Notebookcheck

Sony Xperia L1 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Tanja Hinum (translated by Katherine Bodner), 07/31/2017

Solid and good-looking. If you do not consider "solid" as an insult, but instead connect the word with reliability and trustworthiness, then the Sony Xperia L1 might be something for you. It offers solid performance, in the best sense of the word, in many areas. No more and no less.

Sony Xperia L1

For the original German review, click here.

The Sony Xperia L1 has a 5.5-inch display, which is still within the range of phones that can be easily operated with one hand. Our test unit's predecessor (at least by name) is the Sony Xperia L, presented in 2013, which is equivalent to the medieval period of smartphones. Apart from their names, the two devices do not have much in common.

With a price of $200, the Xperia L1 is positioned at the bottom of the middle range. Phones in this price range usually do not offer convenient features such as fingerprint sensors or a large range of supported LTE networks. Neither does our test unit. What is the difference between the Xperia L1 and its similarly priced competition? Could it be a camera with particularly high resolution? Or extensive software that learns from your inputs? To find out, we have compared the Sony Xperia L1 with other devices such as the HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle, the Honor 6X, the LG K10 or the Huawei P8 Lite 2017. 

Sony Xperia L1 (Xperia Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 267 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.2 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio combo, Card Reader: microSD up to 256 GB, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, compass
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B2/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20); bandwidth (download/upload): 150Mbps/​50Mbps; SAR value: 0.69W/​kg (head), 1.01W/​kg (body), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.7 x 151 x 74 ( = 0.34 x 5.94 x 2.91 in)
Battery
9.9 Wh, 2620 mAh Lithium-Ion, adaptive charging technology
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix f/​2.2, contrast AF, LED flash, videos @1080p/​30fps
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix f/​2.2, videos @1080p
Additional features
Speakers: speakers at the bottom edge, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, USB power supply USB cable, Xperia Lounge, AVG Protection, What's New, 24 Months Warranty, FM radio, Bluetooth aptX, , fanless
Weight
180 g ( = 6.35 oz / 0.4 pounds), Power Supply: 68 g ( = 2.4 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
199 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Apart from the front, the Sony Xperia L1's case has a rough finish; available colors are black, white and pink. It is designed to fit into Sony's current line, which is great: narrow bezels, a narrow bar below the screen and a slightly wider one above - in total, the display-to-case ratio is very good. The rounded corners make handling very comfortable. The Xperia L1 weighs 180 grams (~6.3 oz), which is rather heavy, and its 8.7 mm (~0.34 in) case is rather thick. Stability is as you would expect from a device of this price: pressure on the front and back is quite visible on the screen and warping makes the case creak and the screen change color.

The battery cannot be removed; there is a slot for the SIM and microSD cards on the left side. The case is not water or dust proof.

Size Comparison

156.9 mm / 6.18 inch 76.9 mm / 3.03 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs151 mm / 5.94 inch 74 mm / 2.91 inch 8.7 mm / 0.3425 inch 180 g0.3968 lbs150.9 mm / 5.94 inch 76.2 mm / 3 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 162 g0.3571 lbs148.7 mm / 5.85 inch 75.3 mm / 2.96 inch 7.99 mm / 0.3146 inch 138 g0.3042 lbs147.2 mm / 5.8 inch 72.9 mm / 2.87 inch 7.6 mm / 0.2992 inch 147 g0.3241 lbs

Connectivity

2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage is an average configuration for this range. However, you can get better storage solutions for the same price with the Honor 6X, for example. You can effectively use just over 10 GB out of the 16 GB of storage - the other 6 GB are already occupied by the system. It is also possible to insert a microSD card and expand storage by up to 256 GB, but Sony will only let you configure the microSD card as external storage and apps cannot be saved to the memory card.

The USB connection only supports USB 2.0 speeds, but at least the connector can be plugged in either way, as it is a USB Type-C port. The device also has NFC, USB OTG and an FM radio, which is normal for a device of this price range nowadays.

right: volume rocker, standby button
right: volume rocker, standby button
left: SIM and microSD slot behind flap
left: SIM and microSD slot behind flap
bottom: microphone, USB C port, speakers
bottom: microphone, USB C port, speakers
top: 3.5 mm audio jack, microphone
top: 3.5 mm audio jack, microphone

Software

Sony has given the device Android 7.0, a rather new version of the operating system. The security patches are dated May 5th 2017, so are not really up-to-date anymore. Sony smartphones, including the Xperia L1, have their own launcher. This can be customized with different designs, although many of them have to be bought. Apart from that, the device operates just like any other Android phone, so if you are coming from Android you should have no difficulties. The phone also offers a detailed walk-through to help you get accustomed to the new phone. The interface has been made prettier by Sony by adding some animations and symbols to the settings.

