Over the past one year or so, Sony has experienced no shortage of scrutiny. The media and the public have targeted the company for not doing enough to save the Xperia brand. Critics claim that the company has lost its mojo, merely updating existing devices and not coming up with cool products.
Just because Sony hasn't launched an iPhone 6 like product doesn't mean that the Japanese electronics firm is falling at innovation. Sony surely has lost its esteemed image, but it still continues to churn out a few notable devices, across different product categories.
Sony isn't necessarily creating the next-generation blockbuster Xperia handset, but it has got a new charming handset - the Xperia C4 - that could infuse new life into the ailing Xperia brand.
Sony's Xperia C4 is an update to the C3, which went on sale earlier last year. The Xperia C4 is clearly a selfie-centric phone, with a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter that has been equipped with an LED Flash light. It's also Sony's latest weapon in the mid-end category, currently dominated by the likes of HTC, Samsung and Huawei.
We've spent a little time and found it to be impressive piece of technology. Here are our first impressions of the Sony Xperia C4 Android smartphone.
Sony Xperia C4 Dual SIM First Look: Form Factor, Design, Display and Operating System
At first glance, the Xperia C4 does look a whole lot different to last year's Xperia Z3. No more it's got a protected glass back and the same aluminium edging around the sides.
Compared to Sony's other models, the C4 is slightly bigger, and a bit thinner as well. We would have appreciated a glass made back, but the Xperia C4 still feels great to hold. On the sides there's a docking port for Sony devices and a dedicated camera button while on the front at the top there's a LED Flash.
Despite being a well-crafted handset, the Xperia C4 doesn't offer water resistant technology. We haven't personally demanded a waterproof device, but it would have been an advantage. What say?
Unlike a regular Sony-made phone, the Xperia C4 has a bigger 5.5-inch Full HD screen. With a full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, it's actually sharper than the Mi4i (5", 1080p), but you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. It uses Sony's Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 coupled with an IPS panel, meaning the screen will be offer improved angles. Blacks are deep and rich, contrast is good.
It's running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop version of Android, and as usual Sony has tweaked it with its own user interface. There's nothing really to dislike about the C4's software experience, but we wouldn't praise it either.
Sony Xperia C4 Dual SIM First Look: Performance and connectivity
The Xperia C4 is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core (Cortex-A53) MediaTek MT6752 processor but more significantly it's now backed by a healthy 2GB of RAM rather than 1GB of RAM. It won't outperform any other big flagship phone, say, a Samsung-made Galaxy S6, though it'll easily keep up. The Xperia C4 Dual includes 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB)
In terms of connectivity, the phone supports Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, 3G, Bluetooth 4.1, and aGPS.
Sony Xperia C4 Dual SIM First Look: Cameras
The 13-megapixel camera includes autofocus, an Exmor RS sensor and LED flash HDR and panorama modes. The video camera can record in 1080p.
Quality wise, the Xperia C4's camera delivers better than your average point & shoot camera. The best part is the quality of shots. It's very quick to start up, ready to go about a second after you hit the button. The results are fairly good in low-light.
Sony is clearly projecting the C4 as the best smartphone with an ultimate front-facing camera. The 5-megapixel resolution shooter has been paired with an LED flash. With 5MP on offer, there's plenty of detail and we found the front-facing camera accurate at focussing and shooting quickly. You can also use all sort of effects, designed to add a dose of fun.
Sony Xperia C4 Dual SIM First Look: Battery and Early Verdict
There's a huge 2,600mAh battery sealed inside, so unlike the Galaxy Note 3 there's no option to replace it. The battery should last a day or even more, which is rated to deliver up to 12 hours 47 minutes of talk time and up to 682 hours of standby time.
The Sony Xperia C4 is genuinely a desirable phone with the best design available in Android ecosystem. Its camera is one of best and its performance will be the talk of the town when the phone goes on sale sometime later next month in India.