The Xperia L3 is more ambitious than the previous L phones and its design is the first giveaway. Sony has completely reimagined the shape of the L-series and is now promoting the Xperia L3 for its wide-screen. Sure, it didn't get the new 21:9 aspect, but 18:9 has its own benefits, including better compatibility with third party apps as it's been around for much longer.
The Sony Xperia L3 follows the latest design language adopted by the company and seen recently on the cutting-edge Xperia 1, but naturally it can't quite match the materials of its premium sibling. The Xperia L3's three-piece design includes plastic frame, uniform plastic back, and a front glass.
Speaking of the glass, it's a Gorilla Glass 5 and is keeping the large 5.7" IPS LCD panel safe. The screen is of HD+ resolution, which is as budget as it can get, but has very thin side bezels. There are black strips around the top and bottom, but you can't expect true bezel-less experience for less than €200.
The top black bar has the earpiece, a couple of well-hidden sensors, and the 8MP selfie camera. And above all those, on the top side is the 3.5mm audio port. The Xperia L3 also has an FM radio receiver, so the slot is also needed so you can hook up headphones to act as an FM antenna.
The back of the Xperia L3 is made entirely of plastic and is completely flush. The dual-camera is at the top left corner and contains the primary 13MP snapper and a 2MP depth sensor. There is also a LED flash just beside the camera setup.
The Xperia L3 has been obviously built on a budget, hence the plastic bits. The absence of unibody has another downside - the phone did end up with a somewhat noticeable "gap" around its back panel. It's visible, but not exactly bothersome or apparent to the touch. Plus, despite its bill of materials, this Xperia feels very solid and well made.
And there is more good news in addition to the solid build - the Xperia L3 retains the controls and their overall placement from the more expensive Xperia 10 phones. The power and volume keys are on the left and in-between sits the side-mounted fingerprint reader - meaning it is plenty big and easy to find. Also the sensor is always-on, so you won't be needing to reach for the power button to wake up the phone.
The Xperia L3 measures 154 x 72 x 8.9 mm, which is about the same as the Xperia 10 but 4mm wider. The phone weighs 156g, 6g lighter than the 10.
The Xperia L3 isn't the prettiest or the sturdiest of phones, but when you narrow down the comparisons to its own price range it's among the better ones in both aspects. Plus it fits in every pocket and its plastic body provides secure grip.