Sony Xperia L1
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About the Phone
Equipped with the premium brand name, Sony tries to rock the flagship market with a decent-looking phone. The nostalgic and robust design is bound to bring back memories for any Sony fans. Xperia L1 also arrives with a decent battery that is capable of keeping the phone running for the better part of the day.
Sony Xperia L1 arrives in the market with a Sony-styled box-like structure – a nostalgic grippy design. While it is of a dated plastic build, Sony Xperia L1 is quite easy to handle and stands out among the rounded smartphone designs that overpopulate the current flagship market.
Sony Xperia L1 has a small battery, but it performs quite well. Light tasks can see it running for a day, and even battery tests found it beating flagship rivals carrying a larger battery that Xperia L1.
On the whole, the Xperia L1 is not a strong phone. It comes with a below-average display and weak performance. IT is not a recommended for the average smartphone use.
Sony Xperia L1 comes as a replacement to the E series. It attempts to bump up its capacities and give a fair fight as a premium brand in the flagship market. Priced at 10,490, Sony Xperia L1 is facing cutthroat competition from a market already set by many cheap but capable Chinese smartphone models.
However, Sony Xperia L1 arrives yet again as a disappointing model. Banking on its name and design, Xperia L1 delivers a poor performance and mediocre display – an incompetent fighter in a much-advanced flagship competition.
Xperia L1 comes with a past design which looks different and nostalgic in the age of rounded designs. Xperia L1 does have rounded sides, but the edges are actually in right angles making it stand out and less slippery. However, while nostalgia might be the effect Sony was looking for, the other parts of the phone seem cheap. It is made of plastic which is strange since most handsets of today are moving towards a combination of metal and glass. It comes with little details and looks quite dull. Neither does it appear with waterproofing, nor a fingerprint scanner, two significant requirements from modern flagship phones. Moto G5 and Xiaomi A1 have already put in this feature making it a significant overlook from Motorola. While it may not look or feel premium, a plus side of Xperia L1 is that it is grippy in its boxy design.
Xperia L1 has a 5.5-inches IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 720 x 1280. It has a pixel density of 267ppi making it look quite lacklustre, and you can pick out individual pixels if you inspect the screen carefully. The display is bright, with adequate sunlight legibility for outdoor work. However, the contrast is not that great, and there is a yellow tint to the colour on the screen. Plus, applying medium pressure on the screen with your finger will show small ripples to appear suggesting the lack of rigidity of the plastic framework. The display, in general, disappoints.
Xperia L1 has a MediaTek MT6737T quad-core 1.45GHz processor paired with Mali-T720MP2 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It is a basic processor and cannot be called a heavyweight performer. Benchmark scores put it at 36,210 points, which is quite average. The multicore score is capped at 1,813 which is quite behind its rival Moto G5’s 2,377 which shows how weak the internal processor is. Gaming can be quite inconsistent with this handset. Running too many apps could result in eventual freezing. However, less demanding games can run without a problem.
Xperia L1 comes with a 13MP primary camera which, unlike other budget phones, performs quite well when the right conditions are present. With adequate light, the autofocus is snappy and accurate, and the images clicked contain plenty of details, excellent colour reproduction and great contrast. However, there is no image stabilisation so an unsteady hand can produce blurry photos. In low light conditions, Sony Xperia struggles quite a lot – with the images appearing grainy and having a noticeable loss of details. The focus becomes sluggish as well, even when paired with the LED flash. While HDR might help in these situations, it does not get activated automatically, like OnePlus 5T but needs to be switched on manually. Once HDR is enabled, the processing time increases further making it frustrating to click fast snaps.
The 5MP selfie camera is just about competent, and performs better with Skype and Snapchat, though it may not produce the best selfies.
The rear camera can film up to 1080p video at 30fps, but it does not have excellent quality, and there is no stabilisation resulting in shaky footage.
Sony Xperia L1 arrives with a mediocre 2,620 mAh battery. For a 5.5 display, it is not the adequate juice-pack however, it does have remarkable stamina. Moderate use of email, social media, photography, and a bit of gaming saw it run an entire day. An HD video test running for 90 minutes with max brightness saw that the Xperia L1 lost only 15% from full power. It is a great result considering Moto G5 and Nokia 6 – its flagship rivals both lost 22% in the same test.
While it comes with a nostalgic design, Sony Xperia L1 is a disappointing handset which lags in all flagship features. It has a plastic body, a weak CPU and a 720p display – all of which are quite outdated in the current market. It is not the recommended phone considering the competition that it tackles. It is only recommended for people who have an extremely tight budget, wants the Sony trust and has premium aspirations. Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus are far better alternatives to go for.