Of late all of Sony’s phones have been pushing for better camera quality. After the 4k on the flagship Xperia Z2, the new Sony Xperia C3 sports what the company calls the best selfie camera. But can a 5MP phone camera make a phone better equipped to shoot selfies? We took the C3 for a spin during the IFA in Berlin.
Quick Tech Specs: 5.5-inch IPS LCD 720 x 1280p display | Quad Core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor | 1GB RAM | 8GB internal memory, microSD slot for 32GB | 8MP rear camera, 5MP front | dual micro-SIM (GSM) | 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4 | 2500 mAH battery | Android Kitkat | Sony Xperia C3 full specs
Price: Rs 23,990
Design: The C3 follows the design language that is now becoming the trademark of Xperia devices. This one too has a super thin body with a metal frame running around it. The power, volume and camera buttons are on the right. However, the volume rocker seems a bit awkwardly placed, coming under the power buttons halfway down the phone. What makes this a selfie phone is the front flash. Also, this is not a waterproof phone, so the micro USB is not under a flap. I had a green review unit, which was girly to say the least. Also, don’t forget to buy a good cover as the body seemed to attract a lot of dirt.
Display: The C3 has a HD display that is clear and sharp. However, I found some of the default fonts and notifications to be a bit too small to be read easily at first. You might need to adjust this to suit your requirements. The display can be bright enough to work in sunlight.
Performance: I had absolutely no issues using those C3 over a period of almost 10 days. Not once did the phone stall, not once did an app lag. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processors makes this a optimised performer, with everything running smoothly like a well oiled machine. Some people might find the 1GB RAM a bit low for a phone like this.
Camera: This is the part that is important for this phone, after all this is the USP Sony is trumpeting around. The rear camera is fast and snappy, but it is definitely not a stunner like the Z2. It can click some good pictures, but we did not see any stunner even with a great surrounding like Berlin. The Full HD video recording came in very handy though and I shot a lot of video of new devices at IFA using the same. However, it did get a bit laggy while panning video. The stills, meanwhile, have a tendency to appear sharper than needed.
But then it is the front camera that is different. Firstly, the phone does not shoot in 5MP by default. While the default shots are 3MP, with an aspect ratio of 16:9, you have to shift to 5MP when you need it. Here that aspect ratio is 4:3, which might not be all that great when you are shooting with a monument in the background. I tried lots of selfies and most of them came out good. The flash is of use when you are shooting with the sun behind you. There is smile recognition, but it does not always work. The double tap on the rear is another way to shoot a selfie, but I found that this ends up shaking the phone before the shot. A pre-burned selfie app would have been a great help in this phone. Yes, it clicks a better selfie, but we are not sure if it clicks the best.
Another small issue is that the pictures were saving in a small size. Most pictures I shot ended up being 30kb files, which is strange for an 8MP camera.
Battery: The battery life is pretty good and can last more than 24 hours with average use.
Storage: The phone has just 8GB storage and you will need to invest in a SD card as soon as you buy the phone.
Verdict: The C3 is a good overall phone. While both the cameras are good, don’t buy this phone just for the clickers. Look at this if you need a complete phone with some sacrifices being made for good build quality and a brand everyone recognises. Plus, this is a bit expensive for a phone with just 8GB storage and 1GB RAM.