Sony Xperia E5 Review
We were actually surprised!
Moving away from the measly, 5-megapixel cameras that have adorned previous Xperia E series devices, Sony has instead opted for a much better-sounding, 13-megapixel unit with wide, f/2.0 lens and an LED flash. Up front, we're also treated to a noticeable upgrade in the form of 5-megapixel selfie snapper, capable of 1080p video for those video conference chats.
Software-wise, as elsewhere, we're treated to the latest iteration of Sony's camera interface. This means a clean interface, with the various modes available by swiping up and down on the screen. Of those, however, just three are available: Auto, Manual, and Video. With manual, you only get access to a white balance slider and scene selection.
Outdoors during the day, the camera proved surprisingly capable. Detail is preserved to a very high level, even if on the rather soft side. Still, white balance is set correctly, color is captured fairly accurately, and dynamic range was, again, surprisingly good. In darker scenarios during the day, however, the camera tends to favor fast shutter speeds a little toо much, at the cost of enough light hitting the sensor. In result, some snaps are decidedly darker than in real life.
It's when we step inside that we're suddenly shocked to see the Xperia E5 take a huge step back. Scenes are once again less bright than desirable, but even more detrimental is the wildly inaccurate white balance at times. Whether it's a blue or a green overcast we're talking about, in combination with the murky overall representation of a scene, we were disappointed. If sufficiently lit, however, shots when inside can also be pretty decent—just as long as the software gets the white balance right.
In terms of video, we've got 1920x1080 px resolution capture with no optical stabilization or other neat extras in sight—unsurprising at this price point. Footage is once again kind of murky-looking, though overcast days are tough for most smartphones. Worse yet, however, continuous auto focus we found lacking, as you can see from the sample below.
Strictly average with both video and audio playback.
Onto audio, the loudspeaker leaves something to be desired in terms of fidelity, though there's nothing out of the ordinary worth talking about. It's a budget smartphone. Thankfully, the unit can be decently loud if you so desire, ranking towards the upper quartile in our testing database.