Introduction

Sony's affordable E-series has definitely come a long way and with its current fourth generation. The company is really going to great lengths to deliver abundant functionality and usability at a modest price tag.

Recently, we took a look at the Sony Xperia E4 and found it falling short of its predecessor in most respects. Still, for what it's worth, Sony has done admirably, considering the price range, but perhaps, they could have done just a little bit better. And before you say we have no right to demand more from a €130 smartphone, let us introduce you to its sibling - the Xperia E4g.

At first glance, both devices look almost identical, but the Xperia E4g really seems to be Sony's more-successful second attempt at improving the Xperia E3.

Sony Xperia E4g

With the Xperia E4g Sony has managed to retain the tantalizing price tag and through some creative adjustment in the specs sheet, they ended up with a _phone_ which, unlike its sibling, doesn't have to skip on some of the nicer features of its predecessor, the E3. In other words, the Xperia E4g is in a way the true successor of the E3.

It all comes down to choice when keeping costs low is a primary objective and the E4g has definitely opted to do things a little differently. Instead of bumping the display size to 5.0-inches, this device has opted to go for a smaller 4.7-inch one and this is pretty much the only aspect the Xperia E4g falls short of the E4, at least on paper.

The panel has retained the same 540 x 960 pixels resolution and the reduced screen size leads to a higher ppi of 234. The _phone_ is also a tad smaller, measuring 133 x 71 x 10.8 mm and weighing in at a good 10 grams less for a total of 135g. Exterior changes go even further, but more on that in a little bit.

Key features

  • 4.7" 16M-color 540x960 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Android OS v4.4.4 KitKat
  • Quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53; Mediatek MT6732, Mali-T760MP2, 1GB RAM
  • 5MP camera with 1080p@30fps video; 2MP front-facing camera with 720p video
  • 8GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot
  • LTE connectivity with optional Dual SIM support
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS receiver, Bluetooth v4.1, FM radio
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 2,300mAh non-removable battery

Main disadvantages

  • Low screen resolution
  • Average cameras
  • Non-removable battery

Underneath the hood, there has been a definite power-boost compared to the vanilla E4. The Mediatek MT6582 SoC in the Xperia E4 has been swapped out for a MediaTek MT6732 chip. This one has a much faster Mali-T760MP2 GPU.

The rest of the specs are pretty much unchanged, but, then again, so is the price tag. The camera setup is nothing special with 5MP stills and 1080p video on the main unit, but the 2MP/720p selfie cam is a welcome improvement over the VGA front-facer of the Xperia E3. There's a microSD card slot too, of course. RAM is once again set at 1GB.

But the Xperia E4g has yet another treat in store. Like its name suggests, it offers LTE connectivity, just like the E3 did, so Sony definitely saw the error of its ways after the original Xperia E4 skipped on the ever-so-important connectivity option. The new chipset also come with GLONASS support, another clear improvement over the E4.

The Xperia E4g will be available globally, perhaps its single-SIM and dual-SIM versions targeting different markets.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g press images

Design-wise, the phone bears a lot of signature Sony elements and is kind of bulky. It does, however offer noticeable better materials than the Xperia E4, mainly in the back plate, which has a rubberized soft finish, a lot nicer than the plain plastic used on the E4g.

Follow us to the next page for the unboxing.

Unboxing

The Sony Xperia E4g retail package is about as basic as they gets. It is a plain one-piece box that only opens on the side, much like a generic container.

The insides are kind of cluttered making it near impossible to put everything back in place and comfortably close the box. What you get with the low-cost Xperia E4g is nothing out of the ordinary: a very short but quite sturdy micro USB cable, a standard headset with a built-in mic, as well as an A/C adapter.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Xperia E4g retail package

Sony Xperia E4g 360-degree spin

There is really nothing special about the Xperia E4g's look and build. The phone is unmistakably a Sony device, never mind it was clearly built to a budget.

Design and build quality

A fact's a fact though - the E4 is chunky and plasticky all-around and yet, the rubbery finish does make it feel and look a lot more premium than the Xperia E4. It measures 133 x 71 x 10.8mm and is not particularly light either at 135g. The back cover oddly looks too big and shaped more like a bumper case, almost like it doesn't belong and was borrowed from another device. Still, the smaller size lessens the effect, making for a slightly better look than the E4, but this is purely subjective.

Other than that, Sony has really done the best it could with the available materials. The body feels nice to the touch and the plastic does not look cheap in any way. The E4g is available in two colors: white and black.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The rubberized finish makes for a slicker look

The Sony Xperia E4g feels comfortable enough in the hand and also quite sturdy. There are no apparent build quality blunders, everything is nicely put together with no cracks or rough edges. The back cover is kind of hard to remove, but this will only be a problem if you frequently change SIM and memory cards.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The Xperia E4g looks odd with the cover off

The cover is removable to grant access the SIM and SD cards so a non-replaceable battery makes little sense in a phone that's not IP-certified or waterproofed.

Perhaps it's cheaper to manufacture this way.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The Xperia E4g in the hand

Controls

The Sony Xperia E4 comes equipped with a 4.7-inch display, which at 540 x 960 pixels has a slightly higher ppi than the 4.5" FWVGA display of the Xperia E3. The good thing is Sony managed to slim down some bezel for an adequate screen-to-body ratio of 64.5%.

Above the screen, the earpiece is barely visible, cleverly concealed very close to the top edge, in a very Sony-like manner. The 2MP front-facing camera is slightly off to the left. The phone does not feature any physical buttons, so the area below the display is mostly empty, except for the mouthpiece.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The front of the device is very clean

Going round the device, we find the left side housing only a microUSB port - the card slots are hidden underneath the back-cover: one or two micro SIM compartments (depending on the model) and a microSD slot. There is also a hardware reset pinhole, to help get out of tricky situations without access to the battery.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The left side of the E4g is mostly empty

The right-hand side is equally minimalist. There is the signature round Power/Lock button and, below it, a slim volume rocker.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The right side features the volume rocker and Power/Lock button

The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the device near the left corner.

