Sony Xperia L4, review: a solvent camera for all budgets – InTallaght

Sony once remarked that its intention was to abandon inexpensive entry-line phones to focus on superior models, but L series phones have never disappeared from their catalog. The last of them, the Sony Xperia L4, has been chosen to lie on our analysis table and we have been able to see first hand what the new ‘little’ from the Japanese firm is capable of.

We say ‘small’ because we talk about almost 16 centimeters of mobile phone, although the explanation is in the 21: 9 ratio of your screen, a CinemaWide that Sony is applying to all its lines, including the most basic ones. The phone has been with us long enough to form a thoughtful opinion about it. We start.

Sony Xperia L4, the technical specifications


HD + resolution of 1,680 x 720 pixels
Density of 295dpi
Ratio 21: 9

PROCESSOR Helio P22 at 2GHz
GPU PowerVR GE8320
Micro SD
SOFTWARE Android 9.0 Pie
REAR CAMERA 13 megapixel f / 2.0 26mm

5 megapixel f / 2.2 17mm ultra wide angle
2 megapixel f / 2.4 bokeh

FRONTAL CAMERA 8 megapixel f / 2.0 27mm
DRUMS 3,580 mAh
Fast charge
WiFi 4
Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C
Headphone jack
OTHERS Side fingerprint reader
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT 159 x 71 x 8.7 mm

178 grams

PRICE 199 euros at Sony Spain

Sony knows how to build cheap phones

Perhaps Sony is one of the great forgotten of the mobile market is current due to its sales decline in recent years, but the Japanese still know how to build mobile phones and the proof is this Sony Xperia L4. A phone embedded in the economic line of the market but that offers very different sensations when we have it in hand, despite a plastic cover that for many will be an inconvenience. Although for a server, plastic will always be a hit.

Good grip, good touch, well balanced and compact despite everything

Sony builds a solid and well balanced Xperia L4, and that with its 180 grams of weight it is really ergonomic in hand. Maybe because the 21: 9 screen format makes us have an elongated phone only 71 millimeters wide, allowing you to hold it comfortably. The material also helps, and that is that this plastic of the Xperia L4 is really resistant to fingerprints and also easily cleanable. It is true that we have analyzed it in black, and that in itself makes it even more resistant if possible.

Review Sony Xperia L4
Review Sony Xperia L4

As for design, we have a fairly classic phone and similar to those found in the market with the exception of having the complete keypad on the right side, separating the volume of the ignition by the side fingerprint reader. An unusual position but to which we have become accustomed very quickly. The upper part of the frame is for the headphone jack and the lower part for the speaker and USB Type-C connector. Very classic.

Review Sony Xperia L4

We arrived at the screen and here we are before a 6.2-inch IPS LCD panel with HD + resolution that is almost a “sticker” when viewed from the front, but that suffers from too narrow viewing angles. An image will appear to be printed on it, but by tilting the phone a few degrees we will see how it loses contrast and brightness, perhaps the biggest problem with a screen that, in addition, is quite good.

The screen behaves well in almost every aspect except viewing angles

We’ve got enough outdoor brightness, fingerprint resistance, a nice, precise touch, and a brightness setting that works surprisingly fast for a phone in this category. Perhaps it can be put a downside to the resolution, because being HD + and with such a diagonal it leaves us with a density that borders on but does not reach 300 pixels per inch. Maybe. But the truth is that everything looks pretty sharp and without a doubt it is of great help to extend autonomy, which we will discuss later.

Review Sony Xperia L4

We are closing the section on design and multimedia experience with sound, one of the Achilles heels of this Sony Xperia L4. While with headphones we have high-level sensations, especially with quality headphones, the bottom speaker is not too loud and distort very quickly. This Xperia L4 is not designed to listen to music without headphones, we can guarantee that, because the experience is bad in this way. Without palliatives.

Limited performance for what was expected

Review Sony Xperia L4

If all the analyzes that we have taken to our back have taught us, it is that RAM memory is increasingly important in Android phones, and it may be the only thing that hurts the performance of a Helio P22 that, incidentally, does what we expect from him. Although everything, as we said, clouded by having less RAM, just 3GB, than necessary. Maybe an extra jig would have radically changed our feelings.

