REVIEW: Sony Xperia L4 - Mid Range Sony Smartphone
Sony’s mobile division has recently release a mid-range phone with a difference. The Sony Xperia L4 is a distinctly middle of the road phone with a very different screen for most phones. The L4 has a 21:9 screen compared to the 16:9 screens on most phones. What this does is make the phone thin and tall and actually makes the 6.2inch screen mostly comfortable in the hand.
As mentioned above, the standout feature of the Xperia L4 is the 21:9, 6.2inch screen. Now, while the screen’s aspect ratio is somewhat unusual, the resolution is pretty low for a screen this size. At 720 x 1680, that makes the display, effectively, 720p, and as you can imagine 720p at a screen size of 6.2inchs, the pixel density is quite low compared to most modern phone. The screen is also a standard LCD panel and not the OLED/AMOLED panels we’ve become used to in 2020.
That being said, the colours are pretty good and the viewing angles are ok as well.
Under that screen the phone is powered by a middle of the road Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22, paired with 3GB of RAM (thats the bare minimum a phone should have in 2020) and 64GB of storage. There is the option to add a micro-SD card to expand the storage if needs be.
The Sony Xperia L4 is a Dual SIM phone as long as you don’t use the external memory card, in that case, you can either have the memory card OR the 2nd sim card, not both.
Powering the phone is a 3580mAh battery, and while this is fairly low compared to the competition, given it only needs to power that low res screen and mid-range processor, getting a day out of the battery isn’t usually an issue. Any more than that and you might be left caught short.
Design and Build:
I really liked the build of the Sony Xperia L4. It reminds me of some of the earlier Windows phones that Nokia was putting out. It’s got a glass screen (obviously), and the back is a single piece of plastic that wraps around the sites to the screen. So it feels great in the hand. There’s no camera bump around the back either, which means it sits nice and flush on the table.
Around the perimeter of the phone, there’s a USB-C on the bottom edge flanked by a speaker and microphone ports. On the top edge there’s a fancy 3.5mm headphone jack (which is always nice to see, but really not necessary any more given how cheap Bluetooth headphones are).
On the left is the sim tray / memory card slot (all in one) and on the right hand side is the volume rocker, power switch and fingerprint sensor. I do have an issue with the layout here if I’m honest. Sony used to be great and integrate the fingerprint reader INTO the power button, but due to various legal issues in doing this (mainly in the USA), they have split them out and not really working that well. The power button is now too low to naturally press to lock the screen and you kind of have to think about it each time as you naturally go to where the fingerprint reader is, and well, I’d use the fingerprint reader much less than the power button, so it’s disappointing to see Sony preference that.. Over all, the build is good, but the layout of the buttons, not so much.
For a mid-range phone, Sony has fitted the Xperia L4 with a camera setup that you might think is better than the price point of the phone. On the back of the phone there’s a triple camera system with a flash above them. There’s an 5MP Ultra Wide camera, a 13MP wide (normal) camera and a 2MP depth sensor camera. My time with the phone, I found the camera to take decent shots, but I felt it took longer to focus and save the photo than I’d like, but at the prince point of the L4, you can’t really complain all that much.
The selfie camera is a standard 8MP affair, which will be grand for your SnapChats and TikToks, but not much else.
As mentioned before, the Sony Xperia L4 has a 3580mAh battery and as like most of the setup on this phone, it really is the bare minimum that should be included in a phone in 2020. It will get you thorough a normal day, but if you push the L4 too hard, you will be reaching for a charger sooner than you’d like.
There’s also no real fast charging in the L4 with it’s max charge speed capped at 7.5watt (where as some flagship phones are charging above 40watts now). It can take a while for the phone to come to full change. It’s just something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a ‘quick’ top up through the day.
Overall, the Sony Xperia L4 costs a little over €200 SIM free, which is a great price for the phone to be fair. It’d would make a great present for a family member who needs a phone upgrade but doesn’t need the all singing and dancing features of a phone that might cost a little bit more.
The Sony Xperia L4 is available in black or blue from Eir or SIM free from various retailers (e.g. Argos) for €209.99.