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Verdict

The Sony Xperia L2 is a solid but deeply unremarkable $250/£200-ish smartphone that fails to offer much of value over its direct rivals.

Its hefty plastic build, low-res display, and mediocre chipset don't offer a bad experience, but nor do they compare favorably with the likes of the Moto G5 and the Nokia 6.

Sony has at least included a fingerprint sensor with this year's budget effort, but it's not a particularly great one. Meanwhile things like a wide-angle front-facing camera and audio enhancement options will only be of limited use to relatively small niches of people.

Who's this for?

If you're an audio obsessive who's on a strict smartphone budget, the Xperia L2 might be worthy of consideration, as it lets you personalize and enhance the audio profile.

Similarly, if you're a selfie fanatic who struggles to squeeze everything (or everyone) into your shots, the L2 can help you out.

Should you buy it?

With a price that (at the time of writing) makes it more expensive than the best budget phones in the business, it's difficult to make a case for buying the Sony Xperia L2.

The Moto G5, Nokia 6 and Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus are each sleeker, have sharper displays, and pack more capable chipsets than the Xperia L2. They also run more 'pure' versions of Android.

Read more about these alternatives below.

Moto G5

It gets a little repetitive comparing new phones to the Moto G family, but the fact remains that this is the gold standard for affordable handsets to measure themselves against.

The Moto G5 is just such an easy phone to live with. It's well built, with a sturdy metal(ish) body, and its 5-inch display packs in the pixels with a 1080p resolution.

Its Snapdragon 430 CPU is more powerful than the L2’s, and we'd take Motorola's near-stock take on Android over Sony's any day.

Nokia 6

Nokia’s return has brought a dose of class to the lower end of the smartphone market, particularly with the Nokia 6.

The phone’s all-metal unibody design is head and shoulders above the bulky plastic L2, while the Nokia 6’s 5.5-inch 1080p display is considerably sharper.

Like the Moto G5, it too runs on the Snapdragon 430, which is a more capable all-round chip than the MediaTek effort in the Xperia L2. Also like the Moto, the Nokia 6 runs on a near-stock version of Android.

Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus

The Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus is another surprisingly classy budget phone that makes the Xperia L2 look a little cumbersome by comparison.

It too has a 720p display, but here that’s less of an issue thanks to its more compact 5-inch size. Like the two other rivals mentioned above, the Swift 2 Plus runs on the superior Snapdragon 430.

Also like the other two phones, the Swift 2 Plus has a much more reliable fingerprint sensor than the L2.

First reviewed: February 2018