AFFORDABLE ENTERTAINMENT, JUST LIKE THE TV CHANNEL
Around six months ago Sony released the Xperia Z3, and we loved it. Following that, we’ve been looking forward to what the Japanese company will produce next. Although we’re yet to see the next flagship device, we have got our hands on the company’s newest mid-range handset, the Xperia E4. Let’s have a look at what it can do…
- Simple Home mode for easy use
- Loads of great camera features
- Large battery
- Low resolution screen
- Plastic shell
- Chunky design
LOOK & FEEL
The first thing you’ll notice when picking up the Xperia E4 is that is has a bulky, bumper-like shell. Kind of like it’s been wrapped up for its first day of school by an overprotective parent. The plastic casing can be easily clicked off to reveal the SIM and a microSD card slot, which means that if you have lots of photos and music, which generally take up a lot of storage space, you can expand the E4’s memory by 32GB (gigabytes).
The 5-inch screen is comfortable to use, and is quickly becoming a standard size in the smartphone world. Compared to the Xperia E3, the screen is half an inch bigger, so it’s definitely a move in the right direction. And, thanks to Sony’s smart display technology, you’ll be able to enjoy the view from any angle.
HOW IT WORKS
The Xperia E4 runs on Google’s mobile operating system, Android KitKat. This isn’t the most current version of Android, but hopefully an update will be available in the coming months. Saying that, having Google run your phone is great because you have access to over a million great apps from the Google Play store, including YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail.
Simple Home mode is built into the E4 and is a great feature that strips down the phone’s functionality and home screen to your most-used apps. Doing this will make it very easy to navigate around the phone and you can increase the font size if you’re finding your messages a bit tricky to read.
There are also loads of exclusive Sony apps on board to boost the mobile experience including Walkman, which provides unlimited access to millions of songs.
The E4 has two cameras – the main 5 megapixel lens is on the rear and the secondary 2MP camera, which is slightly less powerful, is on the front. With Sony you get a wealth of photography apps that can be used to both improve your photos, and have a bit of fun with. The augmented reality settings (or AR for short) allow you to spruce up even the most mundane of photos by adding dinosaurs or woodland creatures – yes you read that right. It may sound a bit mad, but it’s perfect for keeping the kids entertained, or if you’re anything like us, your selfish inner-child.
If that’s not enough you can also broadcast videos live to YouTube or Facebook, record video in Full HD, add amazing slow motions effects, or if you consider yourself a bit of a photography buff, use the Manual shooting mode to choose all your own settings.
The processor inside the E4 is quite a respectable size (1.3GHz quad core) and looks after how the phone deals with multiple tasks. We tested out a couple of games and happily found they ran fairly smoothly with minimal interruptions. If you’re running a lot of apps at once however, you may see a slight delay, but this can easily be avoided by closing them down when you’re finished. Just tap the two overlapping squares in the bottom left hand corner to view all your open apps.
There’s also a 2,300mAh battery in the E4, which is an amazing size considering how big the phone is. For an idea of just how good that is, the Xperia Z3’s battery is just 800mAhs more, and it’s considered to have one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market.
The E4 is definitely a move in the right direction from its predecessor, the Xperia E3. It’s a bit bigger; more grown up, and ultimately does more stuff. In the grand scheme of things, it’s got nothing on the likes of Sony’s current flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z3, but it’s a great mid-range handset for the price and has a lot of Sony’s superb functionality.