Perhaps the bravest of them all, the Sony Xperia E series has a challenging task set upon it: to convince buyers within the ruthlessly competitive low-end market to pick it over increasingly strong alternatives. This has been a tough ask for a long while, specifically given the rather uncompetitive pricing that Sony management has traditionally agreed upon.

But the Xperia E5 seems stronger than ever, with significantly better hardware compared to its predecessor in essentially every area: design, display, power-crunching, and even imaging. On paper, it's a worthy successor, but sold for the equivalent of about $210 (€199) in Europe, is that enough to make it a success?

We take a look.


Attractive, sturdy design that is sure to tempt buyers on a budget.

If there's one thing the Xperia E5 has going for it, it's design. Unlike previous E-line devices—which looked decidedly low end—one would have a hard time calling this anything but reasonably attractive. More so at this price point, and especially compared to the rather mundane-looking competitors.

In typical Sony style, the E5's form factor is that of a pleasantly rounded rectangle with evenly sized top and bottom bezel—a welcome change from previous Sony designs. There are no seemingly precious materials adorning the phone, which is entirely made out of polycarbonate, but it honestly feels solid and well-constructed. The back plate has a matte finish, which despite everything, actually makes this a far more ergonomically sound phone than the likes of even the Xperia Z5.

Sony aficionados, however, will be quick to notice the missing—and kind of signature—dedicated physical shutter key. While we're fine with this particular omission, we felt the volume rocker, located on the upper side of the frame, is a bit too far for comfortable use, even with larger-than-average hands. That said, the power key is well in reach, and both buttons offer a satisfying click when pressed. .


Surprisingly good!

At a time when we're still witnesses of poorly calibrated panels even at the higher end, the Xperia E5 is a welcome change—especially at the lower end. Upgrading upon the resolution of its predecessor, the E5 features a 5-inch, 720 x 1280 pixel display of the LCD type, ensuring an adequate viewing experience—though some graininess is definitely noticeable.

In terms of screen properties, as mentioned earlier, the E5 doesn't disappoint and brings peak brightness of over 500 nits, so you won't have to strain your eyes too much under direct sunlight. At 4 nits, minimum brightness is also sufficiently low for the night owls among us to enjoy the E5 before bed when the lights are out.

Finally, color accuracy is pretty decent for a device of this caliber. We've got an excellent color temperature, decently accurate gamma across the brightness spectrum, and relatively lifelike colors for the most part.



1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

When the Sony E5 gets a much better score then its brothers (coughxperformcough) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

3. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Give this man an oscar!!

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7605; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The Xperia X performance gets a 6.3 with a SD 820, 3gb of ram, 32gb of storage, 23mp hybrid auto focus camera, 13mp selfies camera, aluminum construction for $699. Yet this phone gets a gets a 8 with a Mediatek 1.3ghz processor with 1.5gb of ram, 16gb of storage, a worse camera for $210. So that means the iPhone 6s should have received a score of 6 or less then.

9. Subie

Posts: 2441; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

1. A different PA author did this review. 2. If you read the reviews page for page the X Performance is the far superior device. It's got to be the "value for your dollar" opinion which makes the scores so different.

10. TerryTerius unregistered

Different price ranges, and being judged against different standards.

15. davthom123

Posts: 121; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

yea agreed.if a flagship is getting a 6 or a 9 it should be in relation to other flagship smartphones.same 4 midrangers and budget phones

16. davthom123

Posts: 121; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

I mean low end phones not budet

37. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 931; Member since: May 07, 2014

I think all the reviews should be done by a team of writers, not different writers. At least the scores should be awarded by all the phonearena reviewers

38. jonathan.bariradja

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 01, 2017

Hey man, is there a led notification light in E5?

2. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Quite an embarrassment for the ehem... X series (the name is quite ironic if u think deep enough)

5. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

The X line was a disappointment considering the price, unlike the E5.

7. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

The E5 isn't that advantageous over Samsung or others' offerings to warrant an 8 either. But then again, we shouldn't take PhoneArena's reviews without much reservation.

24. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

God the prices are a joke in Australia, $499AUD for the Xperia X. You can get a S6 for that price. Pay $50AUD more and you can get a G5.

4. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

this was launch after the X, hopefully they will continue to make phonearena surprise. #IFA2016

6. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

It is hardly surprising. Sony has always loved their midrangers and lowends more than their flagship. Other than Xperia E5, I have another perfect example. I have Xperia M5 and: - The camera completely destroys Z5's and actually putting up a good fight against S7 and S6 camera (I have proof of this) - The battery is giving me constant 7h 30 min of screen time despite it is only 2600mah and paired with reportedly energy inefficient MediaTek X10 chipset - Speaker is only single but the output quality is louder and clearer than Xperias with stereo speakers I used to be a die hard sony fan, but what they do in 2016 really saddens me. If Sony doesn't change, then Xperia M5 is going to be my last sony phone

17. LeoC57

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

7.5 hours SOT? I bet you only use your phone to make calls... No offense.

23. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

Lots of video playback, tons of social media browsing, youtube streaming, chat apps going on, some chrome browsing. No phone calls

25. Kumar123 unregistered

Post some link of your comparison between M5 and S7/S7 edge. Curious to see the result of your claim and if it's true it may become very handy to me. Thanks in advance.

28. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

8. hemedans

Posts: 762; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

how is this phone better? -cortex a53 cpu -mali 720 -hd display compare to something like redmi note 3 with cortex a72 core, adreno 510 and full hd? what standard do phonearena use to give out score?

21. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

It doesn't have Chinese writings in the user interface.

22. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Stop comparing these phones to the likes of redmi's and other low cost phones They have their place .. Big companies have to spend a lot on marketing and maintaining Proper after sales services , international availability , brand recognition .. and not to mention setting up proper offline channels .. 80-85 % of sales are still offline while sony still has a lot of flaws ( especially price ) but compare it to samsung , htc and the likes and not against Redmi's and oppo's By that logic every site should give lower scores to Samsung galaxy S and note series , htc .. when you only get mid range from samsung/htc specs for 400 $ vs flagship specs from redmi for 400$

27. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

obviously because they hate chinese brand... lol... FHD, SD650, 3GB RAM, 4000mAh battery at $180 get 6.8/10 HD, MT6735 (even slower than SD616), 1.5GB RAM, 2700mAh at $210 get 8/10 whats your excuse? lol..

12. Kumar123 unregistered

This phone is better than S7 edge ;)

13. jauling

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

LOL, like many of us, I read this review ONLY because this phone was given an 8. Thanks PA for the click bait!

14. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

At least Sony delivered where they promised: improved their lower end models (at the expense of making quarter-baked flagships)

18. davthom123

Posts: 121; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

maybe phonearena should change their GPU tests or add a game section to their reviews to show actual gaming performance.I think u can measure fps with apps like gamebench

19. Darkkracker

Posts: 255; Member since: Jun 11, 2016

I always take PA reviews with a "proverbial" grain of salt. one of their catch phrases always used by the way. :)

20. drahcir02

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

waiting for Xperia XA's review :)

26. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

how is this getting an 8 score than the flagships?
Xperia E5
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh(9.5h 3G talk time)

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