you are a gaming buff then you’ll get a hard time installing one. Though, one can use tips and tricks along with additional storage to download heavy apps.

Performance

This year has been the year of budget smartphones and Sony Xperia seems to be the proud new member of this clan. It is well spaced and has good looks (barring its oversized bezels). We tested the device for a good week and found it to be swift and lag-free. It did not hang up or freeze while opening apps or swiping through the screen. Shifting from one app to other was a brisk affair and there was nothing very troublesome about the device.

However, the low internal storage did bug us while downloading games like Asphalt 8 and Assassins Creed but rest of it was all good.

Xperia E3 Antutu

We ran various software tests on the Xperia E3 and results were satisfactory. It scored 18,133 points on AnTuTu Benchmark platform and followed the likes of Lenovo K900, Xiaomi Mi 3, Xiaomi Redmi Note and others.

Xperia E3 Nenamark

Then we tested the device on Nenamark2 where it swiped the device off with 58.3 fps, which is pretty good for a budget offering. This also proves that the device is capable of handling graphics nicely with good performance levels and a decent experience.

Final Verdict

When I see the prominent budget devices, Sony Xperia E3 sure makes it to the list. It has all the important ingredients that a budget Android phone should have, good looks, good performance, nice display and a battery back-up that doesn’t leave you mid-way. What brings it down a bit is its camera which serves you well but nothing spectacular can expected out of it. All in all, it is an option that one can consider, however, if you want to know about more options in the price point then you can consider devices like Moto G, Moto G (2nd Gen), Asus ZenFone 5, LG L90 and for Windows Phone users there is the new Lumia 730 to be considered.

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Binni Rawat

Binni Rawat

She is a traveller (explorer) by heart and a writer by chance. Her curiosity drove her into writing for tech where she enjoys her role as a product reviewer. Binni holds a degree in Journalism & Mass Communication and loves to explore places whenever free. When she is not writing, you can find her engrossed in a fiction novel or travelling to the mountains.
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