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28 December 2013

Sony Xperia C - review

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Introduction, design and display

Sony realised the need of delivering affordable devices with high-end features. And to satisfy those customers looking for such smartphones, they have created the beautiful Sony Xperia C. The smartphone delivers a big screen and is powered by a quad-core processor, at a great price point, as I was saying.

More than this, the phone also offers dual-SIM capabilities, checking one more of the existent demands of the customers out there. Also, the Xperia C can be bought in three beautiful nuances, such as Black, White and Purple.

It can store up to 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory, with the possibility to further expand it up to 32GB.

In the inside the smartphone houses a powerful 2390 mAh Li-Ion battery, non-replaceable.

The Xperia C is powered by a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, along with a MTK MT6589 chipset and a PowerVR SGX544.

And the best part about it, the Chinese company decided to make the smartphone available for some other markets as well, and soon we will have it here for a little play.

What’s inside the box?

The retail box of the Sony Xperia C contains the A/C adapter, a microUSB cable, a white pair of headphones and some leaflets.

xperia c box

It also hides the gorgeous device, which measures 141.5x74.2x7.9 mm, and has a weight of 153g.


Design and display

The design pattern of the Xperia line-up has touched seriously the looks of the Xperia C as well. The cover can be removed, and the body is made from plastic, with some metallic elements, giving the smartphone a quite interesting allure.

xperia c

What I love about the Xperia family design is that the company doesn’t pack any cheap elements on neither of their products, no matter the price tag of them. Maybe other manufacturers should learn from this a bit.

The phone delivers a TFT LCD 5 inched display, free of whatever hardware buttons, rendering a resolution of 540x960 px. But the screen is not protected by a special glass, so if you will go for an Xperia C be very careful with scratches or fingerprints.

Also packed on the screen, we noticed a silver metallic grille, an earpiece and a VGA front camera, and also the proximity and ambient light sensors. A little below the earpiece is a status LED, which will turn its colour into orange when the phone is plugged to a source of energy and green when it will be completely charged. A pretty cool notification light can be seen under the display, announcing any new messages or missed calls.

At the bottom of the screen, it was packed another speaker grille and right under it, stays hidden the microphone.

sony xperia c

On the right side of the Xperia C, were housed the controls. First is the Power/Lock button, right after come the volume rockers and the camera shutter key. And on the left side, it has the microUSB port.

The top of the device, reveals a 3.5mm audio jack. On the bottom, it was packed the lanyard eyelet.

An 8MP shooter was equipped on the back of the smartphone, with a LED flash and a metallic loudspeaker grille.

As the cover can be removed, underneath will be found the compartments for the microSIMs, along with the microSD card slot.

Software, user interface and dual-sim capabilities

Software and user interface

The Sony Xperia C runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean that comes together with the company’s proprietary Xperia launcher built-in.

The lockscreen will display the date and time, the status of the microSIM cards, a shortcut to the camera app and the option to swipe up or down to unlock the handset.

On the homescreen can be added various panes, starting from a number of five set as default. The maximum number supported is seven, and the order in which you have set them from the beginning cannot be after changed.

sony xperia c

At the bottom of the screen were placed the capacitive keys for Back, Home and Settings for the customizations of the home panels.

To bring various apps to the homescreen you just have to tap-and-hold on the blank area where you want to drag it and use the punch-to-zoom gesture. A context menu will appear, listing numerous available customizations for the smartphone, you can add shortcuts or widgets, edit the theme or change the wallpaper.

As any Xperia handset, the Sony Xperia C delivers specific widgets, for different social services or connectivity toggles, like the WALKMAN, Album, Sony Select and so on. Widgets will be automatically resized and arranged by the phone when you will choose to bring them to the homescreen.

At the bottom of the display, as many of the smartphones running on Android 4.2.2 do, there is a bar with shortcuts, like the Browser, Google Play Store, Menu, Messaging app and the Dialer.

On the other panes, you can select to display widgets for Email, Gmail, Google Now, Calendar, Google+, Digital clock and any other widgets you would like and can download from the Play Store.

user interface

Hidden in the top of the screen is the notification area, which can be expanded with a gesture of swiping to the bottom, opening a list of options like the Battery status, Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Sounds, Auto Rotation. In total, there will be displayed 11 such toggles. Also, in this area, new notifications will be listed, for new updates, missed calls, new messages or email and so on.

To open the menu, you just have to press the shortcut to it from the bar available on the homescreen, and the list of the existing apps and services, will be displayed. You can sort them by your own liking, in alphabetical order, by most used or recently installed.

The Android task manager is available as well, offering the possibility to switch between recently used apps or close them with a side-swipe gesture.

And that’s not all. The ‘’small apps’’ are on-board, representing tiny widget-like icons which can be pinned to the homescreen and moved around without having to open the full icon of the app. There are nine little apps available, like the Calendar, Gmail, Noted, Voice Recorder, Browser and so on. Of course, more apps like this can be downloaded from the Play Store.

The good comrade Google Now is available as well. It will cover your daily routine, internet searches, emailing services and find the most relevant information for you. This friendly app will always have prepared the answers for how the traffic is or how did your favourite team managed in the last season. It can be activated hands free with the voice command of ‘’OK, Google’’, but only for the USA.

Dual-SIM capabilities

As we were saying, the Xperia C delivers dual-SIM capabilities. The microSIMs compartments are placed under the removable back of the smartphone, which support dual standby and any of the SIMs can accept call at any time, but not simultaneously, of course.

Some hardware limitations will be encountered though, because the Xperia C cannot support 3G services on both SIM card, but just on one and the other will use data as EDGE connectivity.

It must be pointed out also the fact that while one SIM is enrolled in a call, the other will be inaccessible.

Camera, connectivity and final impressions

Camera

The Sony Xperia C delivers an 8MP back camera which can be very easily used thanks to the friendly interface.

When you will launch the camera app, on the screen will be displayed on the left side a shooting mode selection in the top corner, and three customizable shortcuts.

On the right side, you will find the video and still shot shutter keys, the toggles which help you switch between cameras and a shortcut to the gallery.

sony xperia c camera

Features like HDR mode, Sweep panorama, face detection, touch capture and geo-tagging are offered by Xperia C. Also, the captures taken can be edited and quickly shared though various ways.

The image quality of the captures taken with the Sony Xperia C’s camera is acceptable, not spectacular, but useful to get in clear and decent photos the moments which you want to conserve. Colours are good and vivid, and the white balance is set just at the right level.

Captures will be sorted in the well-organised Sony Gallery in Albums, by time or locations from where they were saved (Facebook, Pintrest, Whatsapp and so on).

camera sample

Settings like Throw, Edit, Share, Slideshow and so on are available for each of the pictures taken.

The device can capture video at 1080px, and the image quality is more than decent. But the captures will be a little bit noisy, just so you know.

Connectivity

Sony offers tri-band 2G and dual-band 3G connectivity support.

It also covers Wi-Fi, DLNA functions, Bluetooth and USB.

Final impressions

Sony did with the Xperia C better than it was firstly expected, reason for which the smartphone was sent to other markets, except the Chinese one as it was targeted.

It delivers a generous screen, the sizes seem to be just right for a comfortable usage, the resolution could have been better, but nothing that bad. It also sports a decent camera, covers all connectivity options, except NFC, and is powered by a quad-core processor.

If you’re looking for a dual-SIM and really great working Android smartphone, Sony Xperia C is just the right choice!



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