Despite MWC 2015 still being a few weeks away, Sony has announced a new budget smartphone. Here's what you need to know about the Sony Xperia E4 release date, price and specs. Now available to pre-order. See also: Best smartphones 2014.

We're eagerly awaiting the launch of the flagship Xperia Z4 – which may or may not launch in Barcelona at MWC 2015 – but to fill the gap Sony has introduced a new entry level Xperia E handset. Sony doesn't hang around when it comes to launching new smartphones as the Xperia E3 was only launched in September last year at IFA.

Sony said the Xperia E4 offers: "ease-of-use, big screen entertainment and powerful battery performance in a high-quality yet affordable design."

Read: Best budget smartphones of 2015.

Sony Xperia E4 release date and price UK

The budget smartphone market is expanding quickly and the Sony Xperia E4 will launch 'mid-Febraury' including a Dual-SIM model.

Although the phone will go on sale in a matter of days, Sony hasn't announced a price. Although it has a bigger screen and Android 5.0 Lollipop – see full specs below – there's no 4G support so we expect it to be a similar price to the Xperia E3 which is £149.

Clove has announced that the Xperia E4 is available to pre-order for £99 SIM-free. However, the site expects it to arrive in late March which contradicts Sony's statement.

Sony Xperia E4 specs and features

As we just mentioned, the Xperia E4 has a larger screen than its predecessor. It's 5in up from 4.5in and uses a slightly higher resolution at qHD. It's thicker and minutely heavier and uses an almost identical battery size at 2300 mAh. Sony touts a two day battery life.

Inside is a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot which can accept up to 32 GB cards. There's also a 5 Mp rear camera, 2 Mp front camera and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The strangest thing, as mentioned previously, is the lack of 4G LTE support which not only the Xperia E3 offers but key rivals like the Motorola Moto G, EE Kestrel and the freshly leaked Moto E 4G. See below for full specs of the Xperia E4.

Android 5.0 Lollipop
5in qHD display (540 x940)
1.3 GHz quad-core processor
1 GB RAM
8 GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 32 GB)
5 Mp rear camera
2 Mp front camera
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS
2G/3G support
2300 mAh battery
75 x 137 x 10.5 mm
144 g