Sony Xperia C4 wants to add some flash to your selfies

With a front-facing flash and range of scene modes, Sony's Xperia C4 aims to be the go-to phone for explosive self portraits.

Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
3 min read


Sony is hoping to appeal to the vainest parts of your personality with the Xperia C4. This new 5.5-inch Android phone has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera that's been equipped with an LED flash and a range of scene modes to help you snap the perfect selfie.

The other specs aren't bad either, even if you're not fussed about narcissistic self portraits. The display has a full HD resolution, it's running Android Lollipop, has a 64-bit octa-core processor and comes with 4G LTE connectivity.


Sony is firmly positioning the C4 as the ultimate selfie phone and on paper, it does have plenty to offer self-portrait fans. The 5-megapixel resolution isn't particularly impressive, but the addition of an LED flash on the front is something we haven't seen on many phones so far. If you're regularly trying to take snaps of yourself and your friends in dingy bars or at concerts, having a flash will really help you stand out.

Speaking of your friends, the camera has a wide-angle 25mm lens, which captures a wider scene, meaning your mates won't have to squash in quite so much to fit into the picture. I'm keen to see how it compares to the HTC Desire Eye, which not only has a front-facing flash, but also has a higher resolution 13-megapixel camera.


Sony also reckons it's fitted the front camera with HDR modes and an improved auto mode that will help select the optimal settings for low-light selfies. There are some other software tweaks on board too, including a mode that lets you swap your face with someone else (a feature also seen on the Desire Eye), as well as "Vampire" and "Mystery" modes -- although what these actually do is anyone's guess. A 13-megapixel camera is on the back of the phone.

The phone runs on Android Lollipop -- the most recent version of Google's mobile operating system -- and it's powered by a 64-bit octa-core processor. That should be plenty of power to make snapping pics and uploading them to Instagram a breeze, but I'll reserve judgement on the performance for the full review.

Design and display

The C4's design doesn't look like the most beautiful Sony has ever created, but it's functional. It has a plain back, with the usual Sony branding in the middle, with rounded edges and three colour choices -- white, black and mint green. At 150mm long and 77mm wide, it's quite large, but it needs plenty of room to fit in that big screen.

The screen itself has a full HD (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolution, which Sony says uses the same Bravia technology from its TVs to provide a bright and vivid display. That's something else I'll have to wait to see for myself before giving a verdict.


Powering the phone is a 2,600mAh battery, which will apparently let the C4 stream video for up to 8 hours. That's quite an impressive claim, and certainly one I'll be testing thoroughly. So long as it can last a full day on a single charge and actually have power left to let you take your selfies on a night on the town, I'll be satisfied.


If you've found your low-light selfies lacking in light and drama so far, then the Sony Xperia C4, with its front-facing flash may be the answer you've been looking for. It's got a decent lineup of kit, although the HTC Desire Eye seems to offer more on paper, including a higher resolution camera and waterproof design.

Sony will have to price the Xperia C4 very competitively against HTC's selfie snapper -- which sells for around $470, £430 or AU$640 -- if it hopes to become the go-to phone for self portraits.