Timing can be very important in various aspects of live, even when it comes to product launches. In this case, it feels very unusual to have finally got down to reviewing the Sony Xperia C4 Dual, especially when the next version has just been launched recently. Regardless, for your frame of reference when we do review the C5 Dual eventually, let’s take a look at its predecessor.
A new look
When it comes to Sony Xperia devices, the designs are almost always similar. Fortunately, the C4 Dual has enough to make it different. One thing that you’ll immediately notice about this device is its size. At 150.3mm in length, it’s larger than even the Z3+, Sony’s Xperia flagship. Unlike the typical flat back of most Xperia devices, the C4 Dual’s back is rounded on the sides for a better grip. Another difference is rather than separate flaps for the two SIM and microSD, the C4 Dual uses one flap to cover it all. The design looks fine, but the entirely plastic body makes it feel cheap.
Great for Videos
As expected of an Xperia device, the display is where it does well. Due to the 5.5-inch screen and a 1080p resolution, the C4 Dual makes for a great portable video player. In fact, with Sony’s image enhancement engine, visuals turned out really vibrant. Brightness levels are high too, which helped with the contrast and readability under natural light. The sharpness wasn’t quite what I’d call great, but overall I thought that the display performed well. For those who do plan to use it for videos, this smartphone’s video app supports AVI, MKV, MP4, WMV and MOV; that’s practically most if not all formats.
Good audio to entertain
After deciding that the C4 Dual made for a good video player, I had to find out if its audio was up to par. First thing first, you’ll want to get something to elevate it if you plan to play anything on the speakers, as it can be muffled when lying flat on a surface. No distortion at max volume, which wasn’t the loudest but the quality was decent. Like most phones, that small speaker isn’t going to be able to output much bass, but plug in a headphone and it actually sounds better.
The Xperia C4 Dual uses an Android Lollipop interface that’s quite close to a stock version. It does have its share of tie-in and proprietary apps, but nothing over the top. The great thing is that consumers who have seen or used other Xperia devices will be familiar with the UI, as it is kept consistent. It’s unusual to see a MediaTek SoC on a Sony Xperia device, but having used it for some time I find the C4 Dual a responsive device. My swipes register smoothly and there’s no useless animation when transitioning.
Selfie me this
The C4 Dual biggest selling point is casual photography. Not only does it house a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and dual LED flash, its front 5-megapixel camera also has a LED flash so that you can snap selfies even in the dark. To snap a shot, you can use the dedicated shutter button, which has that two-press function you see on actual cameras. There’s no beautify mode to enhance your selfies, it does have a style portrait mode that’s gives you a series of filters to spice up the selfies. Overall picture quality was excellent, with great colours and detail, though the auto mode’s scene detection feels a bit wonky at times.
Need more power
Considering this smartphone’s display size and 1080p resolution, the 2600 mAh battery on it made it a little anaemic. I tested it first by watching videos and streaming using our U Mobile Postpaid 4G network plan with a full charge, managing to get over six hours of video playback out of it. On my next full charge, I recorded about 17 hours of use. This was when using it to browse the internet, get on social media, messaging and calls. That number more or less doubles when stamina mode was used, but it disables WiFi and mobile data while the screen is off, so I tend to keep it off.
Overall, Sony has managed to come up with a device that sits not too far below its premium Xperia Z3+ in performance. At a very competitive price of RM1,299, the Xperia C4 Dual is a great choice for those looking for a mid-high tier smartphone.
Byline: by matthew yap
Dimensions 150.3 x 77.4 x 7.9 mm
Chipset Mediatek MT6752
CPU Octa-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
Memory 2GB RAM
Display IPS LCD, 5.5in, 1080 x 1920 pixels
Camera 13MP rear-facing (autofocus, dual-LED flash), 5MP front-facing (LED flash)
Storage 16 GB, max 128 GB microSD
Operating System Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Battery 2600 mAh
AnTuTu Benchmark 43739
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 10529
Verdict An affordable option that performs well.