Top positive review
73 people found this helpful
Good budget smart phone, Sony up their game
on 13 April 2014
I've used a few of the budget Sony smartphones before and felt they were a bit lacking in a few key areas (screen quality and not as quick as I wanted processor wise) The older Xperia E was not as good as it should have been (in my view)
The Xperia E1 is much improved in some respects and running Android 4.3 out of the box, though it's not the last word in budget phones it's worth looking at.
My quick summary of the good and bad...
+ 1.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8210 dual-core, this is good enough for most users and doesn't suffer the lag of the older E, it's pretty snappy
+ Screen is vastly improved in every respect, larger, higher resolution, more colours and better contrast
+ The sound is good, Sony make a big deal out of the xLOUD speaker and it's not hype it's pretty impressive for a built in speaker (and yes it is loud! but as per most built in speaker not much bass)
+ Build is ok for this price range, joins and seams are tight with no creaking, though the plastics used could be higher quality
+ I had no problems or issues with wifi connection, or call quality and day to day use.
+ Fairly well featured for a budget end phone, as usual Sony cater quite well for the entertainment side with their Walkman (which has a dedicated button on the top of the phone - good for music quick playing), Movies app, and sound filters.
+ Bluetooth 4.0, aGPS
+ Battery Stamina mode, it's not a gimmick it does help (turns off wifi and connections quite aggressive battery management- you can cusomise the notifications) heavy users will need a charge every other day, but lighter ones can go a bit longer.
- 512MB ram ok it's a budget phone, but still Android does like a bit more memory at times
- Camera is "ok" but nothing to get worked up over 3mp no flash, fairly basic passable for snaps. Budget models don't do well here, and the E1 is about average ok in good light not so great low light. Video is basic enough and can be a bit choppy at times too.
- While the screen is much improved, the viewing angles could be better, not great in this area
- No NFC (becoming more sought after)
- No front facing camera, even a basic one would be useful (skype etc)
Micro SD supports up to 32GB
GMS networks: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
Xperia E1 "major" improvements v the E
+ Screen is now 4" v the 3.5" on the older model and resolution is much better too (480x800 v 320x480). A lot More colours 16 million v 262k big difference overall
+ Dual core processor 1.2GHz v the single core 1 GHz (this is a very obvious in using both handsets the older E is just "slow")
+ Longer battery life (Sony quote over 8 hours talk time v just over 6 for the E) battery is up to 1750mAh v 1500mAh on the E (but note the screen is bigger) Day to day not a big difference though between the 2 models
+ Newer graphics processor Adreno 302 is more able to deal with games and 3d applications over the old one.
There are a lot of rivals out there and whilst the E1 doesn't blow the barn doors off spec wise, it does at least bring the older E (which was in my view a bit dated even at launch) up to par. Gone are the laggy slow responses (do bear in mind the ram is only 512MB though) and sub par screen that we had previously wasn't the most convincing offering for a budget Android handset. Games also play quite a lot better on the E1 (it's not top tier by any means but acceptable at this price point)
This is a much nicer phone to use, and no doubt will drop a little in price. Worth considering in this price range, where as the older E wasn't really. You can buy the Xperia J which is a bit cheaper in price, but it's only got the single core processor (and like the old E is not a fast handset) There are rivals that have somewhat better screens than the E1 (even though it's improved quite a bit it's a normal TFT not an IPS like the Lumia 520). It's a good choice for heavy music users thanks to the walkman button, good EQ settings and above average sound quality.
I'll give it 4 stars and will update the review with any issues/problems over time. Quite a solid offering that's worth consideration. The market is quite a bit more competitive though with lots of improved models out there so have a look around.