Sony has finally announced the new Xperia C3, the previously-rumoured phone that's designed to be more affordable and let you take better photos from the front-facing camera.
The focus of this handset is clear: with a wide-angle 'PROselfie' 5MP sensor on the front, complete with LED flash, Sony is all about selling this phone to those that like to take a decent picture of themselves without needing to fiddle about with guessing where they are in the frame.
The LED flash is also 'soft' which is usually a trick used to illuminate faces, and combined with Sony's Superior Auto mode and augmented reality effects (laser eyes, anyone?) it's definitely one of the more powerful and mug-friendly front-facing cameras.
Actually, it's probably fairer to call this phone a phablet, more than a dedicated smartphone, with the HD 5.5-inch display likely to prove a little larger than most will have been used to.
However, the clue to the target market (apart from the efforts made to extol the virtues of the front-facing camera) is in the screen – at 1280x720 resolution, this is only just HD, and the sharpness of the display will suffer as a result.
While the Xperia C3 may be the only device with a front facing flash, the 5MP camera isn't necessailry class-leading. The budget Huawei Ascend G6 and the high-end HTC One M8 both sport 5MP forward-facing cameras, while the more premium Ascend P7 boasts an 8MP front facing camera.
This is usually a clue that the phone is aimed at the more budget conscious (generally read: youth market) and with a smaller amount of onboard storage (8GB) and RAM (1GB), that seems to be the case here too.
The Sony Xperia C3 is definitely a phone that's all about the camera, with the rear sporting an 8MP with more modes to enhance your pics and Exmor RS technology from Sony's photography side.
More to see
There are other neat features embedded in the new C3: 4G is onboard, as well as a fairly large 2500mAh battery for the product segment,plus a 1.2GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor and Android 4.4 KitKat.
But this is a phone for taking pictures of your face – that's the only reason you'd buy it. From being able to tap the back to take a snap to even a 'guy-friendly' beauty mode, Sony thinks it can ensnare a whole product segment with one tech upgrade.
And in fairness, the amount of people that are looking for a decent phone to take the shots of themselves in places is increasing rapidly and is fast becoming a primary consideration when purchasing a new smartphone.
The Sony Xperia C3 release date is set for August, with China first in line to see the handset before it becomes globally available. There's currently no word on the price or whether it'll come to the UK, US or Australia.If you want something a bit more powerful, the Sony Xperia Z3 looks like it's on its way.
- If you want something a bit more powerful, the Sony Xperia Z3 looks like it's on its way.