Sony Xperia E4g Review

Sony Xperia E4g Review
Sony Xperia E4g Review
Sony Xperia E4g Review
Introduction


If you need an inexpensive, unpretentious _phone_ to give to your teen or even kiddo, without worrying about the consequences, Sony has got you covered with the new Xperia E4g. It is pretty low as specs go, sporting a qHD screen (certainly not to be confused with QHD), a MediaTek chipset, and a basic 5 MP camera, but offers seemingly sturdy design, 4G connectivity, and has the Sony logo slapped on its back. Will the price and branding be enough to offset the circa 2012 specs sheet? Let's find out....

In the box:

  • Wall charger
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Warranty and information leaflets

Design

Thickish, but comfy to operate, the Xperia E4g feels very sturdy in the hand

The chubby, soapy-shaped Xperia won't be winning any design contests this season, but it feels solid and sturdy in the hand. It is quite thick and light, which, coupled with the soft-touch plastic on the back, makes it easy to grab and hold, though the 10.8mm chassis girth might be a turnoff. The back panel, which encompasses the sides of the phone, is removable, but the battery is, sadly, non-replaceable. The power/lock key, and the volume rocker on the right, offer deep tactile feedback, but the power key feels a bit wobbly under your thumb when you play around with it, as it's actually a part of the removable rear casing.

 

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Front view | Side view
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
5.24 x 2.8 x 0.43 inches
133 x 71 x 10.8 mm
4.76 oz (135 g)

Sony Xperia E4g

Motorola Moto G (2014)
Motorola Moto G (2014)
5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Xiaomi Redmi 2
Xiaomi Redmi 2
5.27 x 2.64 x 0.37 inches
133.9 x 67.1 x 9.4 mm
4.72 oz (134 g)

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
5 x 2.56 x 0.34 inches
127 x 64.9 x 8.6 mm
4.55 oz (129 g)

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact



Display

Bright and color-accurate, the 4.7” display shines in everything but pixel density.

Sony has been worrying that we've forgotten what a 540x960-pixel qHD display looks like, and is bent on reminding us that this type of resolution still exists with the Xperia E4g. We don't want to rain on its parade, but the 4.7” display returns 234ppi at this resolution, which might sound fine, but in reality small text looks interrupted, and icon edges are somewhat jagged – we'd certainly prefer at least a 720p panel at this price point.

As for the other screen quality criteria, however, the LCD panel has them covered well. The color representation is nearly spot on, with only the greens running a tad afoul, but certainly not to the level you'd notice it. We measured the white point to be relatively close to the reference, too – at 6328 Kelvins, it is only slightly on the warmish color side.

The good news about the display don't end here, either – it is very bright, at 508 nits, and has pretty decent viewing angles as well. All in all, despite the aging resolution, you won't be disappointed by the Xperia E4g display panel.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia E4g 508
(Excellent)
48
(Poor)
1:2077
(Excellent)
6328
(Excellent)
2.23
4.34
(Average)
1.4
(Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 436
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
1:1315
(Excellent)
9964
(Poor)
2.67
6.03
(Average)
8.96
(Poor)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
(Average)
15
(Poor)
1:908
(Average)
8290
(Poor)
2.39
5.32
(Average)
6.78
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia E4g 82.9%
83.3%
78.5%
0.9%
15.7%
1.6%
242.1%
Motorola Moto G (2014) 86.4%
86.7%
77.1%
13.8%
0.8%
17.7%
18%
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 97.9%
66.7%
85.2%
19.1%
1.1%
15.9%
14.8%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Sony Xperia E4g Review

Sony Xperia E4g Review
Sony Xperia E4g Review
Sony Xperia E4g Review
Introduction


If you need an inexpensive, unpretentious _phone_ to give to your teen or even kiddo, without worrying about the consequences, Sony has got you covered with the new Xperia E4g. It is pretty low as specs go, sporting a qHD screen (certainly not to be confused with QHD), a MediaTek chipset, and a basic 5 MP camera, but offers seemingly sturdy design, 4G connectivity, and has the Sony logo slapped on its back. Will the price and branding be enough to offset the circa 2012 specs sheet? Let's find out....

In the box:

  • Wall charger
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Warranty and information leaflets

Design

Thickish, but comfy to operate, the Xperia E4g feels very sturdy in the hand

The chubby, soapy-shaped Xperia won't be winning any design contests this season, but it feels solid and sturdy in the hand. It is quite thick and light, which, coupled with the soft-touch plastic on the back, makes it easy to grab and hold, though the 10.8mm chassis girth might be a turnoff. The back panel, which encompasses the sides of the phone, is removable, but the battery is, sadly, non-replaceable. The power/lock key, and the volume rocker on the right, offer deep tactile feedback, but the power key feels a bit wobbly under your thumb when you play around with it, as it's actually a part of the removable rear casing.