Sony Xperia E4g

The top hosts the 3.5mm headphone jack

The bottom of the Xperia E4g is completely empty, except for a small eyelet in the left corner. We were quite happy to discover that it lets you attach a lanyard, just like the old times.

Sony Xperia E4g

An empty bottom side

Around the back, we find the 5MP camera lens and a single LED flash right next to it. They seem to be identical to the ones in the Xperia E4, but, interestingly enough, their position has been swapped. Perhaps for the sole purpose of telling the devices apart (just kidding).

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

A clean back side

Near the bottom, right beneath the etched Xperia logo, there's a small speaker grille. A rear speaker can get easily muffled if the phone's lying flat on its back and Sony has taken no precautions against it. But that's perhaps nitpicking.

Display

The Sony Xperia E4g is equipped with a pretty plain IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels on a 4.7-inch diagonal, a tad smaller than the Xperia E4 and slightly bigger than the E3. The resulting 234ppi is nothing special but probably just right for the price range.

It's not the resolution though that we're worried about. The thing that really ruins the experience is the plastic screen coating, which is very reflective.

While taking the microscopic photo, we had a very hard time focusing to get all three colors right. The distortion is most probably the reason why the display appears slightly blurry. Granted, the display isn't nearly as reflective at the one on the Xperia E4, so, although images are still far from crisp, the E4g does offer a better viewing experience.

Sony Xperia E4g

Screen colors are otherwise good enough.

The only bright side to it (pun intended) are the side viewing angles, which are quite ok despite the questionable front glass.

The display did fairly well in our brightness and contrast tests. It still scored, rather on the low side, but brightness has been improved greatly over the Xperia E4 and so is contrast. The difference in picture quality is definitely noticeable, especially when looking at both devices side by side.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Sony Xperia E4 0.28 205 737 0.55 430 787
Sony Xperia E3 - - - 0.69 608 887
Sony Xperia E4g 0.27 256 948 0.61 587 969
Motorola Moto G (2014) 0.24 253 1039 0.43 413 968
Motorola Moto G 0.35 315 906 0.57 550 967
Microsoft Lumia 535 0.26 312 1188 0.45 458 1118
Samsung Galaxy Core Prime 0.17 181 1115 0.41 462 1063
Xiaomi Redmi 1S 0.08 158 1437 0.45 615 1370
Sony Xperia M2 0.33 325 989 0.64 643 1000


Sunlight legibility is also improved with the Xperia E4g. The phone no longer falls short of its predecessor in this department and definitely puts the E4 to shame. All in all, even though, Sony has sacrificed a little screen real estate with the Xperia E4g, the display itself is generally better in every way and, as such, can be considered an upgrade as well.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3.543
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • LG G Flex2
    3.465
  • YotaPhone 2
    3.453
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    2.892
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • vivo Xshot
    2.465
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • HTC One M9
    2.334
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML
    2.149
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • ZTE Blade S6
    1.927
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Acer Liquid Jade S
    1.734
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1.467
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery

Sony has put a 2,300mAh battery inside the Xperia E4g, just like the Xperia E4. We ran our battery test with the battery-saving STAMINA mode off. The handset scored surprisingly low with a total endurance rating of 47 hours, which means you can count on squeezing out 2 days of battery life, at best.

Compared to 88 hours on the Xperia E4, this score looks alarmingly low. At first, we thought maybe we had done something wrong with the test, but, sadly a rerun of the whole procedure, gave equally disappointing results.

It seems that the faster MediaTek MT6732 is really taking its toll on battery performance, or, perhaps the problem lays with the different screen even though it's smaller. All we know for sure is that both the Xperia E4 and the E4g scored identical endurance rating during a voice call, so the modem is not a likely suspect for the diminished battery life.

It could very well be a software optimization issue or even a faulty review unit, but the results were pretty consistent. Just bear in mind that your own mileage may vary and you should only take these numbers to compare the different phones we test.

The battery is not user-removable, even though the general design of the phone suggests otherwise.

Sony Xperia E4g

The Power Saver - now part of the settings menu - helps you extend your battery life by toggling things like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth screen brightness, auto sync and background data on and off automatically, as soon as the battery charge falls below a certain user-defined threshold. You can also choose to automatically turn Wi-Fi off if there is no known Wi-Fi network in range or switch off mobile data when the screen is off, and more.

Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating.

Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

Connectivity

The Sony Xperia E4g comes in single and dual SIM flavors, just like its sibling. Both models offer quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support and dual or tri-band 3G connectivity with HSDPA. LTE support is also present, so, the device no longer falls short of the Xperia E3 in this respect.

Local connectivity features dial-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, yet another improvement over the Xperia E4 and Wi-Fi Direct. There is also support for Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP and apt-X. Satellite navigation is no longer limited to GPS and thanks to the MediaTek MT6732, now has GLONASS support as well. The Xperia E4g also has an FM radio with RDS. It doesn't offer an IR port, but does come with NFC, in the E2003 variation only.

There is a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data connections. Media transfer mode is supported for accessing the phone's built-in memory and microSD card over the USB cable. Sadly, there is no USB host functionality.

The microUSB port doesn't have any TV-out functionality, but if you own a compatible HDTV, you can output your phone's screen wirelessly via the Miracast protocol or Sony's Xperia Connectivity Throw option.

The app also lets you share your media over DLNA by creating a media server, as well as connect to a PlayStation DUALSHOCK 3 (or 4) wireless controller.

Android KitKat with Xperia flavor

The Sony Xperia E4g comes with Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box. The launcher looks identical to what you would see on any other KitKat Xperia smartphone, like the Xperia C3, which we recently reviewed, not to mention the Xperia E4. If you aren't familiar with it, you can check out this quick video below to get you up to speed.

The lockscreen is the usual affair - it supports widgets (one per pane), while the rightmost pane will fire up the camera. There are a few available default widgets, but you can always get more from the Play Store. Also third party apps oftentimes come with their own set of extra widgets.

