Sony Xperia E dual – Poor display and camera but good smartphone for its price
Sony Xperia E dual seems like a very attractive package from the outside. It is versatile, cheap and has dual SIM interface. It is also an Android phone which means you can get access Google Play for a ton of Android apps. The hardware specs too are acceptable with three-and-half inches screen, 3.2 megapixels camera, and 1 GHz processor inside. Let’s see what this phone is all about in more detail.
Sony Xperia E dual is very visually appealing. It isn’t spectacular looking but is still pretty attractive. It has plastic exterior which looks squeaky but this isn’t unacceptable in a budget smartphone. There are inward curves on the back side and due to this, the handset is easy to operate and handle. The handset is 11mm thick and feels good in the hands.
One cool feature of this phone is notification light embedded on bottom side. It glows in different colours according to the notification type. Below the screen, there are 3 capacitive buttons and there is plenty of spacing between them to avoid any mishits. All the physical buttons are located on right side – camera shutter, lock key, and volume rocker. The latter is a bit small in terms of ergonomics.
Sony Xperia E dual comes with low quality, small sized screen having passable quality. It is three and half inches big and has 320×480 pixels resolution with 165 ppi pixel density which is a bit low. However, these numbers aren’t unexpected for budget smartphones. Graphics look a bit rough on the edges and text looks a bit jagged. Viewing angles and colour depth too could have been better.
For outdoor use, you will need to turn the screen brightness at maximum because there is too much light refection. There isn’t light sensor inside this phone for adjusting screen brightness automatically so you will have to do it by yourself.
Sony Xperia E dual comes with Android 4.0.4 ICS OS and the manufacturer has promised upgrade to newer Jelly Bean OS soon. There is Sony Timescape UI on the top of the stock OS and it has a good useful widgets with social networking integration. There is SMS counter too. Overall, the UI is pretty good and will go well with even newbies.
However, the on-screen keyboard has a learning curve attached to it. You need some patience espeicaly with the small display of the phone which makes the button tiny. Fortunately, there is auto correct for taking care of any typos and landscape orientation will also provide some relief.
Dual SIM capabilities
Sony Xperia E dual, as the name suggests, has dual SIM capabilities and the phone uses standard size SIM cards. Drop down menu has an option which lets you select the default SIM card for the outgoing calls and SMS. There is also dedicated widget for assigning contacts for each SIM if you are going to use both cards for outgoing calls. Both cards can use 7.2 mbps HSPA.
Memory and processor
Sony Xperia E dual comes with Snapdragon low end MSM7227A processor inside and it is a single core processor having 1GHz clock speed. There is Adreno 200 GPU as well. The CPU and GPU are complemented by 512 MB RAM inside. This phone is quite responsive and usable for all standard tasks. You won’t face any lags on the home screens and menus provided you are not using live wallpapers. You can’t play advanced 3G games on such hardware but games such as JetPack Joyride, Temple Run 2 and Angry Birds Star Wars played well.
Sony Xperia E dual has four gigabytes internal storage and some of this space is occupied by Android OS. You will need to put in microSD card for more memory.
Sony Xperia E dual comes with dedicated button for camera which is a bit surprising as this isn’t a very high end camera. It is just a 3.2 mega pixels shooter and the results are pretty modest even in daylight conditions. They lack dynamics, colour saturation, and detail.
Sony Xperia E dual comes with Walkman player inside just like other Sony smartphones. This music player is better than the stock Android player. It has good feature set like lock screen control, searching/downloading any missing song information and home screen widget. Loudspeaker of this phone is good to listen to music comfortably and xLOUD fetature further improves the music experience.
There is Album application for viewing videos and photos and everything is organized conveniently and chronologically. There is also Movies app for viewing video files that are stored in your phone and it looks for information of this content on the Internet. Videos up to 480p are playable and even 720p is out of question. All popular video formats are supported but MKV and MOV are not.
Sony Xperial E dual price is 11,190 and this phone is less expensive than other high end smartphones out there. Likewise, the features and quality are compromised to keep the price low.
Phone call quality
Sony Xperia E dual has great call quality. I was pleased with the clear and loud voice calls through the earpiece. My friends on the other side too praised the call quality and said they could hear us clearly. This phone boasts ‘HD voice’ feature but they network that I tested on didn’t support it.
Sony Xperia E dual review says that this phone comes with 1,500 mAh user replaceable battery and it has rated talk time of six hours. Video playback time is of eight hours and you can listen to music for 33 hours continuously. These figures are average and there isn’t anything spectacular about them.
You can reduce power consumption by enabling Extended Standby mode where in the unwanted connectivity features are turned off when the handset isn’t used. Rated stand by time is over three weeks.
In spite of the extra features inside, this phone was primarily made to be used for calling. The call quality is really good and it has dual SIM capabilities. Performance is average and it is acceptable considering the price. I would certainly recommend this phone to customers on tight budget.
My two main gripes about this phone are the display and camera – their quality is poor. However, considering the low costs, it is acceptable. In fact, you will struggle to find such a phone for this price.
If you are looking for alternatives to the Sony Xperia E dual, take a look at HTC Desire V and Samsung Galaxy S Duos. Both have better quality displays and cameras too are superior. If you don’t want dual SIM feature then Sony Xperia U too is a good alternative.
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