IFA 2014: Sony spices up the budget smartphone game with £160 Xperia E3

IFA 2014: Sony spices up the budget smartphone game with £160 Xperia E3It's been firmly overshadowed by the Xperia Z3 crew, but Sony's new budget baby the Xperia E3 (and the dual-SIM Xperia E3 Dual) is nonetheless an interesting new face to emerge at IFA 2014 in Berlin this week.

Interesting since Sony does quite a few things well, but cheap smartphones typically isn't one of them. And with a good number of very good cheap smartphones popping up on the scene right now, it's a brave time to give the Xperia E-series a refresh.

But that's what Sony's done with the Xperia E3. It's done a lot of things by the book, too – there's the 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, the 1GB of RAM, the Adreno 305 GPU, the 5MP camera (Moto G owners are no doubt thinking “check, check, check...”).

However, Sony gets a couple of black marks for the 480 x 854 pixel resolution on the 4.5in IPS display, and the 4GB of internal storage – expandable though it is via microSD card.

On the plus side the Sony Xperia E3 comes with 4G LTE support, and a generous 2330mAh battery, which is good for 12h 20min talk time and up to 706 hours of standby according to Sony.

If you are going to hold the Moto G up as the archetypal budget smartphone – and most of us do – Sony's 8.5mm-thick Xperia E3 is a massive 3.1mm skinnier than the Moto G, though it's also 7.2mm taller and 3.5mm wider for a near-identical overall weight of 143.8g.

The Sony Xperia E3 is a massive 27% slimmer than the class leader, then. But is that as important as the lack of a 720p screen or just half the internal storage? You have to wonder.

Sony generally doesn't release pricing info for its new gear at this stage, and a quick scan online reveals only Clove (£162) and Expansys (£155) among the main players to list a SIM-free Xperia E3 pre-order price.

That's certainly low enough to make things interesting for budget smartphone shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

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JanSt / MOD  Sep. 4, 2014 at 20:55

Hard to remember that Sony (+Ericsson) designed some really nice looking 'classics'.
I find their current devices incredibly dull looking. Like they imitate Chinese knock-offs of Asus phones... Or maybe I'm just getting confused. Or cynical. Or confused and cynical?


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