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Sony Xperia E5: Hands-on review, UK specs and unboxing

Our hands-on Sony Xperia E5 review takes a closer look at Sony's cheapest 2016 Xperia smartphone, a 5-inch budget mobile which just hit the UK. Take a look at our unboxing video and our first thoughts on the Xperia E5, including comparisons with the Xperia XA, UK specs, price and release date.

Update: We've now reviewed the Xperia E5 in full, so check out our in-depth Sony Xperia E5 review for our thoughts.

Sony's budget X-series phone, the Xperia XA, was absolutely gorgeous but also rather stuttery and suffered from poor battery life - and at £240 here in the UK, it wasn't that cheap either, costing more than rival affordable phones like the Moto G4 and Honor 5C.

Undeterred, Sony is back with a new budget blower for 2016, the Xperia E5, which packs very similar specs to the Xperia XA but at less than half the price. So, is the Xperia E5 the affordable Sony phone we've been waiting for? Here's our full Xperia E5 hands-on review, UK specs and everything else you need to know.

Read next: Sony Xperia E5 vs Xperia XA, what's the difference?

Sony Xperia E5 specs

The Sony Xperia E5 has the following specs:

5-inch 720p HD display

Mediatek MT6735 processor

1.5GB RAM

16GB storage plus microSD memory card support (up to 256GB)

13-megapixel rear camera

5-megapixel front camera

Sony Xperia E5 hands-on review and unboxing

The Xperia E5 is a 5-inch phone just like the Xperia XA, although the XA's beautiful edge-to-edge screen design is sadly dispensed with (unsurprising, given the E5's low cost). Still, that narrow build and slick Sony design feels comfortable in the hand and belies the budget price tag.

As for the screen itself, it's a good one at this price point. Viewing angles and brightness levels match the Xperia XA, although the E5's display produces warmer colours and there's no support for Sony's Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 (which artificially enhances photos and videos) or the Super Vivid mode to boost colour vibrancy.

A basic Mediatek processor backed by 1.5GB of RAM runs the show and so far the Xperia E5 is holding up well. We've seen very little in the way of stuttering or lag and we'll be sure to test performance and battery life in full for our in-depth E5 review.

You also get a 13-megapixel camera on the back with a single LED flash, and while there's no Superior Auto mode, you do get a pretty capable auto function that focuses and takes a shot in very little time. You can also shoot with manual controls and record Full HD video at 30 frames-per-second.

Check back for our full review of the Xperia E5's camera tech, including the 5-megapixel front-facing snapper. For now, here's our Xperia E5 unboxing and hands-on review video.

Sony Xperia E5 UK price and release date

The Sony Xperia E5 costs from just £99 here in the UK, and it's available now from select retailers and the likes of Vodafone UK.

Big thanks to MobileFun for the Xperia E5 review sample. Stay tuned for our full Xperia E5 review.

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