We already knew that the Helio P22 was not going to offer us high performance, but the low RAM weighs down the experience

The execution of apps and light games is fluid but the same does not happen with the load, which takes too long, especially if we come from another medium / heavy load application previously. Multitasking is not the strength of this Xperia L4 which, however, gives the feeling of being more powerful than expected when we stick to using an app for a while. That giga we were talking about and that would leave the phone at 4GB would make the difference here, allowing a much more fluid jump between apps and without delays. But it’s not there, and the delays are.

As for graphics performance, the Xperia L4 does not go out of the established script. Good handling of light games and choking on the heaviest, even without reaching the limits of the Android games market right now. Not even running games in HD resolution makes us dare with more “greedy” titles like Clash Royale, for example, or Hitman Sniper. Here, the phone clears its throat too much and invites us to go back to flatter things. A manual entry line that we have in this Xperia L4 that Sony signs. We leave you with the performance tests.

Review Sony Xperia L4 Synthetic performance tests of the Sony Xperia L4
PROCESSOR Helium P22 Helium A25 Helium G70 Helium P22 Snapdragon 439 Exynos 9609
ANTUTU 94,760 94,145 179,229 76,697 94,221 114,839
GEEKBENCH 4 148/883 826 / 3,867 1,836 / 5,767 830 / 3,587 892 / 3,180
PCMARK WORK 4,985 5,331 8,544 5,176

The fingerprint reader that we mentioned in the design section works correctly most of the time although we have had moments of “absence” in which it has not responded, possibly because the system was busy with other tasks. A simple tap on a button, such as the volume button, has brought the fingerprint reader back to life to unlock the phone, but they are small glitches that you cannot afford. Luckily we have double-tap to unlock the screen and facial recognition to solve it, but Sony should take note of these “fainting “of the fingerprint reader.

Review Sony Xperia L4

We landed on the battery as a last step before talking about the cameras, and it’s time to fly back with an internal 4,000 mAh battery that behaves quite well, although not spectacularly. We have obtained with the Xperia L4 Close screen usage readings always at 7 o’clock, or six hours spread over two full days, so we can be sure that we will return to the night with enough energy on the phone. Fast charging is not too fast, but it helps by returning the charge to the internal battery from 0 to 100 in about 100 minutes.

Shooting with the Sony Xperia L4: big surprises

Review Sony Xperia L4

Let’s start in photographic analysis as we usually do, and it is talking about the team that mounts the Sony Xperia L4. Here we have a triple camera system located on the back with a main sensor of 13 megapixels, and f / 2.0 lens, a secondary sensor of 5 megapixels with super wide-angle f / 2.2 lens and a third sensor 2 megapixels with f / 2.4 lens and whose only function is to take depth readings. We will not be able to photograph with the latter, but it will lend an indispensable hand with the blur mode or bokeh.

The first thing we have here is the camera app that Sony mounts on the Android 10 of this Xperia L4 and that is intuitive in some aspects, and complex in others. For example, the step to the wide-angle lens is “hidden” in the zoom button that we always have on the screen. Pressing the “1X” we move to the “W” of ‘wide’ or ultra-wide-angle, and when we do it again we return to the “1X” zoom. It is not very clear during use and it took us a while to find it.

Review Sony Xperia L4 The Xperia L4 camera app is quite complete but not too intuitive

How We also had a hard time finding a way to bokeh or selective blurring, because we have a button on the screen made up of two overlapping points, one of which is out of focus, and which is marked in blue when we press it. But the camera does not tell us at any time what photography mode we are in, beyond the distance recommendations to focus and achieve the effect. Small details to correct for an app that complies but that can be improved.

The camera app hides too much bokeh and super-wide-angle photography.

To photograph it has been said: the photographs with the main camera of the Xperia L4 are quite good when we find good ambient light. The phone does not over-saturate colours even though it gives them a slightly warmer touch, offers correct edges and behaves well with the dynamic range (areas of light and darkness marked and mixed). Logically we are not talking about the camera of a high-end phone but even the focus, always talking about good lighting or medium lighting, is fast.