Naturally, you can protect your lockscreen by Face, Pattern, PIN or Password unlock, in ascending order of security.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Xperia lockscreen, complete with widgets

There are five homescreen panels by default and you can set any of them as your primary one. You can't have more than seven panes at any given time though, nor can you change the order they're in.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Homescreen

You can set various live and static wallpapers, add widgets and shortcut, or change the UI theme. You can also choose which icons will be visible on the status bar, and which should remain hidden.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Customization • Themes

The notification area lists notifications in the default tab with a separate tab for Quick Settings. You can gain quick access to the Quick Settings tab with a two-finger swipe from the top. The toggles are customizable and you can choose between 20+ different toggles and have up to 12 of them visible in their dedicated page. Holding a finger over any toggle will give you direct access to its menu listing.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Notification area • Quick settings

The app drawer is laid out across multiple pages and you can sort the apps in various ways. The settings for that are accessible via a swipe from the left edge of the screen and you can also search and even uninstall apps from there, as well as download new ones.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

App drawer

The Xperia E4g uses the stock Android task manager that lets you switch between the recently opened apps, as well as terminate any of them with a side-swipe.

The so-called "small apps" are also available in the Xperia E4g and are accessible via the task manager. They are similar to Samsung's Mini Apps, and pop up tiny widget-like applications on your homescreen, which you can move around and use without having to open the full-fledged app. So far, there's a default set of seven of those available: Active Clip, Chrome Bookmarks, Browser, Calculator, Calendar, Gmail, Timer. Interestingly enough, a previous Xperia we reviewed had an additional two - Notes and Recorder, which are missing on the E4g, as well as the E4.

You can launch only one instance of a Small App, but you can open multiple Small Apps simultaneously.

Sadly, you can't disable the small apps entirely and will always have them cramming your recent apps whether you use them or not.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Task switcher • Small apps

Finally, Google Now integrates with your Google account and can access your daily routine, internet searches, email, etc. and give you information relevant to your interests and daily needs.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Google Now

The built-in 8GB (about 4.73 of which are user accessible) of storage gets filled up pretty quickly and the Xperia E4g needed a microSD card to help carry the load.

Benchmarks

The Sony Xperia E4g is definitely not a powerhouse and nobody really expects a lot of number-crunching performance out of a budget device. It is powered by a Mediatek MT6732 SoC, which is a mid-range chip, but still better than the MT6582 powering the Xperia E4. Inside it, there are four Cortex-A53 cores, clocked at 1.5GHz and a Mali-T760MP2 GPU. That coupled with merely 1GB of RAM paints a not so optimistic picture.

But Sony has really managed to squeeze all they can out of the modest hardware. And whatever the Xperia loses on paper, it quickly regains in usability and real-world performance. It runs surprisingly smooth and can definitely be a perfect match for an undemanding Android user, mainly because it is reliable and simply works.

Sony Xperia E4g

That being said, we will try not to be too harsh on the E4g when diving into its benchmark results. It comes as no surprise that they are low, but we have picked out some quite interesting competition to pin it up against and the results were often surprising. Naturally, we have thrown the original Xperia E4 in the mix, just to see how much the hardware upgrade has actually affected performance. The MT6732 isn't particularly popular, so there isn’t really any way for us to pit the E4g against a hardware doppelganger.

First up, we have the raw CPU performance test with GeekBench 3, so things should be pretty straightforward in this department. As we mentioned, we have devised a budget league for the Xperia to wrestle in and the MT6732 really holds its own. Here we see the E4g is on top of the food chain with a veritable lead, leaving its non-LTE sibling in the dust. Ig has shown more muscle than the Moto G and Moto G (2014), both running the Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400. This is quite understandable, as the once widely-spread SoC is equipped with four Cortex-A7 chips, but clocked slightly lower at 1.2 GHz.

The situation is even clearer with the Moto E, which utilizes the same A7 cores, but only has two of them. Interestingly enough, Sony has two other, quite similar Snapdragon 400 phones, both powered by four Cortex-A7 cores - the Xperia E3 and the Xperia M2. Both are in pretty much the same price range as the E4g and one is even its direct predecessor.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    2111
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1492
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1492
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1180
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    1171
  • Motorola Moto G
    1120
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1118
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1074
  • Motorola Moto E
    611

AnTuTu is a compound benchmark, which also takes into account RAM and GPU performance. Here we see pretty much the same arrangement. The Xperia beats the two Moto G's and its predecessor, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime and Xiaomi Redmi 1S, which proved too much for the Xperia E4 to handle.

The Galaxy Core Prime, with its Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410, along with an Adreno 306 GPU definitely puts up a good fight and is following close behind the E4g. The performance difference is almost negligible and seeing how the price tags are pretty close as well, it really comes down to choice, at least as far as raw performance goes.

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    22043
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    21533
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    19912
  • Sony Xperia E4
    19197
  • Motorola Moto G
    18692
  • Sony Xperia E3
    18336
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    18245

Basemark OS II is another all-round benchmark. It gives an overall score along with single, multi-core performance, math performance and more. We focus on the overall score and the dedicated CPU scores. The Xperia E4g is at a much more advantageous position than its sibling and, unlike it, is not put to shame by the E3. Interestingly enough, the E4g came in at the number one spot for both single-core and multi-core performance among similar-priced midrangers and yet was still, somehow, surpassed in overall score by the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. But, frankly, it’s a pretty close call.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    564
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    556
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    526
  • Motorola Moto G
    516
  • Nokia Lumia 635
    451
  • Sony Xperia E3
    417
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
    414
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    394
  • Sony Xperia E4
    333
  • Sony Xperia M2
    298
  • Motorola Moto E
    116

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1802
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1435
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1313
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1311
  • Motorola Moto G
    1205
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1171
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1164
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    1123
  • Motorola Moto E
    1110

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    7585
  • Sony Xperia E3
    5697
  • Sony Xperia E4
    5358
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    5283
  • Motorola Moto G
    5030
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    5001
  • Sony Xperia M2
    4927
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    4875
  • Motorola Moto E
    2637

Seeing the results and the amazing improvement over the Xperia E4, naturally, we suspected some cheating on Sony's part. But after we took the necessary precautions and reran the anti-cheat version of Basemark OS II, we safely ruled that out.