The device comes with quite a lot of additional software, for example, Sony's own app store "What's New", which just forwards you to the Google PlayStore, really. The Spotify, Amazon and Facebook apps are obviously advertising apps and AVG Protection Pro offers you an ad-free virus scanner with Pro features for 180 days, after which you have either to accept less features or pay for Pro. Sony's video, picture and music apps double with Google's standard apps. Others, such as PlayStation or the manufacturer's drawing app are missing, but can be installed manually.

As of late, Sony's customized Android also offers tips to improve your experience with the device, based on your behavior. If you let it, the software will even intervene on its own and, for example, deactivate apps that are not used anymore in order to free up working memory and system performance.

Sony Xperia L1 software
Sony Xperia L1 software
Sony Xperia L1 software

Communication & GPS

The Sony Xperia L1 supports seven LTE frequencies, which is better than most comparison devices, but really only makes sense for Europe. The phone will not have reception in exotic places. Reception in general is good: in the well-developed German D2 network, LTE signal strength was at about 50% in a town apartment. It is a little annoying that you have to restart the smartphone after inserting or taking out a SIM card. The device does not support Hot Swap while it is turned on. It also took quite some time for the device to connect to the network after we first inserted the SIM card.

The device supports the Wi-Fi standards 802.11 a/b/g/n. This includes 5-GHz networks, which most comparison devices do not have. The Xperia L1 also has rather high transfer rates, but of course it cannot keep up with high-end smartphones that support 802.11 ac. The HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle is a little faster at transferring data. Wi-Fi reception is great near the router and websites load quickly. At a distance of 10 meters (~32.8 ft) and through three walls, pages still load at a similar speed, but reception drops by about a quarter.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8928, 32 GB eMMC Flash (AVM FritzBox 6490 Cable)
101 MBit/s ∼100% +10%
Sony Xperia L1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 5.0 GHz)
92.2 MBit/s ∼91%
Honor 6X
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 2.4 GHz)
54.6 MBit/s ∼54% -41%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash (AVM Fritz!Box 6490 Cable)
54.5 MBit/s ∼54% -41%
LG K10 2017
Mali-T860 MP2, MT6750, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 2.4 GHz)
46.2 MBit/s ∼46% -50%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8928, 32 GB eMMC Flash (AVM FritzBox 6490 Cable)
104 MBit/s ∼100% +17%
Sony Xperia L1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 5.0 GHz)
88.6 MBit/s ∼85%
Honor 6X
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 2.4 GHz)
57.9 MBit/s ∼56% -35%
LG K10 2017
Mali-T860 MP2, MT6750, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Linksys EA8500, 2.4 GHz)
54.6 MBit/s ∼53% -38%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash (AVM Fritz!Box 6490 Cable)
53.9 MBit/s ∼52% -39%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

The smartphone was not able to locate us indoors. It took a moment outdoors, but then located us within 8 meters (~26.2 ft), which is not a very good result.

We took the Sony Xperia L1 on a bike ride in order to evaluate its GPS performance properly, and brought the Garmin Edge 500 along, too - a professional navigation system for bicyclists. The measured routes differ by about 250 meters (~273 yds), which is a good result. If you look at the recorded route, you can see that the Xperia L1 performed quite well and managed to record bends and curves quite accurately. It is definitely suitable for leisure-time use.

GPS Garmin Edge 500 - overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 - overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 - junction
GPS Garmin Edge 500 - junction
GPS Garmin Edge 500 - bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500 - bridge
GPs Sony Xperia L1 - overview
GPs Sony Xperia L1 - overview
GPs Sony Xperia L1 - junction
GPs Sony Xperia L1 - junction
GPs Sony Xperia L1 - bridge
GPs Sony Xperia L1 - bridge

Telephone & Voice Quality

Even if Sony has given the telephone app a new symbol: it is still the standard Android app that you will find on many other Android smartphones. This was a good decision as the app is well structured and easy to use. 

