Sony Xperia E review: E-lementary
3MP fixed-focus camera
The Xperia E sports a 3 megapixel fixed-focus camera and there is no LED flash. That should be enough to tell you that the smartphone's camera will only do for an occasional photo in case of emergencies.
The camera controls on the Xperia E are available on two taskbars on either side of the viewfinder. On the left you get four shortcuts to various settings (scenes, exposure compensation, self-timer and geotagging), while the still camera/camcorder toggle, the virtual shutter and a thumbnail of the last photo taken are on the right.
The menu key brings up a few extra settings - resolution, capturing method, shutter sound and data storage, among others. You can customize all four of the shortcuts on the left.
The image quality is nothing to talk about, really. There is not enough resolved detail and there are some blurred areas in still images as well. The noise reduction is harsh, and the dynamic range could use some improvement, too. On a positive note, the colors seem lively and are not too oversaturated.
Image quality comparison
We've put the Xperia E against some other 3MP snappers so you can check the image quality for yourselves in our dedicated Photo Compare Tool. You can choose other adversaries as you please, and all you need to look for is explained in the tools' main page.
VGA video recording is disappointing
The Sony Xperia E captures VGA video at around 30fps, which is rather poor, but sadly about all you can expect out of a single-core processor and a 3MP camera.
The camcorder has the same interface as the still camera and some of the same settings.
Videos are recorded in MP4 files with a bitrate of 2.0Mbps and stereo AAC sound (128Kbps, 48kHz). The resolved detail isn't great, but it seems as if the noise reduction is less aggressive to the video than it is to still images, as the videos look smoother than expected.
Here is an untouched VGA@30fps sample taken directly from the Xperia E.