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Sony Xperia E1 Review

Sony Xperia E1

Posted: , by Victor H.



Sony Xperia E1 Review
Sony Xperia E1 Review
Sony Xperia E1 Review
Sony Xperia E1 Review
Sony Xperia E1 Review
Sony Xperia E1 Review

The Sony Xperia E1 is a device for music lovers on a budget. A phone with a dedicated Walkman button and a rich music app, its music capabilities make it stand out in a fiercely competitive market of affordable Android smartphones. It also has time on its side, as it’s one of the first devices to ship with a new and faster Snapdragon 200 system chip. In addition to all this, the Xperia E1 is also a very compact and lightweight phone, a virtue that becomes less and less common nowadays.

There is a fly in the ointment, though - the phone only has a 3-megapixel camera with no flash. Is that a deal-breaker, and are there any other hidden caveats? Stay with us as we answer these questions right below.

In the box:

  • USB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • In-ear headphones
  • User manual


Forget about design intricacies - the Xperia E1 looks like a device sold in Dollar Tree with its extremely cheap feeling plastic. At the same time, though, it’s also compact, and lightweight.

The first thing you notice about the Sony Xperia E1 is that it’s built out of such low quality plastic that it makes the phone feel like a cheap toy from the Dollar Tree store. This very cheap feel is a bit of a shock even for an affordable device, as nowadays we have similarly low-priced devices like Nokia’s Lumia 52x series or the Moto G that push the envelope with sleeker look and wide color options. Despite its negligence for looks and build materials, it’s also true that the phone is fairly tightly put together and does not screak under pressure.

In terms of pure size, the Xperia E1 is a very compact and pocketable phone (it measures just 62.4mm, or 2.46 inches, wide). As such, it is nearly perfect for single-handed use, as your thumb can practically reach its every corner. In addition, the E1 is also of very light weight, tipping the scales at just 120g (4.23oz). And while in terms of thickness, it is a fairly chubby little phone with a body girth measure of 12mm (0.47”), its compressed overall size makes this less of an issue than it would have been for a larger phone.

Up front, you have just the Sony logo on top, the screen, and no physical buttons - instead, the device uses on-screen buttons for navigation around Android. All the physical keys are located on the left: a tiny lock key, and a volume rocker above it, and while both are clicky and responsive, they are made of that same extremely low-grade plastic, which is disappointing.

We ought to separately mention the unique Walkman key located on the top of the phone. Since the phone is so compact, it’s not hard to reach for it, and it’s also clicky enough. This key is specifically tailored to control the music listening and it integrates tightly with Sony’s Walkman music app. You can customize it to your liking, but by default, long pressing it starts the Walkman app, pushing it once pauses or resumes the current song, and double-pressing it switches to the next song. It’s a neat touch for music lovers, who can control their music without firing up the phone.

Sony Xperia E1
4.65 x 2.46 x 0.47 inches
118 x 62.4 x 12 mm
4.23 oz (120 g)

Sony Xperia E1

Sony Xperia E
4.47 x 2.43 x 0.43 inches
113.5 x 61.8 x 11 mm
4.08 oz (116 g)

Sony Xperia E

HTC Desire 300
5.19 x 2.61 x 0.4 inches
131.78 x 66.23 x 10.12 mm
4.23 oz (120 g)

HTC Desire 300

Samsung Galaxy Core
5.09 x 2.66 x 0.35 inches
129.3 x 67.6 x 8.95 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

Samsung Galaxy Core

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


The 4-inch WVGA display is of underwhelming quality, with washed out colors and poor viewing angles.

The Xperia E1 features a 4-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels (WVGA). Quite frankly, the display is one of this phone’s weakest points - it looks very washed out, with a distinct bluish cast, poor contrast, and inaccurate colors. Viewing angles are just terrible (and we’re not being picky) - tilt the phone just slightly and you witness huge loss in contrast and color saturation. With all these serious flaws, the middling 480 x 800-pixel resolution, and the 233ppi pixel density, looks like a mild inconvenience that we could excuse given the cheap price of the phone.

