Sony Xperia C4 first impressions: a selfie smartphone with loaded hardware

“Apart from its selfie capabilities, the Xperia C4 is quite powerful under the hood as well”

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After a brief hiatus, Sony has launched a couple of smartphones in the Indian market today. While the Xperia M4 Aqua (first impressions) has arrived just in time for the monsoons, Sony’s other offering takes care of a rising trend on social networks these days. Yes, we’re talking about selfies, and the popularity of this trend can be gauged from the fact that the word is among the top hashtags on Instagram, according to an insight shared by Sony. Dubbed the Xperia C4, Sony’s new device builds upon the success of its predecessor, the Xperia C3 (review), which was also aimed at selfie enthusiasts.

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The Xperia C4 will be available to buy in mid-June, but Sony hasn’t disclosed its pricing yet. However, we managed to spend some quality time with the smartphone to see what it brings to the table.

Similar to the Xperia C3, the C4 falls into the burgeoning phablet segment with its large 5.5-inch display. But thankfully, Sony has ensured that it doesn’t have a big footprint and we were able to handle it well with a single hand. We also didn’t have any issues with reaching the corners of the screen, though people with small hands might find it a problem. Part of the reason is the slim 7.9mm unibody profile, which is lightweight too at 147g.

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The fascia of the Xperia C4 is dominated by the display, but your attention will also be drawn towards the large camera sensor on the top right. sitting alongside an LED flash. You’ll also find an earpiece and a couple of sensors above the display panel. Like all Sony devices, the phone offers navigation keys as part of the software interface.

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The button and port placement of the phablet is slightly different as compared to most smartphones. The left spine houses the micro-USB port, while the bottom sports the primary microphone. A 3.5mm audio port can be found on the top. The right edge is choc-a-bloc with a flap hiding ports for a pair of nano-SIMs and a microSD card, followed by Sony’s stylish circular power button, volume keys and a dedicated camera button.

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The rear of the Xperia C4 has a soft finish and features the primary camera unit and an LED flash, with a SONY branding towards the middle, and a speaker mesh at the bottom. Even though the phone is made of plastic, it feels really robust and offers a similar design ethos to Sony’s flagship devices. Along with the usual black or white options, the handset will also be available in a mint hue.

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Unlike the HD display on the Xperia C3, its successor bears a full HD resolution, which combined with the 5.5-inch IPS panel results in brilliant visuals and impressive colours. The display also supports a glove mode, which means you can use the phone even while wearing gloves. However, we didn’t find the touchscreen as smooth as it should have been. There’s also a useful Smart Backlight Control option, which keeps the display awake if it detects your eyes when you’re holding the phone.

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Talking about its photographic capabilities, the Sony Xperia C4 comes equipped with a 13-megapixel shooter at the back with Exmor RS sensor. The camera also gets help from LED flash to shoot in low-light conditions. For selfies, it gets a 5MP camera with an Exmor R sensor. While there are many devices that boast secondary cameras with a high megapixel count, the device differentiates itself by offering an LED flash at the front too.

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Enhancing the shooting experience on the phablet are  a slew of modes and options. There’s superior auto mode which detects the scene automatically and adjusts the settings accordingly, and it’s now available for the secondary shooter as well.

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While its predecessor focussed mainly on selfie capabilities, the Xperia C4 is quite powerful under the hood as well. It’s fuelled by the MediaTek MT6752 processor, which offers eight Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.7GHz. The processor is paired with 2GB of RAM, and operation seemed smooth, be it navigating between screens and opening or closing apps. To store apps and content, the device comes with 16GB of flash storage, out of which around 9.3GB is available for use. It can be topped up further by an additional 128GB.

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The Sony Xperia C4 runs the latest iteration of Android, i.e., 5.0 Lollipop which has been customised with its own skin and icons. You can change the colour scheme of the UI with a single click and multitask with its Small Apps feature. There are also a couple of preloaded apps such as LINE, Office Suite, Sony Lounge, etc.

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Connectivity-wise, the device offers dual-SIM support with 4G compatibility (both band 3 and 40) on the primary SIM along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS. Providing juice to the Xperia C4 is a 2,600mAh fixed battery, which the brand claims can offer more than a day’s backup. You can also extend the battery life with a number of options such as STAMINA and Ultra STAMINA modes.

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The Sony Xperia C4 seems like a good option not just for selfieholics but for others as well, thanks to its loaded hardware. However, a lot depends upon its pricing and if the price tag of the Xperia M4 Aqua is anything to go by, then the phablet is likely to be priced in the region of Rs 30,000. An asking price like this will bring it into the territory of high-end smartphones, where it may not be able to compete. But stay tuned as we bring you all the updates about the phone, including its MRP and our experience of using it in the real life to gauge its worth.

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