Front view | Side view
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
5.24 x 2.8 x 0.43 inches
133 x 71 x 10.8 mm
4.76 oz (135 g)

Sony Xperia E4g

Motorola Moto G (2014)
Motorola Moto G (2014)
5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Xiaomi Redmi 2
Xiaomi Redmi 2
5.27 x 2.64 x 0.37 inches
133.9 x 67.1 x 9.4 mm
4.72 oz (134 g)

Xiaomi Redmi 2

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
5 x 2.56 x 0.34 inches
127 x 64.9 x 8.6 mm
4.55 oz (129 g)

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact



Display

Bright and color-accurate, the 4.7” display shines in everything but pixel density.

Sony has been worrying that we've forgotten what a 540x960-pixel qHD display looks like, and is bent on reminding us that this type of resolution still exists with the Xperia E4g. We don't want to rain on its parade, but the 4.7” display returns 234ppi at this resolution, which might sound fine, but in reality small text looks interrupted, and icon edges are somewhat jagged – we'd certainly prefer at least a 720p panel at this price point.

As for the other screen quality criteria, however, the LCD panel has them covered well. The color representation is nearly spot on, with only the greens running a tad afoul, but certainly not to the level you'd notice it. We measured the white point to be relatively close to the reference, too – at 6328 Kelvins, it is only slightly on the warmish color side.

The good news about the display don't end here, either – it is very bright, at 508 nits, and has pretty decent viewing angles as well. All in all, despite the aging resolution, you won't be disappointed by the Xperia E4g display panel.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia E4g 508
(Excellent)
48
(Poor)
1:2077
(Excellent)
6328
(Excellent)
2.23
4.34
(Average)
1.4
(Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 436
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
1:1315
(Excellent)
9964
(Poor)
2.67
6.03
(Average)
8.96
(Poor)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
(Average)
15
(Poor)
1:908
(Average)
8290
(Poor)
2.39
5.32
(Average)
6.78
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia E4g 82.9%
83.3%
78.5%
0.9%
15.7%
1.6%
242.1%
Motorola Moto G (2014) 86.4%
86.7%
77.1%
13.8%
0.8%
17.7%
18%
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 97.9%
66.7%
85.2%
19.1%
1.1%
15.9%
14.8%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface


Sony's Xperia UI hasn't made the jump to Lollipop in the Xperia E4g, staying on Android 4.4 KitKat instead, but at the time of this review the Z-series still don't have Lollipop either, so you won't feel alone and left out in that respect at least. The Xperia UI running on top of Android 4.4.4 KitKat has the same barren look we are accustomed to for a few Sony phone generations now. It has some light multitasking tools like the Small Apps suite, which lets you hover up to five windowed apps, resize and move them around, but that's about it.

There is still a tight PlayStation integration – the Xperia E4g can be set up for remote play, as in being able to stream most of your PlayStation 4 games directly to the Xperia. Sony also offers the Xperia Transfer software that helps you move everything of matter from your old phone to the Xperia E4g.

Processor and memory

The Xperia E4g got futureproofed with a 64-bit processor that runs the UI with aplomb.

Blasting quite good results on AnTuTu, the 1.5 GHz 64-bit quad-core MediaTek MT6732 chipset with four Cortex-A53 cores is also pretty good as a daily driver. The interface feels very fluid, with only the occasional choppy transition from one screen to the next to hint at the phone's price point. We'd digress to say that we've seen those on more expensive handsets, too, and they might be due to software optimizations, as the phone's ARM Mali-T760 MP2 graphics processor is a decent GPU for the category.

The 1 GB of RAM memory isn't much for today's Android standards, but does the job, though sometimes there is a fair bit of wait for big apps to load or switch. The Xperia E4g ships with the reasonable 8 GB of internal memory out of the box (about 4.8 GB user-available), and there is a microSD slot for storage expansion.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 43911
Sony Xperia E4g 32877.6
Motorola Moto G (2014) 18249
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 1551
Sony Xperia E4g 971.66
Motorola Moto G (2014) 608
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Sony Xperia E4g 2695.33
Motorola Moto G (2014) 1605
Sunspider
Lower is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 906.6
Sony Xperia E4g 914.23
Motorola Moto G (2014) 1470.6
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 41.5
Sony Xperia E4g 26
Motorola Moto G (2014) 10.7
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 25.8
Sony Xperia E4g 13
Motorola Moto G (2014) 12
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 1126
Sony Xperia E4g 659.33
Motorola Moto G (2014) 523
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 960
Sony Xperia E4g 737
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 2689
Sony Xperia E4g 2176
View all

Internet and connectivity

With septaband LTE and Miracast support, the Xperia E4g is one of the most connected budget munchkins out there.

Website rendering in the default Chrome browser is fast and there aren't extensive hiccups, even on heavier pages. Scrolling, zooming and panning around are all fluid enough, too.

When it comes to connectivity, though, the phone doesn't disappoint, as it sports a 4G modem. The septaband LTE radio might not be a veritable globetrotter, but you can rest assured that it will come supporting whatever bands your carrier is floating – as long as you live in Asia or Europe, as these are the markets where the E4g is heading to, judging from the bands that the three model numbers of the E4g support.

There is also the obligatory 42.2 Mbits HSPA+ support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS, FM Radio with RDS, DLNA and NFC, while Sony has even thrown Miracast for mirroring your phone's display on a supported TV into the mix. Wired connectivity is done through the microUSB port at the bottom, and that's that.

