With the Xperia L4, the Japanese company brings the 21:9 wide aspect ratio to its entry-level category. The handset sports a 6.2 inches display and it features a multi-window option, allowing users to split the screen for running two apps simultaneously. Thanks to Side sense, all the apps can be accessed swiftly.
This is the first L series handset to have a triple camera system, featuring a 13-megapixels main unit, a 5-megapixels ultra-wide shooter, and a 2-megapixels depth camera for bokeh effects.
The company claims that the wide-angle unit will work well in most situations, but to capture more of a scene, you can always opt for ultra-wide-angle.
The Xperia L4 supports multi-aspect shooting, allowing you to take pictures and shoot videos in the format of your choice. This also includes the cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio.
The front 8-megapixels camera is housed in a waterdrop notch, which is a first for Sony.
Inside is a hefty 3580mAh cell with support for fast charging. Sony claims that the phone will last an entire day. Thanks to the proprietary Adaptive Charging, the battery will be monitored so it doesn't get overworked. This will prolong the battery life.
The phone also gets a side-mounted fingerprint reader and the 3.5mm headphone jack has been retained.
Xperia L4's aged chipset can be a deal-breaker
The Xperia L4 inherits its predecessor's MediaTek Helio P22 chipset, which is mated with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. Thus, it doesn't really offer performance upgrades, which might be a downer for some people.
The storage can be expanded by up to 512GB, thanks to the micro SD card slot. Dual-SIM functionality is also supported.
The phone runs Android 9 Pie and it is available in the colors Black and Blue. Pricing hasn't been announced yet and the phone will be available in select markets from Spring.
Given that the Xperia L3 had a price tag of nearly $225, we expect its successor to be in the sub $250 category.
While the better display, improved camera system, and fast charging support can make the phone a more enticing option than the Xperia L3, the basic chipset can be a potential deal-breaker.
That said, this is an entry-level phone after all and if Sony follows an aggressive pricing strategy, the handset can do well in the market.
After all, competing smartphones like the Honor 10 Lite and Moto G8 Power offer more despite being budget handsets.
Sony has traditionally been stubborn when it comes to price and design. That's perhaps the reason why the sales of its phones have been declining for the last five years.
The company had previously exited the U.S. market to focus more on the regions where it has witnessed greater success. These include Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Europe. The company remains a dominant Android vendor in its home country of Japan.