The Xperia E3 used to outperform even its successor, but this, however, is no longer a concern with the Xperia E4g. Sony has really put a lot of effort to improve performance in this version, which, mind you, is not only more-capable than its sibling, but also comes with LTE connectivity.

Basemark OS II (anti-cheat)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    548
  • Sony Xperia E3
    421
  • Sony Xperia E4
    337

Basemark OS II (single-core. anti-cheat)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1697
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1464
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1269

Basemark OS II (multi-core. anti-cheat)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    7249
  • Sony Xperia E4
    6110
  • Sony Xperia E3
    5617

Moving on to pure graphics tests, the chipset of the Xperia E4g really starts to shine compared to the E4. The Mali-400MP2 is really not up to par and gets blown away by the competition. The Mali-T760MP2 inside the Xperia E4g, however, works a lot better. It is still no powerhouse, but, at least it doesn't fall short of the Adreno 305 inside the Xperia E3.

As it turns out, all of the other contenders in the test are powered by some implementation of the Adreno 305, except for the Moto E, which runs the Adreno 302. Utilization by the respective SoCs is obviously quite different, resulting in significantly different results.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E3
    17.1
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    17
  • Sony Xperia M2
    15.4
  • Motorola Moto E
    11.2
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    10.8
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    10.3
  • Sony Xperia E4
    9.5

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    8.7
  • Sony Xperia E3
    8.3
  • Sony Xperia M2
    6.9
  • Motorola Moto E
    4.9
  • Motorola Moto G
    4.1
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    4.1

The Xperia E4g did surprisingly well in the JavaScript performance test, but scored pretty low in BrowserMark. Google Chrome is the browser, Sony has bundled with the budget phone and is surely attributes a lot to the high scores. Interestingly enough, though, the E3, yet again, surpasses its successor, which you really don't want to see in a new smartphone. The BrowserMark result was probably a fluke in the current Chrome version, so you shouldn't read too much into it.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Sony Xperia E4g
    11359
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    12470
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    15988
  • Sony Xperia E3
    16059
  • Sony Xperia E4
    16137
  • Motorola Moto G
    16867
  • Motorola Moto E
    17213
  • Sony Xperia M2
    18047
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    18353
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
    26981

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    1085
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1044
  • Sony Xperia E4
    950
  • Sony Xperia M2
    903
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    834
  • Motorola Moto E
    784
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
    480

One thing is clear, the Sony Xperia E4g may not be acing any benchmarks, but is a definite and much-needed improvement over the underwhelming performance of the Xperia E4. Even better still, with this improved spec sheet Sony has managed to top a lot of its direct competitors and that's a veritable achievement in itself when working on such a tight budget. All in all, the Xperia E4g provides solid and smooth Android experience and will do OK for the occasional game.

Unfortunately, heavier 3D games may not run well or at all because of insufficient RAM and poor GPU or both. But you can't really expect anything more from what is essentially an entry-level device, albeit a pretty feature-rich one.

The reality, however, is that being a budget device, the Xperia E4g is quite ok at what it does and certainly better than the E4. And if you don't intend to use it for more than web browsing, watching the occasional video, listening to music, or playing some Angry Birds, and, of course, messaging and calls, then you'd be good for quite a while.

Great phonebook

The Sony Xperia E4g phonebook is integrated with the dialer using a tabbed interface - the Contacts, Phone, Favorites and Groups tabs can be side-swiped. The contact list has a dedicated search filed plus it offers a very nicely animated alphabetical scroll bar.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Phonebook

If you are using two SIM cards, every time you want to make a call you'll be asked to choose which SIM card to use.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Dialer

Linking contacts is available, the quick contact feature is here too.

Telephony

The Sony Xperia E4g was able to hold onto signal very well. Calls remained uninterrupted and the sound quality was okay. Voices came out loud enough. Clarity wasn't the best but it was okay nonetheless.

The dialer support smart dialing.

The noise cancelation system is also pulling its own weight ensuring pretty good background noise suppression, as reported by the other side.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Dialer

The loudspeaker on the Sony Xperia E4g however is rather disappointing. We ran it through our tests numerous times and it still scored only Below Average.

Sony has preloaded a number of features that modify how the speaker sounds. We tested them all, but except for the proprietary xLOUD, the rest made the speaker even quitter. There are three main sound options in the E4g that work across the whole system - xLOUD, Clear Phase and Clear Audio+.

From what we could make out, xLOUD, naturally makes the speaker louder, while Clear Phase improves audio quality, but significantly lowers volume. Clear Audio + seems to be a combination of the two and works pretty well, but still only goes so far.

Overall, the speaker on the Xperia E4g seems to be directly borrowed from the Xperia E4. The results are pretty close, well within the margin of error, so, it seems, the loudspeaker is one thing Sony hasn't improved upon in the E4g model.

