In recent years, Sony’s smartphone division has lagged behind companies like Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus, prompting it to change. When the Xperia 1 was released in 2019, the Japanese firm changed its approach by providing a 21:9 aspect ratio for the first time. Starting with the Xperia L4, it is now introducing this tall, thin chassis to low-cost smartphones. Is the phone really a budget challenger because of this unique function, or are there too many other compromises? Find out by reading our entire review.
has a wide-angle camera but one that is of inferior quality.
Not very good for shooting in low light
good daylight pictures
The three rear cameras on the Sony Xperia L4 don’t necessarily appear all that different from those on a device costing four times as much. There is no further resemblance.
This phone has a rather simple camera setup that is disguised to appear more sophisticated. A normal camera, an ultra-wide camera, and a depth assist are available. Yet, none of the sensors are really effective.
Of course, the best camera on it is the regular one. This sports an f/2.0 lens and a 13MP sensor. Its 1/3-inch sensor is smaller than the Moto G8 Power Lite’s, which it replaces. Fine detail and texture fidelity noticeably decline even in well-lit scenes.
The Sony Xperia L4 can still capture decent pictures in good light, but it performs poorly at night and in low light. Moreover, Sony’s dynamic range optimization isn’t as sophisticated as some others, which causes occasionally slight overexposure and slightly duller shadows.
Because the low-resolution 5MP sensor can’t capture enough detail to make ultra-wide images pop on a larger monitor, it is recommended to see them on the phone’s screen instead.
The 2MP sensor on the Xperia L4’s last camera, which is used to create depth maps for “portrait” photos with a blurred background, does not particularly wow us either.
Camera: A straightforwardly inexpensive camera with no surprises
Since that it supplies the photo sensors for a large portion of the smartphone business, Sony is somewhat of a camera phone king maker. But, its own cameras aren’t frequently better than their competitors.
Same principles apply to the Sony Xperia L4. With a ‘triple’ camera setup that is actually a double, its hardware is unimpressive, and the software doesn’t really provide anything special or novel.
A 5-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide sensor supports the main 13-megapixel f/2.0 sensor. Being a 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor, the third sensor doesn’t actually take any pictures. Any zoom images will be crops because there is no telephoto lens. In other words, avoid using the Sony Xperia L4 for zoom photography.
The camera user interface follows suit and is a simple, unadorned affair with hardly any eye-catching features. That might even be viewed as a little bit of a relief at this end of the market.
Although there is a rudimentary auto scene selector, I discovered that I had to manually turn on HDR mode, which was a hassle. A second pass with HDR activated would unavoidably balance things out because the weedy restricted camera had a tendency to wash out brighter parts and leave areas of shade looking fairly murky.
Despite the basic setup, I was pleasantly delighted by some of the sharp images I was able to capture in the right lighting. One street photograph from Birmingham’s Chinatown did a good job of capturing the scene’s vivid colors and fine details.
The detail in the dog’s fur and the grass in a couple more photos of a dog in front of several colored balls truly stood out. Of course, zooming in on these was a bad idea, but the basic shot composition appeared to have been taken with a somewhat more costly phone.
The Xperia L4 struggles though when not in “perfect” circumstances. The dynamic range problem is still there, and even HDR-activated pictures sometimes overexpose.
Even though the triple back camera configuration on the Xperia L4 seems stunning, it is standard for contemporary inexpensive phones. A 5Mp ultra-wide sensor and a 2Mp depth sensor are added to the primary 13Mp sensor. Unfortunately, the L4’s cameras are a little hit-and-miss despite looking nice on paper.
The samples below will show you that it frequently experiences exposure problems. Many of the pictures I took had either an overexposed background or an underexposed foreground with darker objects.
With ideal lighting, as you can see above, you can capture some lovely images, but it feels quite hit-and-miss.
It’s simple to argue that you aren’t purchasing a £169 device for its camera capabilities, but Sony has made a point of highlighting the Xperia L4’s triple cameras, and as a result, their performance is a little lacking.
The phone can record videos in 1080p at 30 frames per second and also offers the option to use recordings in the 21:9 aspect ratio.
A lack of optical image stabilization will cause footage to become juddery with any additional movement, even if it is kept to a minimal.
The Xperia L4 is yet another respectable effort from Sony, being inexpensive and (relatively) cheery. It’s not quite as laudable as the Xperia L3 from a year ago, but it’s still a solid phone for the money. Regrettably, it falls short in every department, and there are better low-cost phones available. It takes more than just a second camera and a bigger screen to compete against a wide range of strong rivals from Xiaomi, Motorola, and Samsung. Sony will need to make some far more significant modifications for the model year after that if it wants to truly compete with its rivals.