Sony Xperia L1 review: Level one

Level one

GSMArena Team, 23 June 2017.

Telephony

The Sony Xperia L1 unit we have is the single-SIM version (G3311). Dual-SIM versions are also available in some markets.

The call log is separated from the contacts, but there's a shortcut to those in the upper right corner. It can be filtered by missed, incoming and outgoing calls. Smart dial is supported too.

Dialer with smart dial - Sony Xperia L1 review Phonebook - Sony Xperia L1 review Favorites - Sony Xperia L1 review
Dialer with smart dial • Phonebook • Favorites

Loudspeaker

There are no stereo speakers on the Xperia L1 - those are next to impossible to come by in this price bracket. Sony offers two different audio enhancements for the single speaker, which affect both the speaker loudness and audio quality. By default, the xLOUD option is turned on, and it boosts the speaker loudness by a lot. In fact, the speaker scored one of our all-time best scores, beaten only by the fellow Xperia XA Ultra. There was just minor sound distortion even at maximum volume and the output was crisp and deep enough.

The single bottom-firing speaker isn't pumping out that many decibels without the xLOUD setting, only posting an Average score.

Finally, opting for the ClearAudio will flatten the sound and ruin the quality, while the gain in loudness isn't big enough to make it worth it.

We suggest keeping the xLOUD turned on and forget everything else - Sony did well to turn it on by default.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 62.9 65.2 71.6 Below Average
Xiaomi Redmi 4a 62.8 67.5 72.1 Average
Sony Xperia XA1 61.7 69.7 71.8 Average
Sony Xperia L1 64.7 70.4 72.3 Average
Sony Xperia L1 (ClearAudio) 68.5 72.2 72.8 Good
Meizu M5s 65.4 69.1 84.2 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625) 67.3 70.3 81.5 Very Good
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 68.3 71.6 81.0 Very Good
Meizu M5 Note 65.1 70.7 86.8 Very Good
Sony Xperia L1 (xLOUD) 91.5 74.3 83.2 Excellent
Sony Xperia XA Ultra 88.9 79.3 82.7 Excellent

Other apps

Sony has this neat app called What's New that will show you the hottest apps and multimedia today. It isn't limited to just the Google Play Store, and will display content from Sony's Theme store too.

What's New - Sony Xperia L1 review What's New - Sony Xperia L1 review What's New - Sony Xperia L1 review What's New - Sony Xperia L1 review What's New - Sony Xperia L1 review
What's New

There is a file manager, strictly speaking, but it's buried in the storage options in the Settings menu. It does allow basic copy and move actions, on multiple items too. However, you can't access it from the app drawer, all you get there is a shortcut to a downloads folder.

The Explorer is hidden deep in the Settings Menu - Sony Xperia L1 review The Explorer is hidden deep in the Settings Menu - Sony Xperia L1 review The Explorer is hidden deep in the Settings Menu - Sony Xperia L1 review The Explorer is hidden deep in the Settings Menu - Sony Xperia L1 review
The Explorer is hidden deep in the Settings Menu

Sony's health-tracking app Lifelog doesn't come pre-installed, though all it takes to get it is a trip to the Play Store.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

i've had this phone since 2018 and i really love it. the battery lasts for about 2 days and it's kinda fast. 16gb isn't much though and the phone do get kinda hot when you stress it but it's otherwise a really good phone.

  • Misscombobulated

I wish i had got a better phone the l1 is slow 16g isnt much. The battery goes real quick and dont evan buy one. Its got shite camera that ruined most of my photoes in Japan 🇯🇵 on vacation. I had to send it back once has the battey wouldnt hold chsrg...

L1 is very good phone , but I'm suffering from overheating & the battery draining so fast