Bear in mind that the position of the speaker, as already mentioned, makes it very easy to cover and muffle. This, combined with the below average loudness means that you should be cautious when leaving the phone on a flat surface, as you can easily miss a call.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia E4 61.9 58 64.7 Below Average
Sony Xperia E4g 62.1 57.7 65.2 Below Average
Samsung Galaxy Core Prime 65.5 61.7 65.7 Below Average
Microsoft Lumia 535 66.5 64.8 71.9 Average
Sony Xperia E3 67.9 66.3 70.1 Average
Xiaomi Redmi 1S 66.9 65.9 71.7 Average
Motorola Moto G (2014) 66.5 66.2 75.1 Average
Sony Xperia M2 66.6 66.7 75.7 Good
Motorola Moto E 75.9 71.5 81.6 Excellent
Motorola Moto G 81.6 75.7 82.7 Excellent


Messaging and text input

Text messages and MMS use standard thread layout. Adding multimedia (photos, videos, sounds, etc.) will convert the message automatically into an MMS.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Messenger

Naturally, the Gmail client and the default Email apps are onboard. Gmail can sync only with (multiple) Google accounts, while the generic Email app can handle POP and IMAP and offers a Combined inbox.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Gmail and Email

Text input

As for text input, the Xperia E4g offers a customizable on-screen full QWERTY keyboard. You can choose a different layout (keypad, QWERTY, QWERTY with extra symbols), add/remove the coma and period button, the smiley and voice input buttons and also enable things like bilingual word suggestions if you have more than one language enabled. Different keyboard skins are available too.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Xperia keyboard

You can also try the so-called Gesture input if hitting those keys individually doesn't give you the desired typing speed. It's similar to what Swype offers, and even if you've never used a Swype-like input before, you'll quickly get used to it.

Single-hand size keyboard is available too, but only in portrait orientation. If enabled, it squeezes the onscreen keyboard to the left or right side of the screen so it gets more comfortable for single handed text input.

Album photo gallery

We should all be familiar with Sony's custom gallery - Album. It organizes images into groups of thumbnails and sorts them by date. You can change the thumbnails size by pinching.

Unlike previous versions there isn't a homepage that hosts all of your albums, instead you get the same navigation drawer as the app drawer is offering. There you can find a selector of all of your online and offline albums.

The gallery can connect to online albums (PlayMemories, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr) and also to other devices on the local network. Maps and Globe albums are also available, which use the geotagging info to sort photos by the location at which they were taken, and faces, which groups photos by the faces of the people in them.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Album

Images can be cropped or rotated directly in the gallery. Quick sharing via Picasa, Email apps, Facebook, Bluetooth or MMS is also available.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Viewing and editing an image

Walkman music player

The Walkman music player is part of the equipment of all recent Xperia smartphones. It features Music Unlimited integration and is not above trying to sell you songs, but you can hide the Music Unlimited stuff.

The Walkman interface is based on a hidden swipe-able menu that sort your music collection by Artist, Albums, Playlists, all songs and even the songs your friends are listening to (but you need to connect the player to your Facebook account). You can pop up the menu the same way you'd do it in the app drawer or the gallery - just swipe from the left edge of the screen.

The Music Unlimited stuff includes ways to discover new music - Charts, New releases and Channels. Those can be hidden individually (same goes for the artist/album/playlist tiles) or you can disable the service altogether.

The Infinite button is available in the Now Playing screen (just tap the album art) - it will help you find the track's video on YouTube, look up info about the artist on Wikipedia and search for lyrics on Google. Gracenote is used here too and it can automatically download information about your tracks and album art.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Walkman

The Walkman player offers a variety of audio settings - ClearAudio+ option is here, which determines the best audio quality settings depending on the song you're listening to. We liked how it changed the music and carefully accentuated various details.

Dynamic normalizer evens out the differences in the volume between tracks, which is great if you've mixed multiple albums from multiple sources.

The Sound enhancements contain yet more settings. There's an equalizer with presets and manual settings (including tweaking Clear Bass). Then there's Surround sound mode, which imitates the Studio, Club or Concert Hall experience.

The Clear stereo mode enhances the perceivable stereo channel separation. The Dynamic normalizer minimizes the difference in volume between songs (great if you're playing a shuffled mix).

Speaker settings include Clear Phase, which adjusts the quality, while xLOUD boosts up the internal speaker. Both can be balanced simultaneously through Clear Audio + for best results.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sound settings

FM Radio

There's also an FM Radio. The app features multiple visualizations and integrates with TrackID to recognize the currently playing song. You can even directly send an "I'm listening to..." post to Facebook. The interface is very intuitive and complete with stunning animations. Possibly one of the best FM radio apps out there.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

FM Radio with RDS and TrackID

Movies

The video playing app is dubbed Movies and it too has a great custom UI. It's connected to Gracenote, which helps you find additional information about the movies and TVs you have on the phone. It will even download posters for them and for movies, it will download metadata like genre, synopsis, director and cast.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work very well for TV shows - it doesn't recognize the S01E02 naming convention and it won't pull info about individual episodes.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Movies app

The Sony Xperia E4g was able to handle videos up to 1080p resolution. It had issues with the AC-3 audio codec and failed to load sound in videos carrying it but that's mostly normal for smartphones these days. MKV movies went through, but without sound because of their AC-3 audio codec.

The video player comes with subtitle support by default, the only requirement is both file names (video and subtitles) to be identical.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Video playback • Settings

Audio output has mostly ups, a few downs

The Sony Xperia E4g did very when connected to an active external amplifier. All of its readings were great and the volume levels were above average, rounding up an impressive performance.

Plugging in a pair of headphones causes a fair bit of degradation though. Volume levels drop to below average, frequency response starts to fluctuate a bit, some intermodulation distortion appears and extra stereo crosstalk creeps in. Still, none of the damage is too great and the overall performance is still decent, if no longer worth bragging about.

