- Low screen resolution
- Slow camera
- Large bezels
Sony’s original foray into the entry-level market, the E1, was met with fairly lackluster reviews. It appears Sony is making another attempt, with the new Sony Xperia M3. With the competition in the entry-level market growing by the day, how does the new handset fare? Let’s see what the reviews have to say about it!
One of the weak points of many entry level phones is the build quality. From flimsy plastic to mushy buttons, the market’s offerings tend to lack that premium feel. By sticking with their Omnibalance design and adding corner reinforcement to the E3, it appears that Sony has struck a good balance between cost and quality. Reviews were positive on most aspects of the build quality. GSM Arena noted that the “device feels sturdy and solid.”
There were a few minor issues. Mostly dealing with the display. Nearly every review was quick to point out how big the phone was in comparison to its 4.5-inch IPS display. While Sony has always used chunky bezels in its designs, reviews seem to indicate they’re particularly noticeable on the E1. Another concern mentioned in a few reviews was the lack of protective coating or treatment on the glass. Pressing on the screen can cause distortion.
All of this leads to the biggest problem most reviews pointed out with the phone. With a resolution of just 480-by-854 pixels, the phone offers one of the lowest resolutions from a major manufacturer in the entry-level market. Trusted Reviews said this was “perhaps the most serious issue” with the phone. However, apart from the screen resolution and clarity, reviews on the display were largely positive, with most reviews mentioning how bright the display is.
Pushing the display is a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM. This appears to be a fairly standard offering in entry-level phones, and as such, reviews indicated that it performed admirably for most tasks. GSM Arena described performance as “snappy overall” with the lower screen resolution helping smooth out any possible concerns.
Pairing the lower resolution screen and mid-range processor with a 2330mAh battery, Sony was able to coax a surprising amount of battery life out of the E3. GSM Arena predicts that it should last “48 hours, even if you use it fairly heavily” on a single charge. Most stress tests were able to achieve better than average results, with some obtaining 15 hours of video streaming on a single charge. This is good as you cannot remove or replace the battery.
While few entry-level phones will replace a point-and-click camera, the 5MP rear camera with LED flash on the device received fairly mediocre reviews. TrustedReviews stated, “By almost any standard, the Sony Xperia E3 has a fairly poor camera.” From over exposure in HDR mode to slow performance, reviews had little positive to say about the camera.
Lastly, with 4GB of internal storage--and only slightly more than 1GB available after apps and Android are installed--you’ll definitely be looking to take advantage of the phone’s microSD card support.
In all, reviews for the phone are decent as long as you don’t mind the screen. TechRadar remarked that the E3 is “designed to do a job, and does it pretty well.” Recombu was a little more stern with their verdict, stating “The grainy display and iffy camera ultimately make it a difficult phone to recommend, even though it does its job.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Sony released the Xperia E3 on September 16, 2014.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia E3 user manual here.
Sony backs up the Xperia E3 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Xperia E3 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.