Sony Xperia M review

22 Apr 2014

Looks like a mini version of the Sony Xperia Z1, but it certainly doesn’t perform like it

Price when reviewed: 
127(£90 inc VAT)more
Buy it now for 
3

Sony's smartphone division has been experiencing a resurgence of late, led by the Xperia Z and Z1 Android devices. Despite a similar look, however, this success hasn't rubbed off on the low-end Xperia M.

Pick it up and the immediate impression is one of low quality: the rear doesn't fit tightly onto the body of the phone, so it moves when twisted, and the volume and camera buttons feel insubstantial. It's light and pocketable, thanks to its 4in display, but this isn't a phone anyone would lust after.

Sony Xperia M

The display isn't a feast for the eyes, either. It's bright enough to be readable in most conditions, but a low contrast ratio of 653:1 gives images a flat, washed-out look. Meanwhile, there are few features of note, with no 4G support, only single-band Wi-Fi, 4GB of storage (although there is a microSD slot for expansion) and no luxury extras such water resistance.

In testing, the Xperia continued to disappoint. Its camera produced images and video of consistently low quality. Photos were underexposed, over-compressed and full of horrid chroma noise.

Performance was better. The Xperia feels generally responsive and did reasonable well in benchmarks, with a score of 12fps in the GFXBench T-Rex HD gaming test. You'll be able to play most games on this phone without a hitch; only the most demanding – such as Asphalt 8: Airborne at top detail levels – will prove beyond it.

Sony Xperia M

The battery drained at rates of 21% per hour for gaming and 720p video playback and 8.4% per hour for audio streaming over 3G, for an average of 17% per hour. It's a middling result.

This can't rescue what is a disappointing handset from Sony. It looks and feels cheap, the display is underwhelming, and the camera is awful. It's a good performer for the price, but that's its only redeeming feature.

Details

Price ex VAT £106
Price inc VAT £127
Contract monthly charge £12.50
Contract period 24 months
Overall rating 3
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 3

Physical

Dimensions 62 x 11 x 124mm (WDH)

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 1.00GB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 4.0in
Resolution 480 x 854

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes

Software

OS family Android

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