Voice quality while telephoning is average: We could understand our contact clearly via the earpiece, but the sound is distorted and there is a light droning when you turn the volume up. The microphone had similar issues: It managed to transmit when we spoke quietly, but our contact could also hear some rustling and cracking sounds. We could hear our call partner fairly well on speakerphone, but the microphone only registers loud voices and our call partner heard a lot of background noises.

Cameras

image with front camera
image with front camera

The Xperia L1's cameras are more or less what you would expect from its price range: a main camera with 13 MP resolution and a front camera with 5 MP. Still, some of our comparison devices have been equipped with higher resolution front cameras. Compared to more high-end sensors, the main camera seems to take slightly blurry pictures. The dynamics in light and dark areas are clearly lower than in the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. The images also seem a little washed out and colors are rather pale. Zooming in confirms the washed-out details and low dynamics. These are the usual problems that camera sensors on smartphones in this price range have. The only exception here is the Honor 6X.

Videos can be recorded in 1080p and 30 frames per second. Again, the colors seem a little pale, but image sharpness is OK. Brightness quickly adapts to the lighting situation; it is not possible to manually focus or change the exposure settings while filming.

The front camera takes good selfies, but light areas can become a little too overpowering and sharpness could be better.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

We also tested the main camera in lab conditions with set lighting, which makes the pictures comparable. The photograph of our test chart shows that surfaces are grainy and patchy. Colors appear quite natural, but writing on red and yellow background is blurry. You can notice the lacking contrast in the image of black writing on brown background, which is hard to read. Image sharpness is average, but remains consistent over the whole image. During our color comparison we noticed that most colors are a little too light and light tones of gray have a brown hue.

photograph of reference card
photograph of reference card
section of test photo
section of test photo
ColorChecker: The reference color is in the bottom half of the field.
ColorChecker: The reference color is in the bottom half of the field.

Accessories & Warranty

The device comes with a power supply and USB cable only. There are no accessories specifically for the Xperia L1 on the Sony website.

The manufacturer offers a 24-month warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Handling

Sony has chosen SwiftKey as the keyboard app for the Xperia L1. This app is used a lot and offers many settings. Personally, we prefer Google's GBoard keyboard, as we feel that it is a little clearer. Other keyboard apps can be installed from the Google PlayStore.

The touchscreen is easy to use and has a smooth surface that makes gliding easy; the screen is receptive even in the corners. The Android keys are on the screen, which is the only navigation option, as the device has no hardware or touch buttons. The standby button and volume rocker are located on the right side of the case. They are easily identified by touch and have a clear pressure point. Unlike most Sony smartphones, our test unit does not have a dedicated camera button, but the volume rocker can be used as shutter release instead.

keyboard landscape mode
keyboard landscape mode
keyboard portrait mode
keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The Xperia L1 fulfills our expectations with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, although the Honor 6X and Huawei P8 Lite have shown that higher resolutions are also possible in this price range. The average screen brightness is at 478 cd/m², which is an average result. It has consistent brightness distribution at 94%, which means even larger areas of color are displayed uniformly.  

We measured high-frequency flickering at low brightness levels. This is called Pulse Width Modulation and is a way to lower screen brightness. In this case, the frequency is so high that it should not cause any problems even for sensitive users.

469
cd/m²
470
cd/m²
470
cd/m²
486
cd/m²
479
cd/m²
485
cd/m²
494
cd/m²
480
cd/m²
466
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 494 cd/m² Average: 477.7 cd/m² Minimum: 6.24 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 479 cd/m²
Contrast: 826:1 (Black: 0.58 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.5 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 4.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.03
Sony Xperia L1
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
LG K10 2017
IPS, 1280x720, 5.3
Honor 6X
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Huawei P8 lite 2017
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
Screen
-19%
-5%
2%
-10%
Brightness middle
479
384
-20%
547
14%
575
20%
380
-21%
Brightness
478
350
-27%
540
13%
559
17%
369
-23%
Brightness Distribution
94
85
-10%
94
0%
91
-3%
92
-2%
Black Level *
0.58
0.36
38%
0.57
2%
0.39
33%
0.26
55%
Contrast
826
1067
29%
960
16%
1474
78%
1462
77%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.5
6
-33%
5.1
-13%
5.2
-16%
6.6
-47%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.5
14
-87%
9.1
-21%
10.3
-37%
10.4
-39%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.1
5.9
-44%
6.2
-51%
7.2
-76%
7.4
-80%
Gamma
2.03 108%
2 110%
2.09 105%
2.4 92%
2.29 96%
CCT
7139 91%
8042 81%
6546 99%
7224 90%
8665 75%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25510 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 25510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 25510 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9418 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The high black value of 0.58 cd/m2 means that black areas look dark gray and contrast is mediocre. Colors are not particularly vivid either.