And here go the detailed results so you can check them out for yourselves.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
Sony Xperia E4g +0.01, -0.11 -88.1 90.0 0.0097 0.014 -85.9
Sony Xperia E4g(headphones attached) +0.60, -0.34 -84.5 88.8 0.012 0.414 -54.3
Motorola Moto G (2014) +0.01, -0.06 -91.6 92.4 0.0089 0.014 -91.7
Motorola Moto G (2014)(headphones attached) +0.02, -0.09 -91.6 92.4 0.011 0.017 -45.7
Motorola Moto G +0.08, -0.85 -92.1 91.9 0.0059 0.082 -91.4
Motorola Moto G (headphones attached) +0.10, -1.03 -92.0 91.8 0.010 0.117 -50.4
Oppo R819 +0.04, -0.09 -92.4 92.3 0.017 0.045 -87.9
Oppo R819(headphones attached) +0.58, -0.13 -91.0 90.9 0.015 0.438 -48.7
Nokia Lumia 625 +0.13, -0.10 -90.3 90.3 0.013 0.355 -82.5
Nokia Lumia 625 (headphones attached) +0.24, -0.00 -90.2 90.2 0.014 0.460 -83.8
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini +0.03, -0.04 -92.6 90.7 0.016 0.018 -94.0
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini (headphones attached) +0.23, -0.05 -86.7 86.2 0.052 0.167 -55.7

Sony Xperia E4g frequency response

Sony Xperia E4g frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

5MP camera doesn't sound like much

The Sony Xperia E4g's camera uses a 5MP camera sensor - a resolution, which sounds quite outdated. It shoots with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels (5MP) in manual and Superior Auto modes. There is also a LED flash to help you with some low-light photos. The camera should be the same as the one on the Xperia E4 even though the flash position has been swapped, so perhaps there have been some minor changes.

Sony Xperia E4g

The volume rocker can be mapped to serve as a shutter button, which definitely helps while shooting.

The camera interface consists of two panes and is unified with the camcorder one - you can snap a photo or shoot a video without changing modes most of the times. While this is convenient, framing your videos correctly is nearly impossible as they have a different field of view and you only get to see it once you start recording.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Camera UI and camera modes

In the full resolution Manual mode you also get access to "manual controls" on the viewfinder, which sounds more impressive than it really is. There's an exposure compensation slider and a white balance selector. You can also control the ISO, metering and focus modes, turn on/off image stabilization, but those are buried in the settings menu.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Camera UI - manual mode

You do, however, get a dedicated video mode, with a proper viewfinder with manual control, which is nice to have.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Dedicated video capture mode

The Superior Auto shooting mode is what we've already seen in other Xperia phones. There are no settings you can change, everything here is done automagically.

Manual and Superior Auto aside, the Xperia E4g offers several other interesting shooting modes.

There's Sweep panorama but, unfortunately, panoramas come out with 5MP resolution, lousy stitching and uninspiring quality.

Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g

Panorama samples in both orientations

Then, there are the Augmented Reality effects, which stamp one of several virtual worlds over your scene and you can even move around in this world thanks to some intriguing motion tracking effect (note that it needs real-life visual cues in the scene to track your motion). Children will love this mode, but us bitter adults are unimpressed.

Other modes include the regular Picture effect mode, which creates a 3 x 3 grid that shows all the available effects in real time. Sony has also included a mode called Social streaming, which can live-stream the video feed from your camera directly on your Facebook wall. That's certainly not something you see every day. There is also a YouTube live streaming option to sweeten the deal.

Timeshift replaces the regular burst mode, it captures 30 shots in just 2 seconds. The intriguing thing is it starts shooting even before you've pressed the shutter button.

Image quality

Samples, taken with the Xperia E4g came out with underwhelming level of resolved detail when viewed at 1:1 magnification. The exposure, contrast and colors are good, which makes for nice looking photos when you view them fitted within your screen.

Getting any closer however shows that the noise reduction algorithm has taken its toll on the fine detail, while the noise still remains high in some images. Furthermore, there are significant oversharpening artifacts visible. The dynamic range is low, too.

Interestingly enough, the Xperia E4g seems to perform even worse than the Xperia E4, especially while shooting at low light.

Here are some samples form the 5MP camera:

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g sample photos

The HDR mode is a bit hard to find, but it is present on the Sony Xperia E4g. You need to go to Manual mode first, then in the Scenes Menu and then you should select Backlight Correction (HDR). The HDR mode is conservative and rescues both the highlights and shadows without going to extremes.

Unfortunately, the resolved detail is even worse than in the standard samples, but, for what it's worth, HDR works pretty well given the hardware limitations.

Here are a couple of HDR samples:

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

HDR off • HDR on • HDR off • HDR on • HDR off • HDR on

Still camera comparison

We uploaded the full resolution 5MP photos to our photo quality comparison database to compare against other high-resolution smartphones. The image quality - resolved detail, noise, colors and contrast - are below average, but you can't really ask much more, given the hardware.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Sony Xperia E4g in our photo compare tool

Video recording done in 1080p at 30 fps

The Sony Xperia E4g is capable of capturing 1080p video at 30fps, which certainly is not as outdated as the still camera resolution. The camcorder shares the same UI as the still camera, unless you go into manual mode.

In manual mode you can set a timer and fiddle with settings like exposure, metering, focus mode, etc.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

More shots from the dedicated video capture UI

For videos the Xperia E4g features digital image stabilization, but there's a price to pay - the field of view (FoV) is reduced (it's how all digital stabilization systems work). Also, it takes a huge toll on the quality. The phone is smart enough to detect whether you are shooting hand-held or you have rested it on something stable but you get the reduced FoV either way if the option is turned on.

If you go into video mode from the Manual shooting mode, you get an HDR option, as well as various preset scenes to pick from.

You can also snap stills during video recording but those come out in 1080p resolution.

The Sony Xperia E4g's 1080p video samples are nothing to rave about, but they are still better than the still images. The resolved detail is better, the noise reduction isn't as destructive and there is very little noise. The frame rate is around 29 fps, while the bitrate is good at 16-17Mbps with stereo sound recording with a bitrate of 128 Kbps and 48 kHz audio sampling rate.

Rather surprisingly, autofocus was pretty laid back unlike most other Xperia phones we have reviewed and hardly hunted for focus while video recording. This was also the case with the Xperia E4, so, there might be a good trend starting right there.

Here's a 1080p sample, which we've uploaded on YouTube.

And here is an untouched 1080p@30fps video sample (10s, ~21MB) for you to download.

