- Battery life
- microSD card support
- 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.”
Reviews (3.8/10 Avg. rating)
Budget 4G smartphone
A solid, low-cost 4G phone
The Sony Xperia E3 looks and feels a fair bit higher-end than the Xperia E1 it sort of succeeds. However, as it also costs more, that's far from enough to elevate it above the disappointing E1.
Elsewhere Sony hasn’t really done enough to get the Xperia E3 remotely close to the quality of experience available from smaller brands that have to try a bit harder to reel in the punters. At present, buying from one of the biggest names when looking for a super-budget phone just isn’t that good an idea.
If you don’t want to opt for a name you’ve never h... Full review
A very decent phone which will cope with daily life
This is a pretty tough cookie, built for everyday life and – apart from the chunky amount of border around the screen – it’s a nice looking smartphone with a very good battery life. I got two days out of it without too much difficulty.
The addition of 4G, especially for a handset this cheap (£99 on Pay As You Go with Vodafone), is welcome and the handset performed well during our testing. It wasn’t slow, clunky or overly ugly to look at or use. The camera is good, the screen is bearable, the build quality is strong and rugged but also good-looking an... Full review
Grainy display and iffy camera make it a difficult phone to recommend
Solid build quality, average performance
The Sony Xperia E3 is here but it doesn't want to rock the boat of Sony's other midrangers. And while that approach runs the risk of also not being able to stir things up for its competition, the Xperia E3 offers enough to be able to fight in the crowded mid-range market.
Bang for buck is key here and the most affordable Xperia of this generation offers plenty of it. The sub-720p screen is what we hold against it the most, but there are plenty aspects of its performance that are way above the norm in this price point.
The battery life is arguably its most potent weapon... Full review
Budget 4G phone takes on the Moto G
A good, solid design budget end phone
The Xperia E3 is a good looking device that brings many of Xperia range's design features to a more entry-level product. It's plastic, not as slim and a little heavier than the premium devices in this portfolio but it has a nice feel to it and we liked it.
This end of the market is becoming more and more competitive but despite the low internal storage capacity, we think Sony has done alright here.
It will be interesting to see what the price of the Xperia E3 comes in at, as well as how it copes in the real world but we like the design, the display is good and the avai... Full review
Prices (Where to Buy)
Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
- Sony Xperia E3 Manual (PDF)
Visit the Sony Xperia E3 Q&A Forum to ask the community a question or help others.Share / Embed