Sony Xperia C review: Cash and carry

GSMArena team, 5 December 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011Ľ

Introduction

The China-bound Sony Xperia C could be the right opportunity to smuggle some big-screened, quad-core goodness into markets where those things usually fetch a high price. It's certainly the right size too. Five-inchers don't necessarily have to come with high-end price tags. There's demand for affordable options too, which the Xperia C isn't the first to address. Sony has obviously been watching the Samsung Galaxy Grand, while HTC and LG aren't indifferent either.

So, the Sony Xperia C has dual-SIM support, which is almost a must-have in the markets Sony's interested in, a massive 5-inch display and a quad-core processor. So far, so good.

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Sony Xperia C official pictures

It is the company's first smartphone powered by a MediaTek chipset. Sony has so far always opted for either Snapdragons or (when the company still existed) ST Ericsson but, with China being the primary target market, it had little choice really. The latest MediaTek chips support both dual-SIM and quad-core processors, and they are light on the wallet too.

Affordability is, of course, an important reason, considering Asian markets are teeming with sub-$200 quad-core droids and competition is fierce. The likes of Lenovo, Micromax, Xolo, and many more, are ready to offer a big enough screen and decent feature set on a bargain.

What this means is the Sony Xperia C should be preparing for a full-scale war. Let's check the ammo:

Key features

  • Tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSPA support
  • Dual SIM, dual stand-by support
  • 42.2 Mbps HSDPA and 11.5 Mbps HSUPA
  • 5.0" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen of qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels) at 220ppi
  • Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, PowerVR SGX544 GPU, MTK MT6589 chipset
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 4 GB of built-in storage (2 GB user available)
  • microSD slot (cards up to 32GB supported)
  • 8 MP autofocus camera, single LED flashlight, geo-tagging, touch focus, HDR, hardware shutter key; VGA front-facing camera
  • 1080p @ 30fps video capture
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Accelerometer, ambient light and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack; Walkman music player with many audio enhancements
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • microUSB port (charging)
  • Built-in LED strip provides a breathing light and notification light
  • 2,390mAh Li-Ion battery, non-replaceable

Main disadvantages

  • Low pixel-per-inch ratio
  • No Mobile BRAVIA engine
  • No scratch protection for the screen, Gorilla Glass or otherwise
  • Limited internal storage for installing apps

The Xperia C obviously didn't remain confined within Asian boundaries as various European retailers are already shipping it at very attractive prices. It sure isn't the fastest or the most feature-rich of phones, but it sounds like a great bang for your hard-earned buck. Will that be enough to probably forgive the lower resolution screen and the other potential deal breakers?

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Sony Xperia C live pictures

We will find out soon enough. Jump over to the next page to see what's in the Xperia C's retail box and what the smartphone is really made of.

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