Video camera comparison

The Sony Xperia E4g captures mediocre 1080p videos. It manages to resolve good detail in our resolution chart test and under good light conditions, but there is lots of noise and artefacts when shooting in low-light rooms, even more so than with the Xperia E4.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

Sony Xperia E4g in our video compare tool

Google Chrome

The Sony Xperia E4g comes with Google Chrome as the default web browser out of box instead of the generic Android browser. While the minimalist interface hasn't changed since Chrome launched on Android, the browser is being constantly refined by Google, and this has resulted in one of the smoothest and most powerful browsing experiences we've encountered on a mobile.

Of course, one of Chrome's strengths is its ability to seamlessly sync with the desktop version, using nothing but your Google account. This allows you to open an article on your PC and finish reading it on your mobile phone. It also syncs your bookmarks and favorite sites.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Google Chrome

Other pre-installed apps

The calendar has three different types of view - daily, weekly and monthly. The lower section of the screen is reserved for a list of upcoming events. Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Calendar app

Sony Xperia E4g also features the Office Suite 8, which allows for creating, viewing and editing office files (docs, xls, ppt), and it can also read PDFs.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Office Suite 8

Calculator, Clock app (with stopwatch, world clock and timer), Sketch and File Manager apps are available on board the device by default.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Alarms & Clock • Sketch • File manager

The Socialife app comes pre-installed too. It is a service similar to Samsung's My Magazine and HTC One's Blinkfeed. The interface is clean and simple yet beautiful, and there are lots of preloaded feeds. You can add your own RSS links too.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Socialife RSS reader

What's New app has very beautiful UI and will show you the hottest apps and multimedia today, but it isn't limited to the Play Store only. It'll display content from Sony's PlayStation store too.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

What's New

Sony Select does the same as the Sony's What's New app, but comes with much less functions and old UI. It has been begging for retirement for quite some time now, bur, inexplicably, Sony is still keeping it around.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Select

The Power Saver - now part of the settings menu - helps you extend your battery life by toggling things like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, screen brightness, auto sync and background data on and off automatically when the battery charge falls below a certain user-defined threshold. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi if there are no known Wi-Fi networks in range or turn off mobile data when the screen is off, etc.

Sony also provides a Backup & restore app, which can use the internal storage, a microSD card or even an attached USB mass storage device. You can backup the system and downloaded apps and their data along with any media files.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The Power saver app • Backup & Restore app is really handy

Other preinstalled apps on the Sony Xperia E4g, which deserve mentioning, include a dedicated PlayStation app, which allows remote management of a PS4 console.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony PlayStation app

Alongside it, there is the Xperia Lounge - a sort of custom-tailored deal and promotion aggregator. It gives users the opportunity to participate in various Sony promotions and win prizes. Another interesting little feature is PartyShare. It lets you turn the E4g into a multimedia HUB, so you can centralize content, like music and photos on a single device and control it from other nearby, locally connected phones.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Xperia Lounge • PartyShare

You bet Google Maps and Navigation are also part of the app package to utilize the built-in GPS receiver (now complete with GLONASS support). Offline maps are available, again, since the last update, so you can save some data traffic too.

Whatever you may be missing, there is the always-growing Google Play Store for you.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Google Maps • Google Play Store

Final words

We started off this review a little confused as to why Sony decided to out four separate models in the low-end E-line this year. Last year's you could simply get the Xperia E3 with either dual-SIM or LTE support and now the E4 and E4g both have single and duals-sim versions. After making a thorough examination of the LTE-enabled Xperia E4g, we think we might have found the answer.

The Xperia E4g doesn't give off the impression that it was created to broaden choice in the budget market segment. Comparing it with the E4 we get the distinct sense that it was Sony's second attempt at creating a viable successor to the E3.

Sony Xperia E4g

The Xperia E4g is far from perfect in many respects, but then again, it really doesn't need to be perfect. All it really had to achieve is improve the Xperia E3 and retain a budget-friendly price point, which, frankly, proved too much for the Xperia E4 to handle.

The E4g is better than its bigger sibling in almost every way and thus does a notably better job at being competitive in its price group. Still, there are a lot of rough edges with the phone. One thing, however, remains unchanged - the smartphone is solid, dependable and simply works, which, in itself is an admirable achievement for a €130 phone.

Sony Xperia E4 key test findings:

  • Definitely not the best looking device out there, but feels solid and well put together. The rubberized finish is a lot better than the simple ugly plastic back cover on the Xperia E4.
  • The display is still far from ideal with a resolution of just 540 x 960-pixels, but, again, it is noticeably better than the one on the Xperia E4, despite being slightly smaller.
  • Battery life is surprisingly bad. The Xperia E4g scored a little over half the endurance rating of the Xperia E4.
  • The Xperia launcher runs quite nicely on the E4g and is packed with a lot of interesting features. The phone is definitely not lacking on the software side but a Lollipop update seems unlikely.
  • Performance-wise, the Xperia E4g nearly doubles the scores of the E4 in most benchmarks. The new CPU is a lot faster and the difference in graphics performance is even more-noticeable.
  • The speaker on the Xperia E4 scored Below Average in out rests. It is really on the quiet side and the placement is less than ideal, it can get easily muffled.
  • The camera is a pretty plain 5MP unit. Not much resolved detail and a lot of noise. HDR works quite well.
  • 1080p videos turn out decent, again, considering the 5MP camera. The noise is still there, but the situation is a bit better, than with the still shots.

So, we have no doubt that the Xperia E4g is superior to the E4 in almost every way possible, which we have already discussed in lengths it the previous sections. But, perhaps even more-importantly, with the E4g, Sony has finally managed to surpass the Xperia E3 in a lot of respects. And, while, we were hard-pressed to choose between the E3 and E4, the LTE-enabled E4g clearly stands out from the bunch.

Still, the E3 is the better looking phone. Other than that, it really has nothing to shine over the E4g. LTE-connectivity is present in both devices and brightness, contrast and legibility are better on the E4g, which also has a bigger screen. The E3 is, however, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, which is a far more-popular chipset, but, really, doesn't offer more performance than the MediaTek MT6732. That said, the E3, E4, and E4g currently cost about the same, at around €130.

