Sony Xperia E3 – Hands on Review

The Sony Xperia E3 was launched in September 2014 and it is agreeably one of the most sought after smartphones in the Indian Market in the under-15k range, especially for die hard Sony fans. Unboxing the Sony Xperia E3, these are the accessories that you will find. The earphones or the handsfree, the user manual which I don’t use, the USB data cable which acts as a charger as well, and the power adaptor. Finally, the securely packed Xperia E3. These are all that you can find in the box. The packaging seems to be intact and the accessories are also packed neatly, maintaining Sony’s well-established reputation.

When the Xperia E3 is turned on, you are greeted by the default Sony splash screen, while the KitKat 4.4.2 loads in the background. We might be expecting an Android L update for the Xperia E3, but it might take some time. The wavy graphics start screen stuff comes up when the UI loads in the background. Once this is done, you are prompted to choose the language which you want the phone to operate in. As soon as this is done, the phone takes a few seconds to boot up. As you can see, the UI does not load as fast as the Moto G2. There are lots of preloaded stuff added to the phone, most of them being some ‘must have’ Google Apps and a few Sony Apps too. There are also many widgets that could be customized like most other Android phones. The Experia E3 feels good to hold, and it is not very heavy at 143.8 g. However, the flat, wide, rectangular shape of the phone provides a pretty decent grip.

The 480 x 854 pixels, 4.5 inch display with a pixel density of 218 ppi combined with the Adreno 305 GPU provides a pleasing display, though it is not very attractive. The IPS capacitive touchscreen with 16 M colours supports multi touch to a maximum of two fingers only. The glass is shatterproof, but hopefully not Gorilla Glass.  To test the GPU, I tried playing the Total Recall movie trailer that was by default in the phone. There was no lag in the display and the video was very much viewable on the 4.5 inch screen. This makes the Xperia E3 a very good phone for watching 480p or 720p movies on the go.

The App screen  has no zooming function, and the phone does not respond to any pinching gesture. But the Home Screen has a nice 3D UI that can be used to customize widgets. The 5 MP primary camera claims to produce images with a resolution of 2592 х 1944 pixels. The image clarity looks decent for a dully lit-indoor photograph, but if you optimize the settings and in better daylight, you could get awesome images. This is good, but still not good enough.

The default lock screen of the Xperia E3 looks like this and long pressing the power button gives these options, including one for the screenshot. Window – Blind like effects are created when the finger is slid over the lock screen, and there is also a nice shortcut to the camera button. The What’s New Feature links you to new things that are available on the Sony Store. The notification and Quick settings options come in handy as well. Long pressing the icons leads to settings for specific functions like wifi.

The Sony Select Store can be accessed by swiping towards the right and there are a lot of goodies to download from there. The ‘Tools’ option in the App screen is another added advantage. The Sony Walkman app is a feature that most Sony Fans love.‘Sketch’ is a small Doodling app that is available by default, and it is pretty useful too. The Sont Music App allows you to download tracks from Sony Music, but you require a Sony Accout to do that. The Experia E3 shuts down quickly and lets take a look at the rear panel. On the left side of the E3, there is the micro USB port and on the right, there are the power and volume buttons. Sony recommends opening the rear panel from the micro USB port, and it is the only way unless you break the phone. The rear panel is quite flimsy, so it must be opened with at least a little care. The non-removable Li-Ion 2330 mAh battery can be seen along with two micro- SIM ports and a Micro SD slot. There is a single sim version of the Xperia E3 as well, so ask and check before buying. When inserting the micro SD card, you just need to push it in, but while removing it, you must unlock it. The micro sim  can be inserted by just sliding it in. The rear panel must be placed in correct position and pressed properly to lock it securely.

On the whole, the Xperia E3 seems to be a good value for money, but we believe Sony could have done a much better job.

Written and edited by Kemmy