Camera

Flashy colors in pictures and video make for inaccurate, but enjoyable imagery, and the phone does smooth 1080p video, too.

The 5 MP camera on the back of the budget Xperia sports a pretty narrow F2.8 aperture, but an LED flash on the back keeps it company, and the phone offers both HDR photos, and 1080p video – options that not every handset in this class can brag with. There is a 2 MP front-facing camera, too, that does 720p video recording. The Xperia UI camera app is very easy to use, with a bit too many options you are unlikely to use when you enter the Manual mode. You'd mostly be shooting with the default Intelligent Auto regime, though, which takes care of everything for you, so no complaints. Focusing and taking a shot take a while, though, at about 4-5 seconds between snaps, which might annoy those used to today's instant shot times.

The pictures often come out with a tad unnatural colors, with intensified warm tones like red and yellow, that look more subdued in reality . The amount of detail is kind of low, even for a 5 MP shooter, and the frames appear soft around the corners, especially the upper left one. Other than that, the phone manages the white balance and dynamic range in a decent manner, and doesn't overexpose or darken the scene or individual objects in it.

Indoors the situation becomes murkier, especially when the lights start to dim down, introducing soft, smudgy photos, with noise progressively increasing at lower light levels, and the situation especially bad when the weak LED flash had to illuminate the scene from about three feet distance.


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Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 3.3
No data
494
402
Motorola Moto G (2014) 4
6.4
435
348
Sony Xperia E4g 4.5
4.8
561
485
View all

The 1080p video runs with fluid 30fps on paper, but has the occasional skipped frame here and there while panning around. Exposure compensation is relatively fast, while colors tend to be lively enough. For the phone's price point, both the snaps and the video footage will do you good.


Multimedia


The stock Album app offers resizable grid thumbnail view, and allow for rich picture editing from within the app, as well as plenty of sharing options. Video playback is pretty decent, as the phone supports most popular codecs out of the box, and at up to 1080p resolution at that. The smallish screen and its pixel density won't be conducive to Game of Thrones binging, though.

When it comes to the music player, the Walkman-branded one on the Xperia phone has proven itself with a sleek-looking, comfortable interface that offers plenty of equalizer presets for every mood swing. There is mock surround sound support when you plug in a headset, and the sole speaker is pretty loud, with a resonating enough chamber, so that it doesn't sound overly hollow or tinny.



Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia E4g 0.52
Motorola Moto G (2014) 0.41
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 0.30
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia E4g 77
Motorola Moto G (2014) 74.2
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 72
View all


Sony Xperia E4g Review
Call quality


The earpiece of the Xperia E4g is strong enough to hear clearly on a crowded street, though there is a bit of echo to the sound at the highest volume. Voices are intelligible, and don't sound too compressed or robotic. On the other end they could hear us sufficiently loud, with the noise suppression mics duo eliminating background fluff, but a slight hissing and static noise occurs, plus the voices are relayed a tad hollow.

Battery

Sony's two-day battery life promise is now a staple for most of its handsets, even the budget ones like Xperia E4g.

Sony Xperia E4g Review
The 2300 mAh battery capacity might not sound like much, but it is Sony we are talking about, and this company has proven, in the last year or so, that it uses very power-efficient screen tech, and has the longest-lasting handsets of all major brands. Luckily, the Xperia E4g is no exception.

Sony brags a “two-day battery life” for it, and up to 13 hours of talk time in 3G mode, more than a month of standby, 65 hours of listening to music, or 7 hours of video binging on a charge. During our own standardized battery benchmark, the Xperia E4g scored the excellent 9 hours and 6 minutes of screen-on time on a charge, indicating that Sony's “two-day” battery brag holds water indeed.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 10h 2 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia E4g 9h 6 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 6h 17 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 208
Sony Xperia E4g 207
Motorola Moto G (2014) 151
View all

Conclusion


At about $200, the Sony Xperia E4g proves to be a very good value for the money. We started a bit suspicious about a phone with a qHD display resolution, but the screen's other qualities proved pretty decent, the phone is very easy to grab and handle, and the rest of its specs are spot on. Sony made it futureproof with a zippy 64-bit chipset and LTE connectivity, while the camera takes pretty good pictures and records smooth video. Add the typical two-day battery life out of Sony handsets, and the Xperia E4g all of a sudden becomes a viable contender in the sea of Chinese phones at the same price range.

For this kind of money you can opt for the Moto G LTE, with a larger screen and a stereo speaker set, though the weaker chipset means HD video recording only. The Xiaomi Redmi 2 has the same screen diagonal, but an HD display and an 8 MP camera, though the battery life verdict would likely be in favor of the Xperia, and it's hard to obtain globally. Last year's Galaxy S5 mini is more expensive, and doesn't have a 64-bit chipset to show for it, while the same goes for the budget Huawei Honor 3C.

Overall, Sony managed to concoct quite the fine phone for the category, and the branding on the back, as well as the global availability, only add to the perceived value of the Xperia E4g.

Software version: 25.0.A.1.28

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