Walkman is Sony's iconic brand and when you hear the word you assume excellent sound, great audio features. Enter the Sony Xperia E1 Dual smartphone with dedicated a dedicated Walkman key to launch and control music. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 512 MB RAM. Looking it that you would say its meh, nothing special. But it comes with a 100dB loud speakerphone alongwith an excellent set of Sony MDR-ZX110A foldable headphones. Are we still looking for a niche smartphone that can play music well, and does the rest of the things satisfactorily? Let's have a look with our Unboxing and Hands on of the Sony Xperia E1 Dual.
In the Box
As I said earlier you do get Sony MDR-ZX110A foldable headphones free with the Xperia E1 Dual, apart from that you have the usual accessories including a headset.
This is everything you get inside the box
Sony Xperia E1 Dual
MicroUSB to USB data cable
USB Wall Charger
All the accessories are great in quality.
The Sony Xperia E1 Dual sits firmly in the entry-level segment with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 MSM8210 processor with Adreno 302 GPU and 512 MB RAM. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean which is a first in this segment and comes with a dedicated Walkman key at the top for controlling music playback.
There's a 4-inch WVGA (480x800 pixels) display on the Xperia E1 and it comes with 4GB ROM out of which 2 GB is available to the user expandable upto 32 GB using a microSD card. You also have a notification light above the display and a music visualizer LED just below the display. The E1 Dual is a dual-SIM device and uses two regular SIM card slots. There's a 1700 mAh battery which powers the phone.
There's just the one camera on the phone, which can be found on the back with a 3-megapixel resolution. Its fixed focus, there's no flash and no front-facing camera as well. There's a secondary noise-cancellation microphone as well just above the camera. USB OTG is not supported by the chipset but you do get 3G connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth, FM Radio and GPS.
There's the regular proximity sensor, light sensor and accelerometer on the Xperia E1 Dual alongwith Magnetic Field, Orientation, Rotation Vector, Gravity and Linear Acceleration sensors.
When you first hold the Xperia E1, you feel its solid build, textured back and that its a bit thick. Then if you look at the front you have the 4-inch display which is covered in glass or hardened plastic which is resistant to scratches. At its top you have the proximity and light sensors alongwith the main earpiece and Sony branding.
There's a small notification light to the left of the earpiece and a music visualization LED just below the display. Its strange that Sony decided to include two different modes of notifications, the visualizer LED only works when you are playing music or changing the theme of the phone.
The microUSB data-syncing/charging port can be found on the left. You also see the design of the phone which includes a black element in the middle surrounded by purple plastic on all four sides. It gives a distinct look the Xperia E1. The volume rocker and power button can be found on the right. Both are sturdy and offer good feedback.
At the top you have the 3.5mm audio jack and the dedicated walkman key which you can use to fire the Walkman music app, pause/play music or change tracks. At the bottom you just have a space to open the backcover.
Moving to the back you have the 3 MP fixed focus camera dead center at the top with the noise-cancelling secondary microphone just above it, Sony branding in the middle and then the large speakerphone grill. You also have Xperia written just on top of the speaker grill. On opening the backcover you will see that the speakerphone is deceptively small compared to the humongous grill in the backcover. You will also find the two regular size SIM card slots to the left of the battery compartment and the microSD card slot just above it. Everything is laid out perfectly and thankfully there are no moving parts on the inside.
The backcover has a matte textured finish which is continued on the sides making the phone easier to grip. The Xperia E1 has rounded corners making the phone seem quite small compared to other 4-inch devices. Its a tad bit thicker at about 12 mm but weighs quite less at about 122 grams. Its made entirely of plastic but its of good quality.
The Sony Xperia E1 Dual promises uncompromising music experience with a loud speakerphone, free headphones as well as a dedicated Walkman key to access and control music on the phone. Its zippy with the Snapdragon 200 processor and Android 4.3 innards. The display and build quality also look good atleast in our first impressions of the device. We will be thoroughly testing it.
The quality of the included accessories is excellent but we do think that the lack of autofocus on the rear camera and the missing front-camera should have taken priority over the included headphones. We will be checking out every aspect of the Xperia E1 Dual, especially its music capabilities. Stay tuned.