The Sony Xperia E4 retail package is about as basic as they gets. It is a plain one-piece box that only opens on the side, much like a generic container.
The insides are kind of cluttered making it near impossible to put everything back in place and comfortably close the box. What you get with the low-cost Xperia E4 is nothing out of the ordinary: a very short but quite sturdy micro USB cable, a standard headset with a built-in mic, as well as an A/C adapter.
There is really nothing special about the Xperia E4's look and build. The phone is unmistakably a Sony device, never mind it was clearly built to a budget.
A fact's a fact though - the E4 is chunky and plasticky all-around. It measures 137 x 74.6 x 10.5mm and is not particularly light either at 144g. The back cover oddly looks too big and shaped more like a bumper case, almost like it doesn't belong and was borrowed from another device.
Other than that, Sony has really done the best it could with the available materials. The body feels nice to the touch and the plastic does not look cheap in any way. The E4 is available in two colors: white and black.
The five-inch Sony Xperia E4 feels comfortable enough in the hand and also quite sturdy. There are no apparent build quality blunders, everything is nicely put together with no cracks or rough edges. The back cover is kind of hard to remove, but this will only be a problem if you frequently change SIM and memory cards.
The cover is removable to grant access the SIM and SD cards so a non-replaceable battery makes little sense in a phone that's not IP-certified or waterproofed.
Perhaps it's cheaper to manufacture this way.
The Sony Xperia E4 comes equipped with a 5.0-inch display, which at 540 x 960 pixels has the same ppi as the 4.5" FWVGA display of the Xperia E3. The good thing is Sony managed to slim down some bezel for an adequate screen-to-body ratio of 67.4%.
Above the screen, the earpiece is barely visible, cleverly concealed very close to the top edge, in a very Sony-like manner. The 2MP front-facing camera is slightly off to the left, with a nice silver frame. The phone does not feature any physical buttons, so the area below the display is mostly empty, except for the mouthpiece.
Going round the device, we find the left side housing only a microUSB port - the card slots are hidden underneath the back-cover: one or two micro SIM compartments (depending on the model) and a microSD slot. There is also a hardware reset pinhole, to help get out of tricky situations without access to the battery.
The right-hand side is equally minimalist. There is the signature round Power/Lock button and, below it, a slim volume rocker.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the device near the left corner.
The bottom of the Xperia E4 is completely empty, except for a small eyelet in the left corner. We were quite happy to discover that it lets you attach a lanyard, just like the old times.
Around back, we find the 5MP camera lens and a single LED flash right next to it.
Near the bottom, right beneath the etched Xperia logo, there's a small speaker grille. A rear speaker can get easily muffled if the phone's lying flat on its back and Sony has taken no precautions against it. But that's perhaps nitpicking.