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Sony Xperia C Review

on November 7, 2013 – 8:25 pmNo Comment

Sony launched the Xperia C, the company’s first smartphone to feature a MediaTek chip last this month. We brought you the unboxing and the benchmarks of the device last month, here we have the complete review of the device. It has a 5-inch qHD screen and packs a quad-core MediaTek MT6589 chip, similar to most of the smartphones from local OEMs. Is the Sony Xperia C worth the price ? Let us dive into the review to find out. Unboxing

We unboxed the smartphone last month. Here is the unboxing video

Box Contents

  • Sony Xperia C
  • micro USB cable
  • Travel charger
  • Free Sony headphones and 1 year free insurance for damage protection
  • Sony headset with mic
  • User manual and other booklets

Video Review

Hardware

Sony Xperia C-4

The Xperia C has a 5-inch (960 x 540 pixels) capacitive touch screen display at 220 PPI pixel density, which is decent but the viewing angles are not impressive. The display is protected by a Scratch-resistant touch panel cover glass (Schott 2nd source), which is definitely is good thing. Sunlight legibility is not the best. Since it is glossy and is prone to fingerprints. The phone has a solid build quality even though the back cover is made of plastic.

Sony Xperia C-5

There is an earpiece above the display and a 0.3-megapixel camera next to it. You also have the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors next to it. These are hardly visible since the phone has a black bezel.

Sony Xperia C-6

You don’t have the capacitive touch buttons below the display since there are on-screen buttons for back, home and multi-tasking, but there is a LED notification light below the display. It glows in Blue or Red colors based on notifications.

Sony Xperia C-7

There is a chrome colored power button on the right side, below the power/lock button there is a volume rocker. The phone also has a dedicated camera key. You can see the large microphone grill present on the bezel, below the display. The phone is 8.88 mm thick and weighs about 153 grams.

Sony Xperia C-8

There micro USB slot on the left side.

Sony Xperia C-13

The 3.5mm audio jack is present on the top.

Sony Xperia C-14

There is a lanyard hole on the bottom.

Sony Xperia C-10

On the back there is a 8-megapixel camera with LED flash. There is a chrome ring around the camera. You see a large Sony branding on the center of the back cover.

Sony Xperia C-11

There is a large loudspeaker grill below the Sony branding. You can also see the Xperia branding above the loudspeaker.

Sony Xperia C-9

The back cover has smooth finish and also covers the sides of the phone. Even though the back is smooth, it is not shiny, so the phone doesn’t slip out of your hand while holding it. The back cover is prone to fingerprints and smudges, which requires frequent cleaning.

Sony Xperia C-2

The back cover is a bit hard to remove. You need to pull the cover from the bottom. Even though the phone has a removable back cover, the 2390 mAh battery is not removable.

Sony Xperia C-1

It has two micro SIM card slots below the camera module. The SIM 1 slot supports both 3G (WCDMA) and 2G (GSM), but the SIM 2 supports only 2G (GSM). The micro SD card slot is present next to the SIM card slots, which accepts cards up to 32GB.

Camera

Sony Xperia C-15

The 8-megapixel camera is good and the colors are vibrant in the images. It uses Sony’s Exmor R mobile sensor that was first introduced in the Xperia arc back in 2011. You have several focus modes including, single autofocus, face detection and touch focus. Focus is good, but the touch focus is not accurate, while the single focus takes a bit of time. Since the phone has a dedicated camera key, you can press it once to focus and object and click it to take an image. You can tap the left corner to switch to video camera mode, picture effect, sweep panorama, choose different scenes and switch to the VGA front camera to capture images or record a video. Camera options include, HDR, self-timer, portrait retouch, smile shutter, voice guided self portrait  and more. You can also adjust the white balance, ISO  (100 to 1600),

Check out some camera samples below

Check out more Xperia C Camera Samples here.

It can record videos at 1080p resolution. Some features are similar to the camera. You can enable night mode, change the exposure, white balance and metering . There is also a software image stabilizer. You can also enable LED video light and also take images at 2-megapixel resolution while capturing a video.

Here is a 1080p full HD video sample

Check out the camera review for a detailed overview of the Xperia C’s camera

Software

Sony Xperia C Homescreen Settings and Themes

Coming to the software part, the Xperia C runs on Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), so you get a similar UI present on the Xperia Z including the home screen, cascading lockscreen UI and themes. You can pinch the homescreen to add widgets, change the wallpaper and themes. It supports up to 7 home screens.

Sony Xperia C Small Apps

The multi-tasking menu has small apps such as browser, notes, recorder and more. You can replace it with more small apps including Chrome bookmarks, Calendar and also turn widgets into small apps. You also have an option to install small apps from the Play Store. You can add only on small app at a time, which is disappointing. The Xperia Z Ultra got an update recently that brought option to add more than one mini apps to the screen from the multi-tasking menu. Hope Sony would bring this feature to the Xperia C too.

Sony Xperia C Lockscreen and Notifications

You can swipe up or down to unlock, swipe to the right to open the camera or swipe to left to go to lockscreen widgets. You have a standard notification screen with a quick toggle bar on the top. If you are using two SIM cards, the top left toggle can be used to switch between the SIM cards for primary calling or SMS, otherwise this would be used to enable or display data connectivity. Even though the phone runs on Android 4.2, you don’t have quick settings available in the stock Android. It is not possible to customize these toggles.