Review Sony Xperia L4 With light, good quality photos, sharp and warm without over-saturating

And since we have gone out to photograph in good light, we have also done so dusk or directly at night, and this is where the camera shows up all the defects. We are in an economic line and the camera does not let us forget it. Focusing slows down, light sources tend to get too wide due to excessive aperture time, and noise is unavoidable in almost all situations. This Xperia L4 is not made for night photography, even if the camera marks a moon it detects it.

Review Sony Xperia L4 Economic line = ‘salvageable’ night photographs but without remarkable results

With the photographs with the super wide-angle lens it happens that they suffer from having low resolution. 5 megapixels are few to be able to make cuts to these photographs that, on the other hand, offer good results in good light and worse when it fails. Not surprisingly, we are talking about a darker lens and it shows. The edges are quite well corrected, yes, but a slight curvature is maintained that makes the photographs somewhat more attractive. Since we have a wide-angle, let it be seen that it is. Of course, the “negative” zoom is only 0.6X, because we are talking about 17 millimetres compared to 26 millimetres for the main lens.

Review Sony Xperia L4 Super wide-angle corrects edges well but leaves a little bit of curvature that makes photos more attractive

Finally, we have here the selective blur, or bokeh or whatever we want to call it Well, Sony has not given a specific name in its own way. The result is quite good considering the price level of the phone. It has some problem with complex layers but the truth is that it has given us good photographs even in low light, so we can conclude that the third sensor, the 2-megapixel sensor, does its job well despite being the darkest of all. Perhaps the only problem here is that the artificial processing of this blur is somewhat slow, and the resulting photograph takes a while to appear available so we can see how it looks.

Review Sony Xperia L4 Good software bokeh for a device in this price line. Solvent.

By last, we got to the selfies. To make self-portraits, Sony has an 8-megapixel camera with an f / 2.0 lens and a 27-millimetre focal length, and whose performance is at the level of the main rear camera. We have good selfies even when the light begins to fall, although here it will be inevitable to have some noise. We also have selective blur if we activate the “Portrait Selfie” mode that we have in the “Mode” button of the interface, although this result, without a supported lens, is somewhat worse than in the rear camera.

Review Sony Xperia L4 Good daytime selfies, a bit worse at dusk but overall good results.

As a summary of the photographic section, in this Xperia L4 we find a solvent camera system that fails where all the phones in its price line fail, in the low light. But if we photograph during the day or well lit we will have photographs of a good level, with warm colours and with added effects, such as bokeh, very well resolved. Points to improve, of course, as a somewhat confusing camera app and a super wide-angle that should have a little more resolution. Worse, in short, a good camera for this level of the market.

Sony Xperia L4, the opinion of EuroXliveAndroid

Review Sony Xperia L4

We have found in this Sony Xperia L4 with both positive and negative points. Between the seconds, the low amount of RAM has caused a processor that is already quite fair as the Helio P22 has performed worse than expected in multitasking and heavy orders. Or as a low-quality speaker if what we are looking for is listening to music or watching movies without headphones. Or as viewing angles too limited for a screen that would have raised the average mark if not for them.

The Xperia L4 has good aspects but the bad ones perhaps weigh too much. On paper, he deserved more, but it doesn’t come in practice.

On the other hand, we have a good screen in general lines, a battery that offers us considerable autonomy without being the best on the market and with a camera system that has surprised us for good. With its defects, of course, but with more than positive feelings once we have completed all the photographic tests to which we have subjected it.

Lights and shadows on a phone that deserved to be more balanced and that perhaps with a couple of details (RAM, viewing angles) it would have been much better than it actually is. We will see what happens to it in the market because the price range in which it is beaten is one of the most aggressive, and there are more competent phones in circulation than the Japanese. A shame because we liked the Xperia L4, but we expected more. It should have been more.


Design 8

screen 7

performance 7

Cameras 7.5

software 8

Autonomy 7.75

In favour

  • The camera crew surprises for good.
  • In hand, it seems like a more expensive phone, good design.
  • Good autonomy, although without reaching the best.


  • The viewing angles of the screen and its poor resolution.
  • The speaker is of poor quality.
  • Performance is too weighed down by a lack of RAM.

The terminal has been loaned for testing by Sony. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.

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