In news about stuff that we’re surprised isn’t already a thing, Sony has just unveiled a selfie-centric smartphone with a front-side LED flash. So far there is no information regarding pricing or release date, except that it will be rolling out in August as a dual-SIM phone in China with a global rollout planned after.
The Sony Xperia C3 is a sensible entrant to the expanding selfie-cam smartphone market. Recently we’ve seen an increase in these kind of devices. The HTC One (M8) and Huawei G6 are two examples of smartphones with wide-angle 5MP cameras. However, neither of these went all the way and simply added a soft LED flash for low-light situations.
The camera itself has a full 80 degree angle of view. Wide-angles are particularly important when you’re talking about these kinds of photos. Not only does the sincere selfie-taker want to make sure they're centre-stage, but there’s usually a reason you’re snapping a photo of your own smiling face.
Actually being able to capture whatever is in the background that prompted the photo is a big bonus and should hopefully make your Facebook feed slightly more interesting, instead of an endless stream of smiling faces without pictorial context.
We quite like the design of the C3. It’s a familiar look from Sony’s Xperia line, but there’s just something about it that catches and holds our eye. Perhaps it’s the metal trim or the super-slim 7.6mm profile. It could even be the cool-green colour option.
We’ve always been fans of colourful devices and the C3 certainly qualifies. It also kind of looks a little like the Nokia Lumia 930, which we’re already fans of aesthetically. Whatever it is that draws us to the C3 we hope Sony keeps releasing at least one interesting colour option with each of its new devices, just like it's done here and with the purple versions of the Z1 and Z2.
Under the hood
As for the rest of the phone, the C3 sounds like a fairly standard mid-range device. The 5.5 inch 720p display and quad-core 1.2GHz processor put in on par with the reasonably-priced HTC Desire 816. Hopefully this is an indication of pricing.
There’s an 8MP rear-facing camera, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage, although no mention of a microSD slot for expansion, which is a concern.
Of course it comes running Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box and has 4G LTE support. Being aimed at the Asian markets first, it’s a Dual-SIM phone. This is a feature that hasn’t caught on too much in the West just yet, but is very popular elsewhere.