Naturally, the earpiece is above the screen beneath a silver metallic grille. The VGA front camera is on the right, along with the proximity and ambient light sensors.
Below the earpiece grille is a tiny status LED that lights up orange when you are charging the phone (or you are running out of battery) and green once your battery is fully charged. There is also a notification light below the display, which blinks on missed events. Neither of those LEDs is user-configurable.
The microphone is below the screen beneath another metallic grille and there is no chance of accidentally muting it with a finger during calls.
The right side of the phone is where all the physical buttons are - starting with the aluminum Power/Lock key (a signature element of the OmniBalance design), the volume rocker (small, plastic but still easy to use) and the hardware shutter key (also made of plastic). Shutter keys are always welcome but this one in particular could've had better feedback - in either half or full press.
The top of the Xperia C only features the 3.5mm audio jack, while only thing of interest on the left is the microUSB port.
The lanyard eyelet is at the bottom of the phone - you'll need to open the back cover to attach the strap.
On the back is the 8MP camera with LED flash and the metallic loudspeaker grille.
The battery cover fits tightly in place and can be quite hard to open - we had to almost twist the phone, so be careful the first couple of times you are trying to do this.
With the back cover off, you can access the two SIM beds and and the microSD card slot. Unlike other dual-SIM Xperia smartphones, the Xperia C offers 3G connectivity only on its primary SIM card. You can use both SIMs for internet connectivity, though you'll have to rely on EDGE speeds if you opt to use the card in the secondary SIM bed.
Sony put a 2390mAh battery inside the Xperia C. We ran the handset through our battery routine, making sure to have two SIM cards in. It scored 68 hours, which means you'll only need to charge the smartphone every 3 days if you use it for an hour each of talk-time, web browsing and playing video per day. Quite an impressive result indeed and possible because of the low-consumption Cortex-A7 processor cores and the fact that the screen brightness is actually at less than a quarter of its maximum level when the slider is set to 50%.