The Sony Xperia E1 it’s a device for those who likes music and devices on a limited budget. A device with a walkman button it’s an excellent music application this Xperia E1 stands out on a competitive market of Android devices because of its great capacities in what concerns to sound. Besides that the Xperia E1 was the first device to use the Snapdragon 200 processor. Joining to everything that I just said the Xperia E1 presents itself as a device very compact and light a characteristic that it’s less common on the devices nowadays.
However not everything it’s virtues – the phone as a camera very weak with only 3Mpx and without flash. This it’s a negative aspect that will leave the consumers a little uncertain, but it’s there mores problems? Or this is the only one that the Xperia E1 has? Stay with us and we will try to answer to this questions ahead.
The first thing that we notice when we pick up the Xperia E1 it’s that it is built with quality plastic what can leaves you thinking that this is a toy like one of those that the kids use for play. This feeling of bad quality it’s certainly a shock even for a device cheaper than the usual mostly because there are already devices on the market inside the same range od prices (Lumia 52x Series, Moto G) that has a higher quality of construction and even can present a variety of colors pretty interesting. But despite the negligence on the plastic choice for the built of the Xperia E1 the truth it’s that this presents itself pretty string and doesn’t have any noises when put under pressure.
In what concerns to size Xperia E1 it’s pretty compact presenting itself as a device very friendly of does who likes to keep smartphones on their jeans pocket. Far from the big dimensions of the nowadays devices, the dimensions stays on the 118 x 62.4 x 12 mm (4.65 x 2.46 x 0.47 in) so even presenting as a device very easy and friendly to use with only one hand because the thumb can easily reach almost every corner of the screen. To help even more this idea of a device extremely compact the Xperia E1 only weights 120g (4.23oz).
On the front of the device we can find a Sony logo on the top of the screen and as we can notice this phone doesn’t have physical buttons on this side. Instead of that the Xperia E1 uses the navigation buttons (the typical buttons of Android) built on the screen. Every physical buttons are located on the left: the power button and the volume button. Noteworthy that this buttons are made of the same plastic without quality which is very disappointing.
On the top of the device we have to enhance the Walkman button. Because the phone it’s so compact isn’t difficult to reach this button made specifically to allow the user to easily listen to music and it’s integrated with the music application Walkman by Sony. It’s possible to personalize the button actions with a long pressure you initiate the Walkman application, with only a click pause or restart the current music while with a double click switch to the next music. This button promises to delight the music lovers.
The Xperia E1 has a 4 inches screen with a resolution of 480×800 pixels(WVGA). Sincerely the screen it’s one of the low aspects of this device presenting always an unclear image distorted colors and a weak contrast. The vision angles are very bad too and we aren’t being to very demanding on this aspect. The truth it’s that you just have to lean a little bit the Xperia E1and we can see a huge lost of contrast on the screen and a ridiculous color saturation. With all this serious failures on the screen the resolution of 480×800 pixels and a density of 233ppi seems to be a small inconvenient and can be apologize with a low price of the device.
On a more positive note it’s possible to say that the Xperia E1 supports automatic brightness adjustments thanks to brightness sensor a feature that usually doesn’t exists in the Low End devices. The screen it’s also very bright but when we are outside the visibility isn’t so great because the screen doesn’t have a very high reflectivity level.
Interface and Functionality
The Android that equips the Sony Xperia E1 it’s the 4.3 Jelly Bean that comes with an already usual interface on the Sony devices. Although we are talking about a very recent Android version the truth it’s that this isn’t the most recent one which it’s a shame because the 4.4 version of the Android KitKat has the most optimizations for devices with 512Mb RAM as the Xperia E1.
The customization skin that comes with the device runs pretty smooth and it’s one of the best interfaces made by the brands that makes the devices. Unlike the others manufactures Sony can costumize the Android giving it an appearence very elegant with fast and proper animations that adds some pleasant dinamics. Besides that Sony add some costumized applications that contribute for a better using experience of the device. Between those applications there is its own gallery, Movie, Track ID, Back UP and Smart Connect applications.
