The Sony Xperia L3 has some trendy features like the wide screen and side-mounted fingerprint sensor. The dual-camera seems to do a good job for the class and many have a soft spot for the iconic Xperia launcher. The performance is rather limited though, and it's something competitors will take advantage of to lure power users away from the Xperia L3.
The Xperia L3 costs about €180 in Europe at the time of writing, and the are quite a few phones in this bracket. The Nokia 7.1 has recently got an amazing price cut and is now on sale for €190. It has a higher-res HDR display and more powerful hardware, has an eye-catchy glass build, but most importantly - offers some very good photos from its still camera and class-leading portraits.
Then there is the more recent Galaxy A40 with a large Super AMOLED screen, snappy enough Exynos 7558 chip, and a very good camera experience with an additional 5MP snapper for ultra-wide shots. It costs about €20 more than the L3, but the AMOLED screen and the better chip still arguably make it better value.
The Honor 8X offers an even larger 6.5" display, a more powerful Kirin 710 chip, and also one very-good dual-camera on its back capable of some stunning shots at night courtesy of Huawei's Night Mode. The Honor 8X also offers a stunning paintjob on its glass design and excellent battery life - all of these goodies for some extra €20 over the Xperia L3.
The Moto G7 Play isn't that powerful and won't impress with its display, but its vanilla Android, 4K video capturing, and excellent battery life may tip the scales.
There's also a phone better than the Xperia L3, too, but the catch is it's only available in a single market. In India the Realme 3 beats the Xperia L3 in pretty much everything - design, screen, performance, camera, battery.
While the Xperia 1 and Xperia 10 series were some very thoughtful additions to the whole Xperia family having instantly recognizable advantages over their competitors, the Xperia L3 doesn't have that luxury. It tries to copy a few cool features like the side-mounted fingerprint sensor, but at the end of the day it doesn't have a standout feature of its own. You can look at it as the cheapest entry into the Sony software experience, its value to you mostly depending on whether or not you like the company's launcher as much as us.
Beyond that the Xperia L3 is still a good and balanced smartphone, it's just that it falls short of the hardware of similarly priced competition. It will rely on carriers offering it on good deals to make up for that or the limited availability of some competitors.