Sony has introduced a new series of smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including the affordable Sony Xperia L3, as a direct sequel to the Xperia L2 introduced in January 2018. The latest model makes the jump from a 16:9 image format to the more popular 18:9 aspect ratio, and among other upgrades it also features a secondary camera for bokeh effects.
The new Sony Xperia L3 represents quite a departure from last year's model, in that it has a refreshed design with a taller display as well as two main cameras instead of a single sensor. The new 18:9 display has a 5.7-inch diagonal and 720p resolution while being protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The new model carries a 13-megapixel main camera on the back panel, but this year it's been paired with a secondary 2-megapixel sensor, allowing photographers to create images with bokeh effects. The front-facing sensor has a resolution of 8-megapixel and features a variety of modes for selfie enthusiasts, including Soft Skin, Sharp Face, Skin Brightness, and bokeh effects of its own.
The series continues to be powered by one of MediaTek's chipset solutions, namely the newer Helio P22 octa-core chipset manufactured on 12nm technology. The package includes a PowerVR GE8320 graphics chip and is coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage expandable via microSD.
Much like last year's Xperia L2, the new Xperia L3 has a fingerprint sensor but unlike its predecessor, the latest model embeds the module in a side-mounted physical button as opposed to carrying it on the back panel. This is somewhat of an odd choice given that Sony's smartphones originally had a side-mounted sensor but the OEM made the switch to a rear-mounted solution, only to now go back to its previous design.
Other features include a 3,300mAh battery with Xperia Adaptive Charging and a USB Type-C connector (same as last year). But despite the new design and various upgraded components, the Sony Xperia L3 continues to be one OS generation behind Google and other smartphone OEMs.
Instead of Android 9 Pie, the Xperia L3 will launch with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, and normally, users could expect a new software version to be introduced as an OTA update later down the line. But with Sony, you never know, particularly given the OEM's poor software support over the past few years. The Sony Xperia L2 was also introduced with Android 7.1.1 Nougat last year, and it has yet to be upgraded to Android Oreo or Pie. Only time will tell if the latest Xperia L3 will follow in its predecessor's footsteps.
The smartphone should become available for purchase today in select markets, but Sony has yet to confirm exactly which regions will be the first to receive it. The device will be available in single SIM and dual SIM variants, and prospective buyers will be able to choose between three color options including Silver, Black, and Gold. The caveat is that not every color options might become available in every region.
Along with the new smartphone, Sony is also introducing a new open-ear Bluetooth stereo headset called the SBH82D, which will become available for purchase in May in the colors Black, Grey, and Blue. It is worth saying that the Xperia 1 flagship also launched at MWC 2019, click here if you'd like to know more.