The biggest and probably best thing about the Sony Xperia E1 is that it doesn't seem to be making a compromise with its design. As it can be seen from the image, the E1 looks just like the Z1 Compact (which is to say that it looks great), and the manufacturer insists that its new budget phone is going to offer a solid feel. There are no details on the actual materials that have been used in the E1's construction, so we can't know for sure if it sticks to the same high-quality glass-plus-metal build, but we'll hopefully find soon enough.
Checking out the display specs, we quickly find the first (and probably biggest) compromise that Sony has made. The Xperia E1 features a relatively small, 4" screen, with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels (WVGA). This works up to a pixel density of 233 ppi (pixels-per-inch), which isn't particularly bad, but things won't appear super-fine either.
The chipset inside the Xperia E1's presumably premium body is of unknown make and model (at least for now), but Sony clarifies that the dual-core CPU is going to tick at a core-clock of 1.2 GHz. Additionally, that's going to be complemented by 512 MB RAM (no word yet on whether the E1 is to launch with Android 4.4 KitKat), as well as 4 GB of internal storage. We still don't know if that's going to be expandable with a microSD card.
The Sony Xperia E1 will also employ a number of other features to try to round itself up as an appealing affordable package. For example, Sony touts its 100 dB loudspeaker as being... well, quite loud; and for those who'd love to get some dual-SIM action, there's going to be such a variant as well. Finally, the Xperia E1 will come in three color options: white, black and purple. Sadly, the company hasn't announced a release date at this point, but we guess it won't be long before we can find it on the international market (no word on US release). Sony isn't willing to share pricing information at this point as well, but it does reveal that it has had Strategy Analytics conduct a research, where they have compared the Xperia E1 to the Top 100 smartphones of 2013 that have had a price-tag of up to $240 (EUR 175), so we guess that could be seen as an indication of how the E1 might end up being priced.
Sony Xperia E1 images
+- Press Release
Incredible music with a super-clear 100dB speaker and 30 days free access to millions of songs through the Sony Entertainment Network2
Blaze through apps and the internet with the fastest processor in its class and fast data speeds
Experience all of this through the bright and clear 4” WVGA display encapsulated in the latest Sony design
14th January 2014, London, UK – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today introduces Xperia E1, a new Android smartphone that brings Sony’s leading audio technologies together with expertise in display, design, performance and content to create a smartphone independently recognised as the “best smartphone in its class”.
“Xperia E1 combines the best of Sony’s audio technologies with a premium design and great hardware to create a smartphone for people who want to express themselves out loud.” said Calum MacDougall, Director of Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications. “It’s a new, music focused player in our Xperia line-up that is underpinned by the best of Sony’s design, display and content offers.”
The best in its class
Xperia E1 is mid-tier smartphone with seriously premium credentials. A solid feel, fast processor and vivid 4” display combined with fast data speeds provides an all round performance that is unrivalled by any other phone in its class, whilst its audio experience and content offer provides real differentiation.
Great music everywhere
Sony’s audio heritage can be clearly heard in Xperia E1 as key technologies come together with the 100Db (with 100Db on your Xperia™ E1, even a motorcycle won’t interrupt your music), speaker to produce a louder, cleaner sound that can hold its own in any environment. With ClearAudio+ mode, instantly enhance your listening experience and optimise the balance of frequencies whilst xLOUD ensures that your tracks sound as good as they should - loud and crystal clear.
Intuitive WalkmanTM controls
Sony’s WalkmanTM technology hails from more than 30 years of premium audio experiences and Xperia E1 builds on this. Shake-to-shuffle controls and a dedicated “long press to launch” WalkmanTM button ensure that loading and navigating your tracks couldn’t be easier, whilst the latest generation of Sony’s “WALKMAN” App makes short work of combining on and offline music, creating playlists, as well as playing and sharing tracks. To top it all off, Xperia E1 comes pre-loaded with a 30 day pass for Sony’s Entertainment Network2 music streaming service so that you can explore the full functionality of the “WALKMAN” App and enjoy almost any song, almost anywhere.
Crystal clear 4” display
All of this is controlled from the vivid 4” touchscreen. Drawing on Sony’s background in TV technology, Xperia E1 incorporates expertise from across Sony’s digital display technologies to provide an immersive visual experience. Whether watching movies or viewing photos, the display looks both vibrant and clear.
The heart of your Sony experience
Xperia E1 connects via Bluetooth™ to Sony’s extended eco system so whether it’s through the SBH20 Stereo Bluetooth™ Headset for those who prefer to keep their music to themselves or the Bluetooth™ music receiver BM10 for those who need an even louder experience, Xperia E1 remains at the heart of your connected Sony music experience.
Dual SIM, no compromise
Also available is a new dual SIM smartphone, a variant of Xperia E1 which offers a new experience through the incorporation of Sony’s latest generation of dual SIM technology. You can set up both SIM cards independently with custom ring tones and instant, simple switching between SIMs before making calls or sending texts, whilst Sony’s dual SIM management technology means that you can keep both SIMs active, never missing a call, even when talking on one of them.
Xperia E1 features (& Xperia E1dual)
4” WVGA (800 x 480) display
Fast 1.2 GHz dual core processor with 512 MB RAM and 4GB storage
WalkmanTM key, shake to shuffle and hardware controls for easy music control
Fast data speeds with Cat 14 HSPA+
Available in white, black and purple
1 The Xperia E1 is powered by Qualcomm's MSM8210 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor, 512 MB RAM and features a 4 inch (233 ppi) display combined with a large 1700 mAh battery. E1 specifications were verified by Strategy Analytics against the top 100 smartphones of 2013 with a global average launch price less than 175 Euros. Source: Strategy Analytics’ PriceTRAX & SpecTRAX Service, 29th November 2013. More on www.sonymobile.com/testresults
2 Music Unlimited is not available, or may not be supported, in every country and language. For more information about Sony media apps, please visit: