- Chunky design
- Pixilated and highly reflective display
- Lack of fine details in pictures
Like other manufacturers, Sony is turning their attention to emerging markets. Their Xperia E4 is a mid-range smartphone meant to appeal to this demographic. From the moment experts laid eyes on it, they knew it was a budget phone from its all plastic build to bulky, shell. Indian Express likens the appearance of the back cover to, "a protective covering made of Styrofoam to prevent toddlers from cutting themselves." Unsurprisingly it is also quite heavy at 144 grams. Despite its cheap appearance, reviewers found it to be fairly sturdy with no issues in its build quality.
The 5-inch qHD (960 x 540) screen isn't going to win any medals in terms of clarity as it only has a pixel density of 220ppi. While not horrible, reviewers did find it to be slightly pixilated, especially when compared to other smartphones in the same price range. They also were disappointed with sunlight legibility as the protective coating ended up reflecting far too much light. On the plus side, they describe the colors as accurate even at various viewing angles though the colors tended to be a bit dull.
The Xperia E4 comes with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and just 1GB of RAM. It also comes with only 8GB of internal storage though this is expandable via microSD card. Performance-wise reviewers would not call it speedy, but it did perform smooth enough when navigating the homepage and playing casual games. However, they experienced some delays and lag when attempting to multi-task or playing more graphic-intensive games. A 2,300mAh battery provides the power and it lasted critics around two days of light use and about a day of heavy usage. To make it last longer, Sony included a Stamina mode that increases the battery life at the expense of other features like Wi-Fi, screen brightness and mobile data. Speaking of mobile data, the Xperia E4 does not come with LTE connection, instead opting for 3G. Consumers can purchase the Xperia E4G if they need this feature, but it will end up costing a bit more.
The 5MP rear camera might not be the best on the market, but experts add it also isn't the worst. Although it took them a while to load the app, in decent lighting situations they were able to take adequate pictures with good contrast and accurate colors. Still, they did notice a lack of vibrancy in the colors and significant noise when zooming in especially in low-light settings. It also comes with a secondary 2MP camera, which critics describe as "not that great" especially when using it for the main purpose of taking selfies. The best features of the camera are its ability to record full HD (1080p) video and the plethora of modes and apps available to edit/filter images and videos.
While it isn't horrible, experts cannot recommend the Xperia E4. Times of India states, "…[it] may have stood a chance two years ago, but Motorola and Xiaomi have now transformed the budget smartphone landscape…making it a bad choice. Express adds, "The Sony Xperia E4 may be a budget smartphone, but that does not necessarily mean it is a bargain smartphone."