In this section of the review there is an application that the deserves the sportlight: Walkman. This application it’s optimized to run with the Walkman button that comes on the device and we already had the opportunity tlak about on the Design section. This application offers a rich music experience with the traditional resources like the capacity of categorize musics and an equalizer dedicated to more profund controls of audio exit.
Sony also offers the possibility of trying the Music Unlimited service during one month, a music Streaming service without limit of tracks, without ads, possibility of listen to music off-line on several devices. On the end of the month this service becomes a pay service so you can have access to the full content.
Talking about the device’s keyboard and although we are with a screen smaller than the usual nowadays (4 inches “only”) this is big enough with well spaced buttons that allowing it to be easily used. The fact that the device it’s very compact allows the handle it with only one hand without any problems.
But the Xperia E1 has some tricks storaged in what concerns to the functionalities and one of them it’s the LED light that it’s bellow the screen. This acts depending of the predominat color on the screen. For example if we are looking to an image where the main color it’s green this LED light adapts and becomes green. Nothing very usefull but very fun.
Hardware and Performance
The Sony Xperia E1 it’s one of the smartphones of the year 2014 that comes with a new and faster version of the Snapdragon 200 processor. In fact this was the first smartphone on the market to equip this processor. But before we dive in the details of this new processor we leave the note that the E1 it’s surprisingly agile for range of device that it’s in. offering a pretty smooth performance for the daily basis and although it has some imperfections we can notice a big evolution in what concerns to the performance for this kind of cheaper devices.
The chip that makes everything possible it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8210 200. Despite of the most of the devices with more accessible prices in 2013 having a Snapdragon 200 the truth it’s that they had different versions of this processor, most of them made with 45nm technology. The MSM8210 stands out because it’s made with a 28 nm LP technology. On the Sony Xperia E1 we are in the presence of a Cortex A7 1.2 GHz Dual Core and an Adreno 200 as a graphic processor.
These processors represents huge earnings on benchmark tests and the Xperia E1 has amazing results twice as high as the comparable devices on 2013 (with the Snapdragon 200 processor also). The GPU it’s also very capable for the its range and you can play most of the games with framerates very smooth.
But not everything it’s good points. The fact that Xperia E1 having only 512 MB of RAM memory (LPDDR2) combined with the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean instead of the Android 4.4 KitKat optimized for devices with 512Mb of RAM causes some problems in what concerns to the performance. This lack of memory affects mainly the so called multi-tasking. Because the system, with the lack of memory, ends very quickly the applications it’s inconvenient when we try to return to a previous application and this has to load everything agai. This is very common and an example where this happens it´s when we are playing and someone call us or we would like to see our email. When we try to come back to the game this has to load everything again because it was closed by the operative system due to the lack of memory.
In what concerns to the internal storage this has 4Gb and 2Gb of those are available for the user. Luckily it’s possible to expand the memory with the use of microUSB cards until 64Gb.
Internet and Connectivity
Sony for its devices has been choosing having only one available browser and it’s browser of choice it’s Chrome. In fact the Chrome Mobile it’s an excellent browser with a great optimization to work on an interface based on cards and full of customization options. This loads and renders pages in very fast way and it’s a pleasure to see the scroll of the pages on the Xperia E1, such as the Zoom In and the Zoom Out that it’s pretty fast.
In what concerns to the connectivities the phone supports speeds until 21Mbps in HSPA networks (that it’s considered 4G but doens’t exist LTE support).
Other traditional connectivities options are present like Wi-Fi B/G/N. Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. Note for the non inclusion of NFC on this device.
To make the device accessible to every pockets in other words with a lower price, Sony had to cut in some specific aspects related to the Xperia E1 equipment. Unfortunately for some one of the cuted aspect was the camera one of the resouce that it’s use more often on the smartphones. Actually the camera it’s only of 3Mpx with Autofocus but without flash and without a front camera.
