Price (RRP): $129; Available from Boost Mobile;
We’ve seen good phones out of Sony in the past couple of years, but generally in the flagship field, so what sort of handset does Sony produce when it makes it to a budget?
A slightly different style of device from Sony, the “E” series of products are a little more budget focused than the usual mid-range to top-tier products we normally see.
This phone, the E4, tries to evade the whole entry-level look and feel by throwing the sum of its parts (and indeed the parts themselves) under a 5 inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) display, complete with a degree of scratch-resistant glass.
Despite being 5 inches, you’ll find only a quarter-HD (qHD) resolution of 960×540 here, providing a pixel clarity of roughly 220 pixels per inch, approximately 100 lower than what the iPhone 5 and 6 offer in their respective “Retina” grade panels.
Under this 5 inch display, you’ll find a combination of parts, including a not-so-common-in-these-parts Mediatek MT6582 quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 1GB RAM, with 8GB storage and a microSD card slot to expand this.
Google’s Android 4.4 “KitKat” runs on this phone natively, and you’ll find the connections on this handset are fairly low-end, with 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP and aptX, GPS, and 3G connectivity.
Wired connectivity is pretty standard, too, with a microUSB charge and data transfer port found on the very left of the unit, as well as a 3.5mm headset jack up top on the right.
Two cameras can be found on this phone, a change for the typical one camera solution most budget phones receive, with the Sony Xperia E4 receiving a 5 megapixel camera with flash on the back, as well as a 2 megapixel camera on the front.
Few buttons can be found on this phone, however, with merely a physical circular power button on the right edge, just above a volume rocker. The rest of the buttons can be found built into the screen with the software, as is typical with Sony’s previous implementations of Android, providing the soft buttons for back, home, and multitasking through the screen itself.
The case on this phone is plastic and removable, revealing slots for the microSD slot, as well as for the microSIM slot.
The battery is built into the body of this phone and is rated at 2300mAh.
Sony’s take on mobile phones has been getting stronger lately, and last year we even saw one of its phones take out our favourite device of the year in the Xperia Z3.
Flagship phones aren’t all the company wants to be known for, though, and with the E series, we’re seeing Sony try for the “entry-level” part of the market, telling us what the “E” stands for.