On a more positive note, the phone supports automatic brightness adjustments, a setting that is often times missing on low-end devices. It’s also fairly bright, but outdoors its visibility is not great because of the high reflectivity of the display.

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 E1 367
Sony Xperia E 297
HTC Desire 300 441
Samsung Galaxy Core 343
View all

  • Options

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 08:15 4

1. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Why sony displays suck. I tried a galaxy Y and a xperia E. Galaxy had a great screen for the price with good colors, contrast and above average viewing angles. The xperia was plain terrible. Many people complain sammy displays have poor pixel density compared to sony and others but in reality pixel density matters the least for average joes.

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 15:15 4

12. docxx (Posts: 63; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

at least you don't need to restart the phone every day like the hanging buggy sammys, a lot of people appreciate the smooth running sony devices.

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 08:26

2. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Anyway, judging from those pictures the display doesn't seem to be as horrible as they state in the review. Though I have to see it in real life before saying anything

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 08:29

3. datphoneguy (Posts: 155; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)

Wow, even for a budget phone that screen is awful - I can practically count all the pixels...

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 08:38 3

5. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Resolution is the one thing in that display that isn't that bad. 233 PPI it's more than in galaxy S 2 for example. Yes I know it's an old phone but that PPI is great for a budget phone

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 08:37 1

4. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Pixel density doesnt matter. If its above 230ppi then its fine. Except when viewing low resolution images.

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 09:05

6. Lt.Green (Posts: 397; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)

They should've called it 'E2' to be consistent with the others (Z2, M2, T2 Ultra).

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 09:24

7. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

those that bear the "1" are apparently awful devices. there's the z1 with the sub par display and here's the e1. maybe they're not really supposed to exist. they just needed to sell away those stocks of displays they have.

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 10:11

8. Zhephyr (Posts: 25; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

I suggest SONY continue to iterate this line> A Sony E2 Music perhaps
I think its great if sony can create a phone with this specs:
- 4-4.3 inches
- 8 megapixel camera rear cam + 5 megapixels front facing one
-Decent processor
-8Gb built in Storage
-A better body design(apply sonyz1 like design)
-Special music buttons
-Dust&water resistant
-a decent Battery
-and bonus LTE capability
and dont forget the special LED light.a small circle
one is enough or like the one on xperia M

I would really Buy one :D

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 11:22

11. PorkyBurger (Posts: 585; Member since: 18 May 2013)

Duude, sounds like you want a mid-ranger. Sony Xperia E series ARE BUDGET SMARTPHONES ONLY. LOL.

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 17:12

13. Zhephyr (Posts: 25; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

its just a suggestion.and i know i am looking for a mid-ranger.The specs i mention are the specs i'm looking for a real music dedicated phone.

posted on 04 Apr 2014, 23:23

15. imparanoic (Posts: 88; Member since: 15 Oct 2012)

z1 compact

posted on 05 Apr 2014, 00:07

16. Zhephyr (Posts: 25; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

Z1compact is to expensive to be a budget device. its almost price as same as the xperiz z1 .but yeah thats my idea of a great phone minus the bulky body..the z1compact body it thicker than z1 and z2

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 11:09

9. jsdechavez (Posts: 758; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)

I think the feature set goes well with the price. This will do well in the right maskets. Besides, build seems better than a cheap Samsung. I'd never touch a mid-range/low-end Samsung.

posted on 02 Apr 2014, 11:16

10. fireblade (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)

this phone is crap. Look at Moto G

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:15

14. mercorp (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)

In singapore xiaomi sells the redmi for $169...and the specs are way better than the e1.
Still,at least sony tried their best...and it doesn't really deserve such a score!

posted on 05 Apr 2014, 00:12

17. Zhephyr (Posts: 25; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

xiamo looks great but are way to big..i hope they would create a 4.3 - 4.5 one ..A XiaomiMIni or XiamoCompact.

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Sony Xperia E1

Sony Xperia E1

OS: Android 4.4 4.3
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) TFT
Camera3 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.65 x 2.46 x 0.47 inches
(118 x 62.4 x 12 mm)
4.23 oz  (120 g)
Battery1750 mAh, 8.21 hours talk time

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