The CalMAN software and spectrophotometer measured a slight blue cast in light shades of gray; the sRGB color space is covered by 95.2% - although we should consider this result more as a point of reference due to the imprecise method of measurement. White balance can be adjusted manually and made to suit personal preferences.

CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color space
CalMAN color space
CalMAN gray scales
CalMAN gray scales
CalMAN brightness
CalMAN brightness

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
11 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 9 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
17 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40 ms).

At maximum screen brightness, the screen can be read in the sunshine outdoors, but you will often have to move into shade due to the reflective screen. The viewing angles are good, but there is quite a color shift when you look at the phone from the side.

outdoor use – brightness sensor
outdoor use – brightness sensor
outdoor use – maximum brightness
outdoor use – maximum brightness
outdoor use – medium brightness
outdoor use – medium brightness
outdoor use – minimum brightness
outdoor use – minimum brightness
viewing angles
viewing angles

Performance

Sony has chosen the quad-core Mediatek MT6737T with a maximum clock rate of 1.5 GHz. This means the Xperia L1 is not quite as fast as the LG K10, while the Honor 6X and Huawei P8 Lite are even further ahead. Nonetheless, our test unit offered good performance for its price range and even beat the HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle. During everyday use, you can expect the operating system to lag a little occasionally, but usually performance is smooth. Apps and especially games need quite a bit longer to load than on smartphones that are more expensive.

The graphics unit is an ARM Mali-T720 MP2. Just as with the SoC, it is positioned in the lower mid-range of our comparison devices. 

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
37495 Points ∼13%
LG K10 2017
39063 Points ∼14% +4%
Honor 6X
56764 Points ∼20% +51%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
56798 Points ∼20% +51%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
24799 Points ∼9% -34%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
3237 Points ∼27%
LG K10 2017
3167 Points ∼26% -2%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
4285 Points ∼22%
Honor 6X
4383 Points ∼22% +2%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4419 Points ∼23% +3%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2383 Points ∼12% -44%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
743 Points ∼37%
LG K10 2017
1137 Points ∼56% +53%
Honor 6X
720 Points ∼35% -3%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
10 Points ∼0% -99%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
573 Points ∼28% -23%
Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
386 Points ∼1%
LG K10 2017
508 Points ∼2% +32%
Honor 6X
819 Points ∼3% +112%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
826 Points ∼3% +114%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
346 Points ∼1% -10%
Memory (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
798 Points ∼11%
LG K10 2017
623 Points ∼8% -22%
Honor 6X
1779 Points ∼24% +123%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1658 Points ∼22% +108%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
421 Points ∼6% -47%
System (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
1338 Points ∼8%
LG K10 2017
1259 Points ∼8% -6%
Honor 6X
2721 Points ∼17% +103%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
2694 Points ∼16% +101%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
858 Points ∼5% -36%
Overall (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
744 Points ∼9%
LG K10 2017
821 Points ∼10% +10%
Honor 6X
1300 Points ∼15% +75%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
435 Points ∼5% -42%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
517 Points ∼6% -31%
Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
1241 Points ∼3%
LG K10 2017
1480 Points ∼3% +19%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
1875 Points ∼4%
LG K10 2017
2311 Points ∼5% +23%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
674 Points ∼11%
LG K10 2017
593 Points ∼9% -12%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
968 Points ∼22%
LG K10 2017
1047 Points ∼24% +8%
Honor 6X
1440 Points ∼33% +49%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1532 Points ∼35% +58%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
149 Points ∼2%
LG K10 2017
252 Points ∼4% +69%
Honor 6X
318 Points ∼5% +113%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
321 Points ∼5% +115%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
184 Points ∼3%
LG K10 2017
303 Points ∼5% +65%
Honor 6X
385 Points ∼7% +109%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
389 Points ∼7% +111%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
939 Points ∼21%
LG K10 2017
1105 Points ∼25% +18%
Honor 6X
1433 Points ∼32% +53%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1547 Points ∼35% +65%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
813 Points ∼18% -13%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
238 Points ∼2%
LG K10 2017
380 Points ∼4% +60%
Honor 6X
468 Points ∼4% +97%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
516 Points ∼5% +117%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
46 Points ∼0% -81%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
285 Points ∼4%
LG K10 2017
445 Points ∼6% +56%
Honor 6X
550 Points ∼7% +93%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
606 Points ∼8% +113%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
58 Points ∼1% -80%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
10767 Points ∼12%
LG K10 2017
8223 Points ∼10% -24%
Honor 6X
13535 Points ∼16% +26%
Honor 6X
13535 Points ∼16% +26%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
13590 Points ∼16% +26%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
6015 Points ∼1%
LG K10 2017
7936 Points ∼1% +32%
Honor 6X
11353 Points ∼2% +89%
Honor 6X
11353 Points ∼2% +89%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11147 Points ∼2% +85%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
6669 Points ∼3%
LG K10 2017
7998 Points ∼3% +20%
Honor 6X
11775 Points ∼5% +77%
Honor 6X
11775 Points ∼5% +77%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11611 Points ∼5% +74%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
4675 Points ∼2% -30%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
11 fps ∼0%
LG K10 2017
13 fps ∼0% +18%
Honor 6X
18 fps ∼0% +64%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
18 fps ∼0% +64%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
5.7 fps ∼0% -48%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
19 fps ∼1%
LG K10 2017
22 fps ∼1% +16%
Honor 6X
19 fps ∼1% 0%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
19 fps ∼1% 0%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
10 fps ∼0% -47%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
4.1 fps ∼1%
LG K10 2017
5.3 fps ∼1% +29%
Honor 6X
4.6 fps ∼1% +12%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
7.9 fps ∼1% +93%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2 fps ∼0% -51%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
8.8 fps ∼2%
LG K10 2017
11 fps ∼3% +25%
Honor 6X
8.5 fps ∼2% -3%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8.5 fps ∼2% -3%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
4.2 fps ∼1% -52%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
2.6 fps ∼0%
LG K10 2017
3.5 fps ∼0% +35%
Honor 6X
2.5 fps ∼0% -4%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4.6 fps ∼0% +77%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia L1
6.3 fps ∼0%
LG K10 2017
8.6 fps ∼0% +37%
Honor 6X
4.9 fps ∼0% -22%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
5 fps ∼0% -21%