Sony Xperia C Memory, RAM, App 2 SD

You get 1.20GB of user memory out of 4GB of internal memory and 0.98GB for Apps. You get  973 MB of usable RAM out of 1GB. You can move the apps to the micro SD card, once you insert one and also select the SD card as the default storage option.

Apps

Sony Xperia C-12

The phone has a lot of pre-loaded apps. Other than the usual set of Google apps, you have range of utility apps such as Alarm & clock, Album, Calculator, Calendar, Email, File Commander (file manager), Movies, Movie Studio (to edit videos), News and Weather, Notes, OfficeSuite, Photos and Sketch. You also have some pre-loaded apps the include, BIGFlix, LINE messenger, LinkedIn and McAfee Security.

Music Player and FM Radio

Sony Xperia C Music Player and FM

The phone has the standard Walkman app similar to other Xperia phones for playing music, which can play range or audio formats such as MP3, AAC, AMR, MID, OGG and WAV. You can enable ClearAudio+ option form the settings that enhances the audio clarity and also enable equalizer to set different presets. The phone also has FM Radio with auto scan feature to search for channels, but you don’t get the recording feature. TrackID option lets you search for a song currently playing. The Clear Phase option in the sound settings automatically adjusts the sound quality of the loudspeaker, and the xLOUD option improves the loudness of the internal speaker. You don’t feel much of a different after enabling these. Audio through the loudspeakers it decent. Audio output over the bundled earphones could be better. The phone can play full HD videos in range of formats using the movies app.

Sony Xperia C Sony Music Jive and LIV

You get Sony Liv and Sony Music Jive apps, which are targeted at Indian users. The Sony Liv offers free TV shows from the Sony TV Channels and the Sony Music Jive powered by Infibeam digital entertainment offers free music streaming.

Calls and Messaging

Sony Xperia C Calls and Messaging

You can switch between the SIM cards from the toggles in the notification bar before making calls or sending an SMS and also set the default SIM for calls and messaging from the SIM settings. The Sony Xperia keyboard offers word suggestions and auto complete.

Dual SIM

Sony Xperia C Dual SIM

The Dual SIM settings have option to customize the SIM card name, set default SIM for calls & messaging and data traffic. There are also options to auto switch calls & messaging and Data traffic. The Dual SIM reachbility is just like the Smart Dual SIM feature on Samsung Dual SIM smartphones that automatically forwards calls from the phone number on SIM 2, even if a user is on the phone with SIM 1’s number. It doesn’t work on all the service providers since some of them don’t allow call forwarding when busy. Call waiting is free but operators charge for call forwarding.

Connectivity

Sony Xperia C Connectivity

The connectivity features include, 3G (HSPA+:  42Mbps, HSUPA: 11.5Mbps), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v 4.0 with A2DP and GPS. It has DLNA support to stream content to near by DLNA supported devices. You can enable the Xperia Link to connect to the Sony PC Companion app on your PC if you are connected to same WiFi network. It also has USB On-the-go (OTG) support, but lacks NFC.

Performance and Benchmarks

The phone is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6589 processor with PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU. The performance is good and it did not lag. Check out the benchmarks below.

Quadrant Benchmark

Sony Xperia C Quadrant

The Sony Xperia C tops the Quadrant benchmark with 4989 points.

AnTuTu Benchmark 3.3

Sony Xperia C AnTuTu 3.3

In the AnTuTu Benchmark 3.3, it scores 13116 points. We also tested the latest AnTuTu 4, in which it scored 13817 points.

Vellamo 2 HTML5

Sony Xperia C Vellamo 2 HTML5

It scored 1567 points in the Vellamo 2 HTML5 browser benchmark, ahead of most of the MediaTek powered smartphones. Check out the complete set of Xperia C Benchmarks here.

We also played some games on the phone, check out the Modern Combat 4 Gameplay on the Xperia C below. We tried the game by connecting a PS3 controller using the USB OTG cable.

Here is the RipTide 2 Gameplay

Here is the gaming review that also shows off the gameplay of DeadTrigger, Asphalt 7, Modern Combat 4 and Gangstar Vegas. Overall the gaming performance is decent in most of the games, but the graphics is just average.

Battery life

Sony Xperia C Battery

The 2390 mAh battery lasts a whole day on a single charge, even with both the SIM cards enabled. Sony offers STAMINA mode in the battery settings that enhances the battery life by turning the WiFi OFF when the screen is locked. The Low battery mode disables several functions to increase the battery, when it’s low.

Conclusion

Overall, the Xperia C is a decent mid-range smartphone from Sony. It has good build, camera and offers good battery life. It also has a LED notification light. At a market price of Rs. 20,490, it is a bit costly compared other phones with similar features. If you are looking for a phone around 20k with good build, good battery life and a decent camera camera, go for it.

Pros

  • Good build
  • Decent Camera with a dedicated Camera Key
  • Good Battery life

Cons

  • Average performance
  • Battery is not removable
  • Slightly on the expensive side
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Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+