Sony Xperia E3

Sony Xperia E3

Motorola's legendary budget phone, the Moto G, seems like an even stronger contender. The original from 2013 still packs quite a punch and can be picked up for as little as €100. It is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 SoC with an Adreno 305 GPU and 1GB of RAM, which is by no means worse than Sony's hardware.

The Moto G also offers a very nice 4.5-inch 720p screen, way better than the one in the E4g. For a few bucks more, you can pick up the Dual-SIM variant, or the one with LTE, if need be.

The revised version of the handset, the Moto G (2nd gen) is even more attractive. It bumps the display up to 5.0-inches, improves both cameras and throws in a microSD card slot for extra convenience. It also comes in dual SIM and LTE flavors.

Motorola Moto G
Motorola Moto G (2nd gen)

Motorola Moto G • Motorola Moto G (2nd gen)

Motorola's very own E-series feature another popular option in the budget class, which is even cheaper than the Xperia E4g. The Moto E is a really "bare-bones" device, but the original model from 2014 can currently be picked up for as little as €90. For this, you get a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, Adreno 302 GPU and 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch 540 x 960 pixels display, as well as a single 5MP camera.

This one also has a second revision, the Moto E (2015). It bumps up the screen to 4.5 inches and notably improves hardware. It comes equipped with either a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 or a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410. The more-powerful model costs about the same as an Xperia E4g and offers a quite capable Adreno 306 GPU, as well as mention LTE support.

Motorola Moto E
Motorola Moto E (2015)

Motorola Moto E • Motorola Moto E (2015)

With all due respect to Motorola, the Microsoft entry-level lineup is perhaps Sony's main target. The Lumia 535 is spot-on with a 5" screen at 540 x 960 pixels. It is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and an Adreno 302, complete with 1GB or RAM. The 5MP selfie camera is a key selling point, for a low cost phone. The Microsoft Lumia 535 can be had for as little as €100, posing quite a threat to the Xperia E4g.

Microsoft Lumia 535

Microsoft Lumia 535

All in all, with the Xperia E4g, Sony truly has a worthy successor in its E-series lineup. Just like any other device in the price range, it is far from perfect, but still noticeably better than the Xperia E4. In any case, most users will be getting either of the devices free on contract in the most probable scenarios. That's where the Sony brand will definitely help.

As always though, if you are trying to get the best possible value for your budget, the time you take to look around will never be a waste.

Unboxing

The Sony Xperia E4g retail package is about as basic as they gets. It is a plain one-piece box that only opens on the side, much like a generic container.

The insides are kind of cluttered making it near impossible to put everything back in place and comfortably close the box. What you get with the low-cost Xperia E4g is nothing out of the ordinary: a very short but quite sturdy micro USB cable, a standard headset with a built-in mic, as well as an A/C adapter.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Xperia E4g retail package

Sony Xperia E4g 360-degree spin

There is really nothing special about the Xperia E4g's look and build. The phone is unmistakably a Sony device, never mind it was clearly built to a budget.

Design and build quality

A fact's a fact though - the E4 is chunky and plasticky all-around and yet, the rubbery finish does make it feel and look a lot more premium than the Xperia E4. It measures 133 x 71 x 10.8mm and is not particularly light either at 135g. The back cover oddly looks too big and shaped more like a bumper case, almost like it doesn't belong and was borrowed from another device. Still, the smaller size lessens the effect, making for a slightly better look than the E4, but this is purely subjective.

Other than that, Sony has really done the best it could with the available materials. The body feels nice to the touch and the plastic does not look cheap in any way. The E4g is available in two colors: white and black.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The rubberized finish makes for a slicker look

The Sony Xperia E4g feels comfortable enough in the hand and also quite sturdy. There are no apparent build quality blunders, everything is nicely put together with no cracks or rough edges. The back cover is kind of hard to remove, but this will only be a problem if you frequently change SIM and memory cards.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The Xperia E4g looks odd with the cover off

The cover is removable to grant access the SIM and SD cards so a non-replaceable battery makes little sense in a phone that's not IP-certified or waterproofed.

Perhaps it's cheaper to manufacture this way.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The Xperia E4g in the hand

Controls

The Sony Xperia E4 comes equipped with a 4.7-inch display, which at 540 x 960 pixels has a slightly higher ppi than the 4.5" FWVGA display of the Xperia E3. The good thing is Sony managed to slim down some bezel for an adequate screen-to-body ratio of 64.5%.

Above the screen, the earpiece is barely visible, cleverly concealed very close to the top edge, in a very Sony-like manner. The 2MP front-facing camera is slightly off to the left. The phone does not feature any physical buttons, so the area below the display is mostly empty, except for the mouthpiece.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The front of the device is very clean

Going round the device, we find the left side housing only a microUSB port - the card slots are hidden underneath the back-cover: one or two micro SIM compartments (depending on the model) and a microSD slot. There is also a hardware reset pinhole, to help get out of tricky situations without access to the battery.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The left side of the E4g is mostly empty

The right-hand side is equally minimalist. There is the signature round Power/Lock button and, below it, a slim volume rocker.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The right side features the volume rocker and Power/Lock button

The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the device near the left corner.

Sony Xperia E4g

The top hosts the 3.5mm headphone jack

The bottom of the Xperia E4g is completely empty, except for a small eyelet in the left corner. We were quite happy to discover that it lets you attach a lanyard, just like the old times.

Sony Xperia E4g

An empty bottom side

Around the back, we find the 5MP camera lens and a single LED flash right next to it. They seem to be identical to the ones in the Xperia E4, but, interestingly enough, their position has been swapped. Perhaps for the sole purpose of telling the devices apart (just kidding).

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

A clean back side

Near the bottom, right beneath the etched Xperia logo, there's a small speaker grille. A rear speaker can get easily muffled if the phone's lying flat on its back and Sony has taken no precautions against it. But that's perhaps nitpicking.

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