Legend

 
Sony Xperia L1 Mediatek MT6737T, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG K10 2017 Mediatek MT6750, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 6X HiSilicon Kirin 655, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P8 lite 2017 HiSilicon Kirin 655, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8928, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 32 GB eMMC Flash

The Xperia L1 also falls behind in the area of browser performance. It can take a while for the images to load on a website and demanding HTML5 games such as letsplay.ouigo.com cannot be played smoothly (if at all). However, if you always access the same websites and do not often go to demanding pages, the Xperia L1 should be fine.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Huawei P8 lite 2017
29.499 Points ∼100% +70%
Honor 6X
26.464 Points ∼90% +52%
LG K10 2017
20.838 Points ∼71% +20%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
18.22 Points ∼62% +5%
Sony Xperia L1
17.372 Points ∼59%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4630 Points ∼100% +73%
Honor 6X
4199 Points ∼91% +56%
LG K10 2017
3407 Points ∼74% +27%
Sony Xperia L1
2684 Points ∼58%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2141 Points ∼46% -20%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Sony Xperia L1
12506.5 ms * ∼100%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
12145 ms * ∼97% +3%
LG K10 2017
11708.2 ms * ∼94% +6%
Honor 6X
9373.3 ms * ∼75% +25%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8768.2 ms * ∼70% +30%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Honor 6X
73 Points ∼100% +22%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
62 Points ∼85% +3%
Sony Xperia L1
60 Points ∼82%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
51 Points ∼70% -15%
LG K10 2017
34 Points ∼47% -43%

