While it’s not unheard of for smartphones to include selfie-friendly camera features, such as beautify modes and timers, the Xperia C3 is probably the first to be marketed specifically with selfies in mind and it’s also likely to be one of the most affordable handsets with a decent front-facing camera (though the exact price is yet to be confirmed). But is it just a one-trick pony or is there more to the Xperia C3? Read on to find out.
While Sony is selling the Xperia C3 on its photographic potential it’s the screen size that you’ll probably notice first. At 5.5 inches it’s certainly large, verging on phablet territory in fact, which is all the more noticeable because it’s a mid-range handset and they tend to have smaller screen sizes.
Occasionally you’ll find a larger one like this, but for a mid-range phone money needs to be saved somewhere and unfortunately they’re rarely full HD, which doesn’t matter so much on a smaller phone, but a 720 x 1280 resolution 5.5 inch screen as found on the Xperia C3 leads to a pixel density of just 267 pixels per inch.
That’s not appallingly low and the phone is perfectly useable, but icons, text and even images are far from crisp. To put it into perspective even the exceedingly cheap Moto G has a screen with 326 pixels per inch (though it is only 4.5 inches in size). So with the Xperia C3 you’re getting size rather than clarity.
Resolution aside it’s not too bad. It’s an IPS LCD display with reasonable colour reproduction and good viewing angles.
The Sony Xperia C3 is a reasonably attractive phone. It has the OmniBalance design that has become synonymous with Sony handsets and it’s slim at just 7.6mm thick. It also has Sony’s near-iconic metal power button on the side and a metallic edging to give it a vaguely premium look.
It’s not a total win though, the back is very obviously plastic and it has large bezels at all sides of the screen, which betray its mid-range price. As mid-range phones go it doesn’t look bad at all, but it won’t stand out in a crowd.
It seems to have almost become the standard thing that mid-range phones will have 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processors and 1GB of RAM and the Sony Xperia C3 is no exception. As such it’s no more or less powerful than the majority of its rivals.
It is however powerful enough to comfortably use. Slowdown is rare and it can cope with most media and games. It’s also equipped with 4G LTE so you can browse the net at superfast speeds even without a Wi-Fi connection and it’s running Android 4.4 so its software is up to date.
Now to discuss the thing that the Sony Xperia C3 really prides itself on- its camera, or more specifically its front-facing camera. The Xperia C3 has a 5 megapixel snapper on the front which is a substantially higher megapixel count than most front-facing cameras, particularly in the mid-range.
Of course that’s because this is the self-proclaimed selfie phone, but it has more than megapixels to back that up. There’s a soft LED flash to ensure that photos are always taken in flattering light, a 25mm wide-angle lens so you can fit your friends in the shot and a Superior Auto mode to ensure the settings are always optimally configured.
It’s also easy to take photos, as rather than tapping the screen you can just double-tap the back of the phone to snap away and of course there are some selfie-centric apps, such as ‘Portrait retouch’ which essentially adds makeup and ‘AR Effect mode’ which lets you add fun effects, including masks, hats and more.
It’s a decent selection of modes and features and if you really do care that much about selfies then the Sony Xperia C3 is well worth considering. Even when looking at high end phones there are few that do a better job.
Its rear camera is a little more standard. It has an 8 megapixel sensor, an LED flash, various modes including HDR and panorama and it can shoot 1080p video. It’s not up to the standards of the 20.7 megapixel camera on the Xperia Z2, but it’s not bad as mid-range offerings go.
The Sony Xperia C3 has a 2500 mAh battery which keeps it going for quite some time, easily lasting a day to a day and a half on a single charge with moderate use. If you do find yourself running low before you can plug it in there’s also a Stamina mode, which can make it last up to four times as long on standby by limiting what runs in the background.
The Xperia C3 comes with 8GB of built in storage along with a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 32GB. For connectivity options it supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and even NFC.
The Sony Xperia C3 is a solid all-round handset. It might be sold on its selfie abilities (and with good reason) but it’s got other stuff going for it too, including good battery life, a large screen, a slim build and a reasonable amount of power.
It’s not perfect by any means though as the screen is only 720p, which given the size is a bit on the low side and while the phone is slim it’s also plastic and has large bezels, so it doesn’t look as good as it could.
All of which means that if the selfie aspect doesn’t really interest you then this may not be the phone for you, though until we know exactly how much it costs it’s hard to say for sure.
Dimensions : 156 x 78.5 x 7.6mm
Weight: 150 grams
Screen size: 5.5” IPS LCD (720 x 1280)
Screen Resolution: 720 x 1280 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 267
Processor: 1.2GHz Quad core application processor
RAM: 1 GB
On-board Memory: 8GB (microSD support)
Camera: 8MP (rear) 1080p (5 megapixel front-facing)
Operating system: Android 4.4
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes
Battery capacity: 2500mAh
Colours: Black, White, Mint
Launch Date: August 2014
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