Sony Xperia L1 Review: Level One

By 05:43 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


The Xperia L1 marks Sony's return to the still growing and highly-competitive entry-level market. Putting together a fine smartphone for beginners can often turn out to be an even tougher task than designing a flagship. Maybe that's why Sony is retiring its E-series and introducing a recent contender in the Xperia L1.

Sony previously covered the budacquire niche with the pocket-friendly E series, some water-proofed handsets in the M lineup, and the selfie-centric C-series; this added adequate depth and continuity all the way up to the flagship Z lineup.

Now the Xperia X is in charge, and Sony is obviously keen on revising its alphabet further down the ranks.

Other than the name change, the newly unveiled Xperia L1 isn't dramatically different from the typical Sony entry-level handset we're used to. Almost a year sharp after the Xperia E5, we acquire a premium looped surface design - well executed given the tight budacquire - as well as a gigantic screen, LTE connectivity and a high-res camera. Reasonably priced and powered by an up-to-date Android version, this starter package has all the correct bases covered.

Sony Xperia L1 key features:

  • Body: Polycarbonate Loop Surface design, scratch-resistant classy screen glass
  • Screen: 5.5" IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) of 720 x 1,280px resolution (267ppi)
  • Camera: 13MP capturing camera with AF, f/2.2 aperture; Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash; 1080p @ 30 fps video capture;
  • Selfie cam: 5MP f/2.2; 1080p @ 30fps video capture
  • Chipset: MT6737T, quad-core 1.45Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A53 CPU, dual-core Mali-T720 GPU
  • Memory: 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage; microSD slot (hybrid)
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat with Xperia UI
  • Battery: 2,620mAh Li-Ion (sealed); Qnovo adaptive charging
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM (optional); LTE-A (Cat.4 150/50Mbps); USB-C; Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) a/b/g/n; GPS/GLONASS; Bluetooth 4.2; NFC; Frequency Modulation (FM) radio

Main shortcomings:

  • Chipset delivers low-cost performance
  • No panorama mode in the capturing camera app

The Mediatek chipset is perhaps the biggest question imprint - a small bump in clock speed over the Xperia E5 will hardly assist the four Cortex-A53 cores create a incompatibility and the graphics chip isn't particularly fine either. That said, two of the most likely rivals, Nokia 3 and the Moto C Plus, are relying on the same chip to do the math.

Anyway, if Sony optimized the performance right, the Xperia L1 will be going places. Amid recent reports of improving smartphone sales, another potentially strong seller in the pipeline would be a welcome boost for the recovering company.

Let's acquire on with it then - the Xperia L1 is coming out of the box correct after the break.



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