Sony's Walkman series of phones has been popular, and now the company is back with a dedicated Walkman key on its new affordable smartphone, the Xperia E1. Packing in a four-inch display, the WVGA resolution (800 x480 pixels) is somewhat lacking in brightness and colour. The power key and volume controls are on the right edge, and the Walkman key and the 3.5-mm jack are at the top. The charging port is on the left panel. The E1 feels bulky, with its 12mm thickness, and has a slightly rough finish at the back.
Sony is pitching it as a value-for-money smartphone, and has added features to live up to its promise. To start with, it's a dual SIM phone. It runs Android Jelly Bean, and is powered by 1.2GHz dual core processor from Qualcomm. The 512 MB of RAM is on the lower side, but it manages to launch all the apps without crashing. It can handle basic gaming, but don't expect it to handle heavy games. Browsing on Google Chrome was smooth.
The biggest highlight of the Xperia E1 is the Walkman app. If you use a good pair of headphones, the sound output is impressive. The Walkman app launches a feature-rich music player. For example, the ClearAudio+ mode produces a more refined and clear sound, while the xLoud feature raises the volume. The phone also packs a 3MP camera, which is somewhat underwhelming, as images have a lot of noise. The Xperia E1 comes with 4GB internal storage, of which only 2GB is user accessible. However, it can be expanded by using the micro SD card slot. When fully charged, the battery was good enough for a day, and ran low by the end of the day.
Bag it or Junk it: Consider if music is priority, and not the camera
Name: Sony Xperia E1 Dual
Price: Rs 8,210
Specs: 4-inch display, Android Jelly Bean, 3MP camera, 1.2GHz dual core processor, 512 MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, micro SD card slot, Bluetooth, 3G, WiFi, 1700 mAh battery, 120 g