Sony softens its rectangular smartphones with the Xperia E4

Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Sony is showing off a new style that might give us a preview of what the company has in store for future mobiles, as it takes its normally blocky design and curves the edges considerably.

We’ve seen some great stuff from Sony’s phone department in the past couple of years, but not everyone has been into the blocky style that Sony has been using. In recent handsets, we’ve seen the normally squared off edgy design get a little softer, and now with a new phone release heading to Australian shelves shortly, we’re seeing a change that might tell us what direction Sony’s phone are about to go in.

And that direction features a softer look than we’ve previously seen from Sony’s Android phones.

Announced this week, Sony’s Xperia E4 takes the Xperia range into a different look, with the typical rectangle pushed back to a softer design, curved edges and from the looks of things a soft plastic chassis with texture in it to make it harder to drop.

There’s a 5 inch quarter-HD (qHD) display here, meaning it will be large but not particularly high-resolution, with the specs including a quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, and a microSD to expand this. A 5 megapixel camera is also included, as is a 2 megapixel front-facing shooter, Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi, GPS, but no 4G, meaning this will likely be a budget device, albeit one with a 5 inch display.

“With Xperia E4, we wanted to offer people some of the premium Sony features they have come to expect – with unparalleled ease of use – at a highly-competitive price point,” said Peter McKeon, Managing Director for Sony Mobile Communications in the Oceania region.

“With a simple set-up, great screen and unrivalled 2 day battery life we’ve created an on-the-go entertainment device that will keep on going, wherever you are.”

We’ll wait until we play with the Xperia E4 to see if it can live up to the promise of a two-day battery, though with a low-res screen and a 2300mAh battery, not to mention Android 5.0 “Lollipop” out of the box, we suppose it is possible, though the specs suggest “up to” those two days, as opposed to the life outright.

And despite being seen with a towel in one of the promo shots, this is not one of Sony’s ruggedised IP-rated smartphones, so try not to get this one wet.

In any case, you should see this phone in the next month or two, though pricing has yet to be determined, so we’ll let you know what it is when we hear anything more.