There’s been a lot of different alphabets used already by the company, and now they come up with the M series, with the Sony Xperia M being launched by Sony, and we’ve got the device for review. Read below for the review of the Sony Xperia M which comes with a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen and some other decent specs.
Design, Display & Form Factor
Nothing much would look different from the Xperia Z series when you talk of the side buttons, with the aluminum power button on the side along with the volume rocker keys, and the dedicated camera shutter button adds to the functionality which we have been missing on the Samsung android phones. There’s a thin band on each side that runs around on the side panel, and that is based on the color of the device – silver banding on white device, black banding on black device.
The front side has got the 4-inch display, an illuminating zone and the sensors apart from the front camera above the display. The back shows the rear camera with the flash on the top, the microphone and speaker grill towards the bottom. Another good thing for me as I had mentioned on the earlier reviews too, is the removable back cover which has got the Sony logo and branding to it.
Within the back cover, there’s a 1750 mAh battery, and the access to the Micro SIM card slot as well as the slot to insert the Micro SD card. The top middle part has got the 3.5mm headset jack. Although one might feel that the 9.3mm of thickness for the Xperia M is a bit high, you won’t complain when you have the device in hands actually because the comfort in hands is contributed well by the shape and thickness.
The display gives a screen resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, and that is what disappoints us a bit, because one would have expected more than the 480p screen here, that too from a brand which is known to provide a beautiful interface but the display, might not be able to put out what we actually expect from it. The viewing angles are not that great, and under the bright sunlight you might have to change the holding angle to avoid the sunlight or else the viewing becomes harder.
On one side, you would feel bad about the display and the resolution, but it’s an advantage on the other side because the low resolution displays consume lesser battery than the higher resolution ones. And expecting a lot from a device that doesn’t count itself even in the mid-range category, would be our mistake.
Interface, Internal Powering, Storage and Battery
The 1 GHz Dual core processor does a neat job of keeping the performance good enough, but you shouldn’t expect it to take any load you put on it, and not to forget, you will find it hard to play the high-graphics games such as the Asphalt 7 or the Grand Theft Auto, not only because the processor and RAM won’t be able to take it, but another reason being for that – internal memory won’t be able to take so many such games.
Talk about the general usage, it does that pretty well with the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and the Sony’s interface doing a nice job of integrating several widgets on the home screens. There’s 1GB of RAM that does a good job in handling the multiple apps together, but the internal storage although provided is 4GB, the user gets to use only 2GB from it, and out of the box, the device has already eaten up around 500 MB for the several pre-installed apps and data.
Sony has provided the MicroSD card slot for someone who is looking to have a good external storage backup, and the maximum one can take it to, is 32GB. We did try to download a couple heavy games, and the internal storage was all used up and it was prompting us to either delete the data or send it to SD card selectively to free up some space. The fact that it was just the first day of the usage and we getting such errors and notices, would be disappointing. At least a fixed storage of 8 GB or 16 GB with no storage expansion would have been better.
The pre-installed apps easily make this one an Indian version of the device, with apps such as OLX, Sony Liv, BigFlix, Cricbuzz and Paytm, and we are sure one would easily take advantage of at least couple of those apps, apart from the standard Sony apps which include Sony Music, Smart Connect, Xperia Link, X-Alert for Xperia etc. But as we mentioned above, these apps contributed to around 350 MB of internal storage already, reducing the available storage further.
The apps can be well sorted based on the alphabetical order, most used ones, the date of installation or the standard way Sony arranges the apps in the interface. Some utilities open up as a folder, and the apps can be searched from any app page.
Battery management is where one can learn from Sony, because there’s loads of options provided by the company directly in the Xperia devices, and you don’t need to worry about the various things to do when there is a low battery warning shown to you. It’s all setup-once stuff that would do most of the things by itself after the setup is done. There’s a neat 1750 mAh Li-ion battery included, and it’s a removable one lying under the back panel. At around 30% of battery left, the power management tool showed that the Xperia M could survive around 13 hours on this battery on standby.
Check out the Benchmark tests done by us to see how good the processor of the device is.
Camera capture quality, Gallery & Video Recording
The 5-megapixel shooter doesn’t do any appreciable job, and to be frank with the comparison, the 3-year back announced Galaxy S from Samsung too does a better capturing with the same 5-megapixel camera. The LED flash assistance just adjacent to it throws the light at a small radius, again making the capturing no good. The lens glass is embedded a little inside, making it safer from scratching though.
The sample pictures captured with the camera are as below, with the actual size being 2592 x 1944 pixels scaled down and even the HDR mode didn’t show much of a difference.
The gallery arranges the photos, screenshots all at a single place which could be a problem for people to browse through them, but it looks good with the arrangement based on the date and time. Also, Sony has done quite a good job with the options to share the photos, loads of options available apart from the standard Gmail, Bluetooth, Social apps etc.
The front camera does what a standard VGA camera does for the video calling. Expecting more than that would not make sense, and Sony takes the load quite well in running the Skype app with video calling with front camera for quite some time without the device heating up too.
The Xperia M is priced at Rs. 12990, which for me is a decent pricing set by the company, because you would see quite some alternatives but the Sony’s branding always carries a trust factor along with it. Talking about some similar devices, there’s a lot from the Indian brands but one really good competition mainly for the camera which also is a 5MP one, but does a better capturing. But if you are looking for some really good interface and don’t care much about the camera and need something on the low 5-digit pricing in India, the Xperia M is good choice. Shell out some more amount and you could get a better device from Sony itself, the Xperia L.