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.