Sony introduces the budget-friendly Xperia E3 with LTE
If the price tag of a flagship like the all-new Xperia Z3 is off-putting, then the just-announced, budget-friendly Xperia E3 will be more to your liking.
Like its predecessor, the Xperia E1, is mostly reminiscent of the company's newest flagship in terms of design (the Z3 in this case). Obviously, it'll forego the premium materials used with the former's body, but it'll be styled around it, and have the same rounded frame that seems to be part of Sony's next step in its design evolution. Let's just hope that Sony has seen it fit to use a higher quality plastic with the E3, as we were quite displeased with what the E1 offered, budget handset or not.
Moving on to the specs, these have seen some notable improvements over the last generation of the E line. For one, the screen has grown from 4- to 4.5-inches, though the resolution remains largely the same, at 480 x 854 pixels, or a ppi of 218. Thankfully, the LTE-enabled (Cat 4 speeds), quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor that will be pushing those pixels is more than capable of doing so, especially since it now has 1GB of RAM to work with. Internal storage space sits at 4GB, though you can expand it with up to 32GB more through the microSD slot. The Android version on board is 4.4 KitKat.
The E3 has seen an evolutionary upgrade in terms of imaging, too, and will make use of a 5 MP camera (instead of a lowly 3 MP one), and even sport an LED flash. The affordable device will even have a front-facing, VGA camera for the occasional, best-avoided video chat. Last, but not least, the device will make use of a generous, 2330 mAh cell. If our experience with recent low- to mid-range Xperia devices is any indication, the E3 will be a trooper in terms of battery life.
On the down side, the Xperia E3 isn't very compact (137.1 x 69.4 x 8.5 mm / 5.39 x 2.73 x 0.33 in), and is kind of heavy, at almost 144 grams (5.07 ounces). We are also worried about the way Sony will price this -- the company has so far failed to really make a statement in the low-end segment, so all we know is that it's a "budget" device. In terms of availability, the E3 will launch "globally" starting the autumn.