* ... smaller is better

The Xperia L1 has a relaxed approach to accessing storage: it is the slowest of all our comparison devices in almost all tests; only sequential reading is a little better. Reading our reference microSD card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro M401, is also very slow.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
LG K10 2017 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
61.63 MB/s ∼100% +135%
Honor 6X (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
34.53 MB/s ∼56% +32%
Huawei P8 lite 2017 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
32.1 MB/s ∼52% +22%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
29.2 MB/s ∼47% +11%
Sony Xperia L1 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
26.25 MB/s ∼43%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
LG K10 2017 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
77.4 MB/s ∼100% +105%
Huawei P8 lite 2017 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
53.1 MB/s ∼69% +40%
Honor 6X (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
52.02 MB/s ∼67% +38%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
47.7 MB/s ∼62% +26%
Sony Xperia L1 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
37.81 MB/s ∼49%
Random Write 4KB
Honor 6X
45.05 MB/s ∼100% +664%
LG K10 2017
10.8 MB/s ∼24% +83%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8 MB/s ∼18% +36%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
7.94 MB/s ∼18% +35%
Sony Xperia L1
5.9 MB/s ∼13%
Random Read 4KB
Honor 6X
39.55 MB/s ∼100% +191%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
38.7 MB/s ∼98% +185%
LG K10 2017
25.1 MB/s ∼63% +85%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
17.03 MB/s ∼43% +25%
Sony Xperia L1
13.6 MB/s ∼34%
Sequential Write 256KB
Honor 6X
73.85 MB/s ∼100% +84%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
60.62 MB/s ∼82% +51%
LG K10 2017
43.6 MB/s ∼59% +8%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
42 MB/s ∼57% +4%
Sony Xperia L1
40.2 MB/s ∼54%
Sequential Read 256KB
Honor 6X
283.37 MB/s ∼100% +56%
LG K10 2017
246.1 MB/s ∼87% +35%
Sony Xperia L1
181.9 MB/s ∼64%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
165.8 MB/s ∼59% -9%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
149.4 MB/s ∼53% -18%

Games

We can only give a limited recommendation for the Sony Xperia L1 here: There should be no difficulties with very simple games such as "Angry Birds". If you are interested in playing games that are more demanding, such as "Asphalt 8", you will have to lower the details so that it can be displayed smoothly. With "Dead Trigger 2" you will reach a smooth 30 frames per second -only real high-end smartphones manage to display 60 fps smoothly. Whether the Xperia L1 is suitable for gaming really depends on your expectations.

At least the touchscreen and proximity sensor help ensure happy gaming: they react quickly and reliably.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high22 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

The Sony Xperia L1 usually keeps to comfortable temperatures if you do not put it under too much load. Under full load it heats up to a maximum of 46.4 °C (~115.5 °F), which is noticeable and could become uncomfortable particularly in a trouser pocket. Luckily, this heat is limited to the top part of the case.

The smartphone manages to keep up full performance under prolonged load, which we tested with the GFXBench's battery test, Manhattan 3.1.

Max. Load
 44.4 °C
112 F
43.8 °C
111 F
34.4 °C
94 F
 
 45.4 °C
114 F
43.4 °C
110 F
34.4 °C
94 F
 
 44.9 °C
113 F
43 °C
109 F
34.2 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 45.4 °C = 114 F
Average: 40.9 °C = 106 F
33 °C
91 F
34.3 °C
94 F
43.6 °C
110 F
32.5 °C
91 F
34.4 °C
94 F
45.5 °C
114 F
33.4 °C
92 F
39.6 °C
103 F
46.4 °C
116 F
Maximum: 46.4 °C = 116 F
Average: 38.1 °C = 101 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.8 °C = 86 F | Room Temperature 21.4 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40.9 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 45.4 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.4 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heat map front
Heat map front
Heat map back
Heat map back

Speakers

speaker test Pink Noise
speaker test Pink Noise

The small speaker at the bottom edge can get quite loud: it reaches a maximum of 89.4 dB(A). We were happy to find out that the sound quality does not distort at maximum volume, although you can tell that the speaker has some difficulties: its sound lacks bass and low mids have a hard time coming through as well. This makes the speaker sound rather poor, although it should be fine for watching an occasional YouTube video or listening to a song.

If you want better sound, you should use the 3.5-mm audio jack positioned at the top edge of the device. It transmits the sound clearly to both headphones and external speakers. Sound quality is also good via Bluetooth. The device offers various settings: although we noticed no difference from the ClearAudio+ sound improvement, the equalizer lets you influence the sound quite a bit.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.632.92525.4333125.333.54032.932.95033.635.36331.638.38028.428.5100272812520.833.41602228.420021.330.825020.842.531521.248.240019.456.850019.563.463017.768.780017.974.6100017.876.6125017.376.8160017.474.6200016.776.1250017.273.9315018.274400017.979.6500017.682.3630017.784.2800017.877.41000017.973.51250018.172.21600018.269SPL3089.4N1.379.4median 17.9median 73.5Delta1.312.631.642.625.437.525.334.632.931.333.630.931.632.428.429.72728.420.829.22231.721.336.920.84621.252.319.455.819.559.117.760.817.966.617.871.517.37517.472.316.772.717.271.618.270.717.967.617.666.617.761.617.856.517.957.118.156.918.242.23081.91.346.3median 17.9median 59.11.311hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSony Xperia L1Honor 6X
Sony Xperia L1 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 38.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 45% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 42% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 66% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 26% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Honor 6X audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.88 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 71% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 82% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off)

