Sony’s Xperia L1 brings the premium feel without breaking the bank

You can snag Sony's budget-friendly Xperia L1 from American retailers now

As many await the imminent launch of Sony’s Xperia flagships for 2017, the company recently pulled the cover off an entry-level smartphone nobody really saw coming. It’s called the Xperia L1, and it is now available to purchase in the United States from select retailers.

The L1 was first announced back in March and American distribution was not a certain thing at the time. Sony, however, has just updated the L1’s availability page with links to Amazon and Best Buy. The phone retails for $200, packs respectable specs for the price range and comes in three colors: Black, white, and pink, which actually resembles more of a rose gold.

Following in the footsteps of 2013’s budget-conscious Xperia L, the L1 carries a 5.5-inch 720p display driven by a MediaTek quad-core system-on-chip clocked at 1.45 GHz, paired with 2GB of RAM. In terms of cameras, there’s a 13-megapixel shooter at the back with an F2.2 lens and a 24 mm wide-angle 5MP shooter above the screen. The phone comes with 16GB of onboard storage and will support MicroSDXC cards up to 256GB in capacity. It will also be dual-SIM-capable in certain markets.

Sony’s phones have long had a reputation of respectable battery life, and the L1 looks to continue that with a 2,620mAh unit fitted with Qnovo Adaptive Charging. The feature, which will be present in all of Sony’s Xperia XA and XZ devices, claims to extend the lifespan of the battery, allowing it to maintain stock performance for two years. It also allows for quick charging.

The L1 launches with Android 7.0 Nougat onboard. It also features Sony’s Xperia Actions software that monitors how you use your phone and then presents you with the relevant settings to tailor usage to your habits.

For example, if you typically silence all notifications before bed, Xperia Actions pays attention to that, asks if you’d like to set an automatic time window for muting your phone, and offers even more granular controls, like the ability to turn off charging lights and sounds. It will certainly come in handy for those kept awake at night by the piercing LEDs found in some smartphones nowadays.

As for regions other than the U.S., it appears some markets won’t receive the L1 for at least another few weeks. U.K. retailer Clove Technology has the L1’s release slated for early June. It seems American customers will be the first in the world to get their hands on Sony’s latest budget offering — which is somewhat unusual for the company, given its relative popularity outside the U.S.

Article originally published on 03-20-2017 by Adam Ismail. Updated on 05-11-2017 by Adam Ismail: Added U.S. availability.

Product Review

Dolby makes the most comfortable headphones ever, and that's only the start

Dolby has taken its first step into product design with the new Dolby Dimension wireless headphones. Offering tons of features, supreme comfort, and a shocking price tag, the Dimension are a unique new take on audio in the home, and out.

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

How does fast charging work? Here’s every single standard compared

Modern smartphones can charge in mere minutes instead of hours. How does fast charging work? Here's a guide to the most popular standards, including Qualcomm Quick Charge, Apple fast charging, OnePlus Dash Charge, and more.

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 display could be bigger than the iPhone XS Max screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was only released a few months ago, but Samsung is already working on a follow-up. Not much is known about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 just yet, but we do have a few details.

Keep your phone organized with one of the best file managers for Android

Your smartphone has a limited amount of storage space and all sorts of files tend to accumulate if you let them. To keep things in order and find what you need, you should snag one of the best file managers for Android.

Upcoming Honor View 20 may forgo the notch for new display technology

Nearly a year after Honor released the spectacular Honor View 10, the Chinese smartphone giant appears to be hard at work on its successor, the Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about the upcoming midrange powerhouse.

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…

The Google Photos iOS app gets a bit better, now has depth control

Google updated the iOS version of the Google Photos app to now take advantage of the depth data that can be captured by the iPhone's camera in Portrait Mode. The new feature is already available in the Android app.

T-Mobile-Sprint merger could close as early as first quarter of 2019, exec says

T-Mobile and Sprint are finally merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. Once it's complete, the new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.

Apple confirms it’s collecting data on foot to improve its Maps app

Apple has been using cars and satellites to improve its Maps app, and it's now confirmed it's also using tech-laden pedestrians to collect data from the streets in a bid to provide better walking directions.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.