The camera application it’s well done (it’s the same that it’s on the recent Sony devices) but it takes some time to start and in some isolated occasions it simply crash and closes. After start we have tge “Superior Auto Mode” that adjusts the camera definitions automatically for the user (and this functionality most of the times works well). However there is also a manual mode for those who wnat to adjust manually some of the configurations like for example the ISO and the white balance.
Despite of those modes refer above the photos has a medium classification when we are witg perfect conditions and weak classification (disappointing even) when we have low light conditions. In environments with good light the colors are well captured (except some times when tge camera losts itself) what gives to the image quality enough (in some situations) to share with our friend on social networks. When we are in environments with a little bad illuminationor even in a room with artificial illumination the photos stay on border of the unusable becuase the colors are completely lost and in some cases the photos are blue like we are using blue filter on them.
In what concerns to video the camera it’s still proving that it’s really weak even for a device with an accessible price. By default the Xperia E1 records video in 480p (640×480 pixels) but the frame rate it’s too low getting only 19fps which causes to be with several ignored frames which leads to a huge loss of quality. We can also choose to record in a higher resolution (800×600 pixels) but in this case the frame rate gets even lower worsening the things.
The 4 inches screen of the Xperia E1 it’s big enough for the users to see short videos on YouTube or even with the media player incorporated on the device. Curiously Sony ignored the support to Codecs videos because it didn’t simply open all the Xvid/DivX files on the equipment that we had testing. The video player opens files with MPEG – 4 and MKV extension for more demanding encodings it will be necessary use a free media player of the playstore like the MX Player.
Where the Xperia E1 truly stands out it’s in it’s affinity for music, with this device having a Walkman application previously installed as the button dedicated to the control of this application. The Walkman application isn’t capable of disappointing the music lovers. Actually this application it’s very rich in options, features, equalizer and in the way that organize music.
The sound that comes from the loudspeaker it’s pretty high but however it doesn’t impress. Actually the sound it’s pretty metalic. But with the phones that comes with the Xperia E1 the sound it’s very clean and it’s a pleaser listen to music with them. In fact although they aren’t exceptionals this phones are better than the ones that are provided by the brands and that comes with the device’s boxes.
Normally we don’t have a sectionto talk about this aspect but the Xperia E1 deserves a special note but not for the good reasons.
The call quality of the Xperia E1 it’s satisfactory the problem it’s for the person on the other side. We ear perfectky fine whatthe other person say and the sound of the device it’s high and clear enough. However on the other side who answer our calls said that the voices were frequently distorted and that was complicated to understand what we were saying. Besides that the external noise seems to be a problem on the calls also. Although this is filtered it is not on the best way leaving noises that will disturb our conversations on the phone.
The battery that comes with the Xperia E1 as a capacity of 1750mAh and it’s removable. According to informations given by Sony in conversation the battery reaches 8.2h of use (8.7h in 3G) which it’s below the average. However on our daily experience the equipment hold on perfectly a full day of use but needs to charge ate night so it can hold on next day completely. However at the end of the day and before putting the equipment on charge this stillas approximately 30% of battery.
All summed up the Sony Xperia E1 ends up to be an accessible device offering a performance above the average for its range. It will conquer the music lovers with the button for controlling music reproduction but it doesn’t offers a big thing on its loudspeaker. However it as two dark aspects that ends up to greatly affect our opinion about the device: the low quality display and the camera that takes disappointing pictures.
The price depends of the country, however it ends up by presenting itself in a range between the 140 € and the 190 €. On the range of prices the truth it’s that there isseveral solutions that as a better camera and a better display as well. For example the Motorola Moto G that as a better performance, a better camera, a better display and the version of Android 4.4. This also varies on the price depending on the version and on the country. However it is almost always on the same price range that Xperia E1.
Summarizing the Xperia E1 presents itself as an accesible device in what concerns to the price but does very little to stand out on the low-end segment. The camera and the display are a negative aspect specially when there are better solutions with the same range of prices.