Mid-range smartphones are –not too pricey & not too cheap. That’s simple. Most of the brands have one or more mid-range devices. So, the competition is tough. Currently, you’re reading the review of Sony’s Xperia C –a dual-SIM mid-range smartphone priced at Rs 21,490. In this review, we’ll take at look at the design, camera, performance and much more.
In the box
- Xperia C
- Data Cable
- Booklets (User manual and warranty card)
- 5-inch TFT display; dual-SIM
- 141.5 x 74.2 x 8.9 mm; 153 g
- 4 GB storage; 1 GB RAM
- 8 MP rear camera; 0.3 MP front camera
- Android JellyBean 4.2.2 with Sony’s Timescape UI; MediaTek MT6589 chipset (quad-core 1.2 GHz)
- 2390 mAh battery
Pros – Tough-built, very good battery
Cons – Un-attractive design, minor hanging issues
Xperia C’s body is made up of plastic. The phone is not good-looking even though the device is available in black, purple and white. It is 8.9 mm thin but the sides feel chunky. The back cover works as a finger-print magnet. It is not glossy even though it’s very smooth to hold it.
On the top, you will find a 3.5 mm jack for earphones. Like most of the Xperia(s), this smartphone has a power button (chrome), volume rockers and a camera key. There is nothing new at the bottom except a lanyard hole. You will find a microUSB (2.0) slot on the left side of the device for charging and data transfer.
At the back, there is an 8 MP auto-focus camera with LED flash, another Sony logo in the center, an Xperia branding and the main loudspeaker below the branding.
The back is removable but the battery is not! The removal of its cover is a tough thing to do. You will have to pull the cover from the bottom. After removing it, you will find two SIM slots and a microSD slot (expandable up to 32 GB).
The side bezels are not that thin but the phone feels tough-built. On the top bezel, you get a speaker (earpiece), a VGA front camera (0.3 MP) and the typical sensors. A shiny Sony logo also sits there.
You will have to use the on-screen keys as Xperia C doesn’t have capacitive touch buttons. At the bottom bezel (below the display), you will find a notification light which lights in red or blue color according to the notification. You will also find a microphone at the bottom.
One can call the Sony Xperia C a ‘phablet’ because it sports a 5-inch display. The TFT display, which has a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels (220 ppi) is quite reflective and also works as a finger-print magnet.
When we tested the device out-doors, the sunlight prevented the display from showing its crispness –even with maximum brightness. Xperia C displays bright colors but the display is not pure-black. Using the touchscreen is smooth. But if view the phone while tilting, you will not get the crispness. The phone supports multi-touch up to 4 fingers. The screen is also protected by a thin scratch-resistant glass.
Under the hood, software and performance
It is the first Xperia to run on a MediaTek processor. It boasts a MediaTek MT6589 quad-core chipset clocked at 1.2 GHz (Cortex-A7). You get 4 GB internal memory (only 1.20 GB is available for user) and 1GB of RAM (973 MB usable).
Xperia C runs on Sony’s Timescape UI on top of Android 4.2.2 JellyBean. The UI supports up to 7 home-screens and you can change the wallpaper, themes by holding an empty area. You can put lots of apps and widgets on the home-screen because of the large display.
The Timescape UI is quite similar to Android’s UI and is very easy to use. To switch between the two SIMs, you have to use top-left option. The GPU available on this phablet is PowerVR SGX544 which lets you play most of the tough games seamlessly. The virtual keyboard gives enough space to type freely while texting. But, the device hangs-up while switching from heavy games.
Xperia C is fueled by a 2390 mAh battery which lasts very long. Sony gives you many options to increase its battery life. Pre-installed apps include Sony’s Walkman app, PlayStation Mobile and other apps like LINE and LinkedIn app.
The VGA front camera doesn’t record quality videos. Pictures taken from the front camera show more colors than videos. We didn’t have any issues with the 8 MP rear camera. It comes with different features including HDR, face-detection, auto-focus, many effects and panorama. The rear camera records clips at 1080p resolution. Low-light photography is not difficult. The LED flash is very helpful and video light (LED). Outdoor pics were crisper than pics taken indoors.
In the Rs 20,000 price range, you could get better camera and a high end processor. One can spot these specs in other phones below this range. The phone is slightly expensive and one may dislike Xperia C’s UI.