Sony Xperia L4 Review

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Believe it or not, you no longer got to pay a lot of money on your next smartphone. Persuasive TV adverts may try to convince you otherwise, however with the value of flagship handsets steady rising into four figures in recent years, your bank balance is also grateful if you choose for something cheaper, just like the Xperia L4, instead.

If you’ve been following Sony’s releases, then the Xperia L4 could be a breath of fresh air – and especially so if you can’t stump up the funds for the £1,100 Xperia 1 II. while it'd not have all the niceties of a flagship phone, Sony’s newest budget blower is hardly light-weight on options. The burning question, however, is whether or not it will enough to face out from the remainder of the sub-£200 crowd.

Sony Xperia L4 review: What you would like to grasp

Arguably the most important distinction between the 2 phones is that the Xperia L4’s screen. It’s still solely 720p in resolution, however the ratio is currently 21:9, mimicking the costlier finish of Sony’s fleet of phones. The Xperia L4 conjointly contains a new ultra-wide camera among its arsenal, aboard the 13-megapixel camera and 2-megapixel depth detector.

Sony Xperia L4 review: value and competition

A handful of upgrades, then, however the Xperia L4’s value hasn’t modified abundant. In fact, the Xperia L4’s launch value has solely inflated by £1, with a SIM-free value of £170 and contracts beginning at around £14/mth.

That’s a lovely value, sure, however different budget handsets may be found with flashier options. Our current budget favorite, the Xiaomi Redmi Note nine, prices £179 and contains a Full HD screen, a beefy 5,020mAh battery and a 48-megapixel camera. Likewise, Samsung’s cheap and rather wonderful Galaxy A21s conjointly prices £179.

Sony Xperia L4 review: style and key options

Despite the rise in screen size, Sony hasn’t modified abundant once it involves the Xperia L4’s style. i used to be sent the rather drab black model for review (the blue variant is slightly a lot of eye-catching) and it’s quite straightforward, design-wise, with a strong plastic chassis and hooklike edges. The front of the phone is comparatively bezel-free, however, with solely atiny low chin beneath the show and a circular drop-notch at the highest, which incorporates the 8-megapixel selfie snapper.

The triple camera array is arranged out showing neatness in an exceedingly vertical stoplight formation within the top-left corner on the rear of the phone {and the|and therefore the|and conjointly the} side-mounted fingerprint detector also returns, in conjunction with the three.5mm earphone socket and USB-C charging port. As before, the Xperia L4 isn’t IP-rated for dirt or water protection, however it will have AN NFC chip for contactless payments, which regularly fails to form the cut on low-cost phones.

Sony Xperia L4 review: show

As i discussed earlier, the foremost necessary new addition is that the 21:9 ratio screen, that is that the 1st time we’ve seen a long-tall show build AN look on AN ultra-budget telephone.

As we’ve antecedently seen with Sony’s flagship devices, Sony says this is often ideal for multi-tasking – running 2 apps side-by-side – and viewing 21:9 side Netflix films while not pestiferous black bars higher than and below the screen. As for the specifics, the IPS show measures half dozen.2in across the diagonal, with a resolution of one,680 x 720 (HD+).

Unlike the Xperia one II and Xperia ten II, the Xperia L4 doesn’t have multiple show profiles to decide on from, and sadly what we have a tendency to do get isn’t significantly noteworthy. Covering eighty.8% of the sRGB color gamut, with a complete volume of eighty nine.2% and a median Delta E score of three.16, the Xperia L4’s show isn’t terribly color correct, neither is it significantly vivacious.

Maximum brightness was comparatively weak, too, with a measured peak luminousness of simply 355cd/m². That’s not unfortunate for this remarkably gloomy summer we’re obtaining, however once we’re allowed to trip hotter climates you’ll doubtless be shut at your screen whereas you’re out and regarding. One grace, however, is that a measured distinction quantitative relation of one,637:1 is astonishingly high for a phone that prices this small.

Sony Xperia L4 review: Performance and battery life

As for the internals, here is wherever you begin to examine correct proof of Sony’s dramatic cost-cutting practices. The Xperia L4 is hopped-up by a fairly weak MediaTek MT6762 Helio P22 processor, that is strictly identical chipset as last year’s Xperia L3. For the inexperienced, this is often AN octa-core SoC clocked at 2GHz, that isn’t significantly noteworthy, though it near to will the task in our tests.

As you'll see, it’s shortly behind the Galaxy A21s once it involves the Geekbench five multi- and single-core process tests, however the Redmi Note 9’s process speeds square measure roughly five hundredth quicker, which phone solely prices £10 a lot of. a bit like last year’s model, however, the Xperia L4 doesn’t feel sluggish operative and handles CPU-intensive applications like Google Maps while not juddering to a halt.

The similarities with the Xperia L3 don’t stop there, either, because the Xperia L4 conjointly has 3GB of RAM, however Sony has doubled the inner storage to 64GB, which may even be dilated via microSD. The Xperia L4 conjointly contains a larger battery, at 3,580mAh capability, that could be a smart upgrade considering the rise in screen size.

As a result, the Xperia L4’s battery life is simply slightly worse than its precursor, lasting 15hrs 39mins in our battery summary take a look at. That’s not nice, however few total disappointments either.

Sony Xperia L4 review: Cameras

The Xperia L4 has conjointly seen a small upgrade within the camera department. It currently comes with a complete of 3 rear cameras; there’s a 13-megapixel (f/2.0) main camera unit, 2-megapixel (f/2.4) depth detector and a replacement 5-megapixel (f/2.2) fisheye camera for compression a lot of stuff within the frame.

Due to internment restrictions, I wasn’t able to directly compare with the Xperia L3 sitting in my workplace locker, except for the foremost half, pictures in love the Xperia L4 weren’t unhealthy in any respect. As long as you shoot in well-lit environments, there’s many detail and visual noise is generally unbroken to a minimum.

The Xperia L4’s night mode will a decent job at boosting the brightness of a picture, however the detail is reduced and textures incorporate along. Likewise, the portrait mode didn’t add the maximum amount background blur as i might have liked and also the camera software system could be a bit fiddly. The on-screen exposure and colour temperature sliders aren’t labelled either, that isn’t ideal.

You won’t notice abundant within the manner of video settings, either. The recording resolution is maxed out at Full HD, the frame rate is bolted at 30fps and there’s no image stabilisation of any kind, therefore the footage appearance a touch stormy occasionally.

Sony Xperia L4 review: finding of fact

Cheap and (relatively) cheerful, the Xperia L4 is another good effort from Sony. It’s not as praise-worthy as last year’s Xperia L3, however it’s still a dependable phone for the worth.

Sadly, it doesn’t stand out in any space, and their square measure higher budget phones to decide on from. merely adding another camera and increasing the scale of the screen isn’t very enough to vie against a number of proficient alternatives from Xiaomi, Motorola and Samsung. If Sony desires to actually take the fight to the competition, it’ll need to build some way more forceful changes for next year’s model.