Battery Runtime

Power Consumption

Although the Xperia L1 consumes rather little power while idling and has normal consumption rates on standby and when turned off, rates increase dramatically under load. We measured a maximum of 6.94 watts, which is the highest value of all comparison devices.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.02 / 0.37 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.89 / 2.05 / 2.18 Watt
Load midlight 6.02 / 6.94 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Sony Xperia L1
2620 mAh
LG K10 2017
2800 mAh
Honor 6X
3340 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
30%
18%
-13%
Idle Minimum *
0.89
0.76
15%
0.82
8%
1.44
-62%
Idle Average *
2.05
1.59
22%
2
2%
2.47
-20%
Idle Maximum *
2.18
1.61
26%
2.03
7%
2.58
-18%
Load Average *
6.02
3.24
46%
3.34
45%
4.55
24%
Load Maximum *
6.94
4.15
40%
4.92
29%
6.3
9%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Considering the comparatively high consumption rates, it is no surprise that the Sony Xperia L1 cannot get particularly long battery runtimes out of the small battery with only 2620 mAh or almost 10 Wh. Yes, the LG K10 manages half an hour less in the Wi-Fi test, but apart from that the battery runtimes of our comparison devices are a lot longer. The Honor 6X lasts particularly long: almost 16 hours. The Xperia L1 only managed 9:27 hours. This is still OK and can even last two days with average use.

The smartphone has adaptive charging technology, which is supposed to prolong the life of the battery. The enclosed power supply even supports quick charge, although the Xperia L1 does not support this feature according to Sony. Nonetheless, the smartphone was fully recharged in just over an hour, which is quite fast.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
23h 18min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 27min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 56min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 43min
Sony Xperia L1
2620 mAh
LG K10 2017
2800 mAh
Honor 6X
3340 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2700 mAh
Battery Runtime
7%
58%
7%
2%
Reader / Idle
1398
1477
6%
2250
61%
1326
-5%
1485
6%
H.264
656
613
-7%
885
35%
644
-2%
622
-5%
WiFi v1.3
567
532
-6%
957
69%
604
7%
574
1%
Load
223
298
34%
375
68%
283
27%
234
5%

Pros

+ fancy case design
+ NFC, USB OTG, USB C
+ extensive and mostly up-to-date software
+ fast Wi-Fi
+ precise GPS
+ good handling
+ rather bright display with good color accuracy
+ good battery runtimes for everyday use

Cons

- pressure-sensitive case
- rough surface needs getting used to
- a lot of bloatware
- average microphone quality
- camera often produces mediocre images
- display has high black value
- comparatively low performance
- high maximum temperature
- high consumption under load

Verdict

Review: Sony Xperia L1. Test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de
Review: Sony Xperia L1. Test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de

The Sony Xperia L1 is a lower mid-range smartphone that offers a sound performance in most areas. If you expect no more from your smartphone than to work and occasionally shoot a photo, you will be very happy with this device. Even though some might complain about the bloatware in the system and the high temperatures under load can be annoying, there are several areas in which the Sony Xperia L1 is quite convincing: the precise GPS module, the extensive and up-to-date software, its good input devices and a display with good color accuracy, for example.

The screen, camera, and battery runtime are what can be expected from the Xperia L1's price range. The smartphone stands out with its fancy case and precise GPS module. If you want no more than a well-functioning smartphone, you will be quite happy with the Xperia L1.

If you expect your smartphone to have a high-resolution screen, more internal storage and a better camera, you can get the Honor 6X for a few dollars more. But if you would like a reliable smartphone with a nice case and an affordable price, the Xperia L1 might be something for you.

Sony Xperia L1 - 07/27/2017 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
81%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
36 / 60 → 60%
Weight
90%
Battery
92%
Display
85%
Games Performance
11 / 63 → 18%
Application Performance
36 / 70 → 52%
Temperature
84%
Noise
100%
Audio
51 / 91 → 56%
Camera
59%
Average
68%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Sony Xperia L1 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-07-31 (Update: 2019-04- 5)